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Criminal Law & Procedure

Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4652

AC43115 - State v. Fields (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; operating motor vehicle while having elevated blood alcohol content; "The defendant, Joseph Fields, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs and operating a motor vehicle while having an elevated blood alcohol content in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1) and (2), respectively. The defendant claims that the trial court improperly declined to suppress evidence of his performance of a field sobriety test and evidence of his blood alcohol content, the latter of which was obtained pursuant to a search warrant application, because that evidence was the tainted fruit of his unlawful detention by the police. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43097 - State v. Luna (Misconduct with motor vehicle; assault in third degree; "The defendant, Jasmin I. Luna, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of misconduct with a motor vehicle in violation of General Statutes § 53a-57 and assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61 (a) (3) in connection with a motor vehicle accident in which the defendant's vehicle collided with a motorcycle. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to support her conviction, (2) the trial court abused its discretion and violated her sixth amendment right to present a defense by improperly precluding her from introducing into evidence portions of the medical records of the operator of the motorcycle, Kevin Tardiff, (3) the court erred in admitting into evidence Tardiff's death certificate and, in doing so, violated her sixth amendment right to confrontation because the document contained testimonial hearsay, and (4) the court violated her sixth amendment right to conflict free representation when it failed to inquire into the actual conflict of interest created by defense counsel when he provided the state with evidence harmful to the defendant. We are unpersuaded by each of the defendant's claims and affirm the judgment of the trial court.")



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Roy, Christopher

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4645

AC43069 - State v. Yury G. ("The defendant, Yury G., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of disorderly conduct in violation of General Statutes § 53a-182 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims: (1) the trial court incorrectly determined that the defendant's request to charge the jury on the 'lesser included offense' of creating a public disturbance, an infraction, failed to meet the test articulated in State v. Whistnant, 179 Conn. 576, 588, 427 A.2d 414 (1980); (2) the statutory scheme that gives the prosecutor complete discretion in choosing whether to charge the defendant with an infraction or with a misdemeanor that contains identical elements to the infraction violates her state and federal constitutional right to due process of law and to equal protection under the law; (3) the statutory scheme that gives the prosecutor complete discretion in choosing whether to charge the defendant with an infraction or with a misdemeanor that contains identical elements to the infraction violates the separation of powers provision of the Connecticut constitution; and (4) the court abused its discretion when it instructed the jury that it could consider the affidavit of the defendant's husband (H) only for impeachment purposes despite having admitted the affidavit as a full exhibit. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4640

SC20246 - State v. Correa (Search and Seizure; Motion to Suppress; Whether warrantless search conducted by canine sniff outside door of defendant's motel room constituted an illegal search under state constitution; Whether police officer's warrantless visual sweep of defendant's motel room justified by exigent circumstances; "The primary issue presented by this appeal is whether article first, § 7, of the Connecticut constitution prohibits the police from conducting a warrantless canine sniff of the exterior door to a motel room for the purpose of detecting the presence of illegal drugs inside the room.

We conclude that the canine sniff was a search subject to the warrant requirement of article first, § 7, of the state constitution and that the failure of the police to obtain a warrant before conducting the canine sniff violated that requirement. We also conclude that the case must be remanded to the trial court so that the state may be afforded the opportunity to adduce additional evidence concerning its claims relative to the canine sniff under the independent source and inevitable discovery doctrines, claims that, if proven, would obviate the illegality of the canine sniff and thereby eliminate the need for suppression of the evidence ultimately seized pursuant to the search warrant. We finally conclude that, although the visual sweep was not justified by exigent circumstances, the state also must be afforded the opportunity to present additional evidence to establish, in light of our determination regarding the impropriety of the canine sniff, that the constitutional infirmity of the visual sweep is obviated by the independent source doctrine.

The judgment of the Appellate Court is reversed and the case is remanded to that court with direction to remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4638

SC20351 - State v. LeRoya M. (Murder; Whether trial court improperly rejected defendant's affirmative defense that she was not guilty of murder by reason of mental disease or defect; "The defendant, LeRoya M., was charged with two counts of murder in violation General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) for killing her seven year old son, D, and her six year old daughter, A. The defendant elected a trial before a three judge court; see General Statutes § 54-82 (a) and (b); and presented expert testimony in support of an affirmative defense of lack of capacity due to mental disease or defect pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-13, otherwise known as the insanity defense. The state presented expert testimony at trial to rebut the defendant's insanity defense. The trial court ultimately did not find the defendant's expert testimony to be reliable or credible and, as a result, concluded that the defendant had "failed to satisfy her burden of proving that, as a result of mental disease or defect, she lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of her conduct or to control her conduct within the requirements of the law." On appeal, the defendant claims that no rational fact finder reasonably could have rejected her insanity defense on the present factual record. We disagree and affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4628

AC43612 - State v. Yusef L. (Violation of probation; violation of protective order; strangulation in second degree; motion to vacate guilty pleas; "The defendant, Yusef L., appeals from the judgment revoking his probation and the judgments of conviction, rendered after his admission to a violation of his probation in violation of General Statutes § 53a-32 and after pleas of guilty, pursuant to the Alford doctrine, of violation of a protective order in violation of General Statutes § 53a-223 and strangulation in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-64bb. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas because they were not made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently. Specifically, the defendant claims that the court (1) failed to determine whether he fully understood the maximum possible sentence that could result from consecutive sentences, (2) incorrectly advised him that a mandatory minimum sentence applied, and (3) failed to determine whether he fully understood that he had the right to plead not guilty and the right to the assistance of counsel. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")

AC44003 - State v. Lavecchia (Assault in third degree; "The defendant, Matthew S. Lavecchia, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims the trial court abused its discretion by (1) admitting into evidence the testimony of a police officer as to whether probable cause existed for the defendant's arrest and (2) excluding from evidence the psychiatric records of a witness for the state. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40618 - State v. Pierre (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Gregory Pierre, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant argues that the court abused its discretion in denying his motion. He claims that his sentence violated the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy, which is enshrined in the fifth amendment to the United States constitution and made applicable to the states through the fourteenth amendment, because (1) the court improperly merged his felony murder and manslaughter convictions, and (2) he was unlawfully convicted of and sentenced on two counts of kidnapping in the first degree for a single act. With respect to the first claim, we conclude that the form of the judgment is improper, and we remand the case to the trial court with direction to dismiss the portion of the motion to correct in which the petitioner raised that claim. We affirm the judgment of the trial court in all other respects.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4626

SC20192 - State v. Tomlinson (Murder; Whether admission of expert testimony concerning gang activity violated evidentiary rules and defendant's confrontation clause rights; Whether certain evidence of gang activity constituted inadmissible hearsay; Whether witnesses' statements properly admitted under spontaneous utterance exception to hearsay doctrine; "The principal claims in this appeal concern the propriety of the trial court's admission of evidence regarding a criminal defendant's alleged gang affiliation and, specifically, whether the prejudicial nature of this evidence outweighed its relevance. The defendant, Deonte O. Tomlinson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), for the shooting death of the victim, Kahlil Diaz, and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly admitted the following evidence: (1) expert testimony regarding gangs because it was irrelevant and violated his right to confrontation under the federal constitution; (2) a rap music video because its highly prejudicial nature rendered his trial fundamentally unfair; (3) police photographs that depicted writing on a mirror in a bedroom of his apartment—arguably reflecting gang membership—because the photographs constituted inadmissible hearsay; and (4) portions of a recorded phone conversation that was contemporaneous with the murder because it constituted hearsay and did not fall under the excited utterance exception to the rule against hearsay. Although we recognize that evidence regarding a defendant's gang affiliation may prejudice a jury against a defendant, on the facts of this case, we affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4616

AC43270 - State v. Paschal (Attempt to commit assault of public safety personnel; "The defendant, Deja Paschal, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of one count of attempt to commit assault of public safety personnel in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-167c (a) (5). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) violated his constitutional right to self-representation and (2) erred by allowing the state to present evidence of uncharged misconduct. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43660 - State v. Small (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Anthony Small, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in failing to follow the procedures set forth by our Supreme Court in State v. Francis, 322 Conn. 247, 140 A.3d 927 (2016), when it denied his request for the appointment of counsel on his motion to correct an illegal sentence. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court. ")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4612

SC20360 - State v. Turner (Felony murder; Larceny; Whether appellate court properly upheld defendant's conviction of robbery and felony murder based on legally invalid but factually supported theory for conviction; "This certified appeal requires us to consider whether the defendant's convictions of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (1) and felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c should be reversed due to the trial court's references to larceny by false pretenses in its instructions to the jury on both offenses. The defendant, Elizabeth K. Turner, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming her conviction on sixteen counts, including three counts of robbery in the first degree and two counts of felony murder, for her involvement in the murder of Donna Bouffard and her son, Michael Perkins (Perkins). The defendant contends that the trial court, by referring to larceny by false pretenses in its instructions, improperly presented the jury with a legally invalid but factually supported basis for finding her guilty of both robbery and felony murder. The Appellate Court rejected that claim, concluding that the trial court's instructions, although improper, provided the jury with a legally valid but factually unsupported basis for finding the defendant guilty and, as a result, did not impact her due process right to a fair trial. See State v. Turner, 190 Conn. App. 693, 709–15, 212 A.3d 715 (2019). The Appellate Court further held that the trial court's instructional error was harmless because the jury had a legally valid and factually supported alternative basis for finding the defendant guilty of robbery and felony murder. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")

SC20370 - State v. Jodi D. (Assault of a disabled person; Whether general statutes §§ 1-1f (b) and 53a-60b (a) (1) were not unconstitutionally vague as applied to the defendant; Whether evidence was sufficient for state to prove a beyond a reasonable doubt that victim was "Physically disabled" under those statutes; "The issues before us in this appeal are (1) whether the term "physically disabled," as used in General Statutes § 53a-60b (a) (1) and defined by General Statutes § 1-1f (b), is unconstitutionally vague as applied to the conduct of the defendant, Jodi D., who was convicted of assault on a victim who suffered from fibromyalgia and other physical ailments, (2) if the statutes are not unconstitutionally vague, whether they are unconstitutionally overinclusive, and (3) whether there was insufficient evidence to establish that the victim suffered from a physical disability within the meaning of § 53a-60b (a) (1).

The defendant was charged with assault of a disabled person in the second degree in violation of § 53a-60b (a) (1), assault in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-61 (a) (1) and reckless endangerment in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-64 (a) after an altercation with the victim, the defendant's sister, during which the defendant struck the victim with a wooden billy club. The jury found the defendant guilty of assault of a disabled person in the second degree and reckless endangerment in the second degree and not guilty of assault in the third degree, and the trial court rendered judgment of conviction. Thereafter, the defendant appealed to the Appellate Court, claiming, among other things, that "§ 53a-60b (a) (1) is unconstitutionally vague as applied to her conduct" and that "the evidence did not support a finding that the victim was physically disabled . . . ." (Footnote omitted.) State v. Dojnia, 190 Conn. App. 353, 355–56, 210 A.3d 586 (2019). The Appellate Court rejected these claims and affirmed the judgment of conviction. Id., 386. We then granted the defendant's petition for certification to appeal to this court, limited to the following issues: (1) "Did the Appellate Court correctly conclude that . . . §§ 1-1f (b) and 53a-60b (a) (1) were not unconstitutionally vague as applied to the defendant?" And (2) "[d]id the Appellate Court correctly conclude that the evidence the state presented at trial was sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim was `physically disabled' under the governing statutes?" State v. Dojnia, 333 Conn. 914, 215 A.3d 1211 (2019). The defendant also claims on appeal that, even if the statutes are not unconstitutionally vague, § 53a-60b (a) (1) is unconstitutional because there is no rational nexus between the broad scope of the statute and the legislature's narrow purpose in enacting it. Although we reject the defendant's claim that the statutes are unconstitutionally vague, we conclude that they are unconstitutionally overinclusive and lack any rational basis as applied to assaults on persons whose physical disabilities neither diminish their ability to defend themselves from assault nor make them particularly vulnerable to injury. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and remand the case for a new trial.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4610

SC20479 - State v. Tinsley (Manslaughter; Risk of injury; Double jeopardy; Whether the Appellate Court correctly determined that the defendant's conviction of manslaughter in the first degree and risk of injury to a child violated the double jeopardy clause because those crimes stood in relation of greater and lesser included offenses; "The sole issue in this certified appeal is the extent to which a court should consider the facts alleged by the state in the charging documents when determining whether a crime is a lesser included offense of another, rather than confining its analysis to the elements of the statutes at issue, under Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299, 52 S. Ct. 180, 76 L. Ed. 306 (1932). The state appeals, upon our grant of its petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court reversing the judgment of the trial court, which denied the motion to correct an illegal sentence filed by the defendant, Darrell Tinsley, on the basis of its conclusion that the defendant's convictions of manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55 (a) (1) and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1995) § 53-21, as amended by Public Acts 1995, No. 95-142, § 1, violate the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy. See State v. Tinsley, 197 Conn. App. 302, 304, 326, 232 A.3d 86 (2020). On appeal, the state claims that the Appellate Court improperly considered the factual allegations in the information in concluding that risk of injury to a child, as charged therein, was a lesser included offense of manslaughter in the first degree, rendering the defendant's conviction of both offenses a violation of his right to be free from double jeopardy. We conclude that the Appellate Court improperly considered the facts alleged in the state's information, rather than confining its analysis to the statutory elements under the Blockburger test, insofar as risk of injury to a child is not a lesser included offense of manslaughter in the first degree because each offense requires the state to prove an element the other does not. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4606

AC43101 - State v Glen S. (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Glen S., appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation after finding that he had violated the conditions of his probation in violation of General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims: (1) the court's canvass regarding the waiver of his right to be represented by counsel was constitutionally inadequate under Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 95 S. Ct. 2525, 45 L. Ed. 2d 562 (1975); (2) even if the canvass was constitutional under Faretta, he is entitled to a new trial under State v. Connor, 292 Conn. 483, 973 A.2d 627 (2009), because he exhibited a noticeable impairment during the first day of the violation of probation evidentiary hearing; (3) this court should exercise its supervisory authority to require that trial courts canvass criminal defendants about the waiver of their constitutional rights to testify; (4) this court should review his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel on direct appeal because the ineffectiveness of his trial counsel is clear from the record; and (5) the court's judgment should be reversed because he was deprived of his constitutional right to conflict free representation. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43775 - State v. Dionne (Sexual assault in fourth degree; risk of injury to child; plain error doctrine; "The defendant, Christopher J. Dionne, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A) and one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly (1) permitted the victim’s mother to testify as a constancy of accusation witness regarding statements made by the victim to her that disclosed the sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant, and (2) admitted a videotape of the victim’s forensic interview under the constancy of accusation doctrine or pursuant to the medical diagnosis or treatment exception to the rule against hearsay evidence. The defendant concedes that both of these claims are unpreserved and are not of constitutional magnitude. Accordingly, he seeks to prevail under the plain error doctrine. We conclude that the defendant has failed to meet his high burden of demonstrating plain error and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")

AC40250 - State v. Stephenson (Burglary in third degree; attempt to commit tampering with physical evidence; attempt to commit arson in second degree; claim that evidence was insufficient to support conviction of charged offenses; "This appeal returns to us on remand from our Supreme Court. In State v. Stephenson, 187 Conn. App. 20, 201 A.3d 427 (2019), rev'd, 337 Conn. 643, ___ A.3d ___ (2020), the defendant, Joseph A. Stephenson, appealed from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of burglary in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-103, attempt to commit tampering with physical evidence in violation of General Statutes § 53a-49 (a) (2) and General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) § 53a-155 (a) (1), and attempt to commit arson in the second degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-112 (a) (1) (B). The court imposed a total effective sentence of twelve years of incarceration followed by eight years of special parole. On appeal, the defendant claimed that (1) the state presented insufficient evidence to support his conviction of those charges, and (2) the court improperly excluded evidence regarding his mental state prior to the commission of those offenses.

This court concluded that the state had failed to produce sufficient evidence regarding the defendant's intent to commit the crime of tampering with physical evidence, a requirement common to all the charged offenses. Id., 39. Accordingly, we reversed the defendant's conviction and remanded the case with direction to render a judgment of acquittal on all three charges. Id. As a result of this conclusion, we did not address the other claims raised by the defendant in his appeal. See id., 30 n.4, 39.

After granting the state's petition for certification to appeal, our Supreme Court reversed the judgment of this court. State v. Stephenson, supra, 337 Conn. 654. Specifically, it agreed with the state that this court improperly had "addressed an issue of evidentiary sufficiency sua sponte without calling for supplemental briefing as required by Blumberg Associates Worldwide, Inc. v. Brown & Brown of Connecticut, Inc., 311 Conn. 123, 84 A.3d 840 (2014) (Blumberg)." State v. Stephenson, supra, 645–46. As a result of this conclusion, our Supreme Court remanded the case to this court "in order to address the claims raised by the defendant in his initial appeal. If, during that proceeding, the Appellate Court chooses to exercise its discretion to reach the sufficiency issue raised in its previous decision, it must do so in a manner consistent with this court's decision in Blumberg." Id., 654; see also Stephenson v. Commissioner of Correction, 203 Conn. App. 314, 317 n.2, 248 A.3d 34, cert. denied, 336 Conn. 944, 249 A.3d 737 (2021).

In accordance with the directive from our Supreme Court, we ordered the parties to file simultaneous supplemental briefs addressing whether the evidence was sufficient to prove the defendant's intent to tamper with physical evidence. Following the receipt of the parties' supplemental briefs, we heard additional oral argument.

With this recitation of the appellate history of the case in mind, we set forth the issues before us, as presented in the defendant's original and supplemental briefs.

...

The judgment is affirmed.")

AC43966 - State v. Heriberto B. (Risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Heriberto B., appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct an illegal sentence and to vacate his pleas on the ground that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider the motion. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly dismissed, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the first motion to correct an illegal sentence that he filed, and (2) violated his constitutional right to a jury trial under Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. 99, 133 S. Ct. 2151, 186 L. Ed. 2d 314 (2013). We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4602

SC20320 - State v. Gibson (Felony murder; Whether trial court improperly admitted prior consistent statement; Whether trial court violated defendant's due process and confrontation clause rights in denying cross-examination regarding witness' pending charges; Whether trial court erred in failing to give Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus jury instruction; "The defendant, Tijuan Gibson, appeals from the judgment of the trial court convicting him of the crimes of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (1), conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (1), and criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly admitted portions of a written statement from one of the state's witnesses, Shyaira Atkinson, into evidence; and (2) the trial court unduly restricted the cross-examination of another state's witness, Levar Roach, with respect to certain pending criminal charges. For the reasons that follow, we reject these claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4594

AC41793 - State v. Stephanie U. (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs; operating motor vehicle while operator's license was suspended; attempt to commit risk of injury to child; "The defendant, Stephanie U., appeals from the judgment of conviction of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1), operating a motor vehicle while her operator's license was under suspension in violation of General Statutes § 14-215 (a), and attempt to commit risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes §§ 53-21 (a) (1) and 53a-49 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the prosecutor violated her state constitutional rights to confront witnesses against her and to testify on her own behalf by improperly attacking her credibility during cross-examination and in her closing rebuttal argument by suggesting that she had tailored her testimony to conform to the evidence she had overheard during her trial, (2) the prosecutor denied her due process of law under both the federal and state constitutions when, during cross-examination, the prosecutor asked the defendant whether she had an interest in the outcome of the trial, and when, during rebuttal argument, the prosecutor told the jury that it could consider the defendant's vested interest in the outcome of the trial, (3) prosecutorial impropriety deprived her of a fair trial when the prosecutor argued that she had tailored her testimony and that she had a motive to lie, (4) this court, in the alternative, should order a new trial after we employ our supervisory authority to prohibit questions and arguments that amount to generic tailoring and/or telling or implying to the jury that it can or should discredit the defendant's trial testimony because she has an "interest in the outcome" of her trial, and (5) her conviction of attempt to commit risk of injury to a child should be vacated because it is not a cognizable crime. We reject the defendant's claims, although we agree with her request to exercise our supervisory authority over the administration of justice on the issue of generic tailoring. Nevertheless, because we conclude that the prospective rules we articulate regarding generic tailoring would not have changed the outcome of the defendant's trial, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43117 - State v. Gamble (Motion to correct illegal sentence; manslaughter in first degree with firearm; "For a trial court to have jurisdiction over a defendant's motion to correct an alleged illegal sentence, the defendant must raise "a colorable claim within the scope of Practice Book § 43-22 that would, if the merits of the claim were reached and decided in the defendant's favor, require correction of a sentence. . . . In the absence of a colorable claim requiring correction, the trial court has no jurisdiction to modify the sentence." (Footnote added; internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Evans, 329 Conn. 770, 783, 189 A.3d 1184 (2018), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 139 S. Ct. 1304, 203 L. Ed. 2d 425 (2019). "A colorable claim is one that is superficially well founded but that may ultimately be deemed invalid. . . . For a claim to be colorable, the defendant need not convince the trial court that he necessarily will prevail, he must demonstrate simply that he might prevail. . . . The jurisdictional and merits inquiries are separate, whether the defendant ultimately succeeds on the merits of his claim does not affect the trial court's jurisdiction to hear it." (Citations omitted; emphasis omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Id., 784.

In the present case, the self-represented defendant, Hudel Clifton Gamble, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct an alleged illegal sentence (motion to correct) for lack of jurisdiction. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly dismissed the motion to correct because it advanced a colorable claim that his sentence on the underlying conviction of manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm was illegally enhanced on the basis of a fact not found by the jury. The state counters that the court properly dismissed the defendant's motion to correct because it challenges his underlying conviction, not the legality of his sentence. We agree with the state and, therefore, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4592

SC20276 - State v Culbreath (Manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm; criminal violation of a protective order; criminal possession of a firearm; carrying a pistol without a permit; illegal possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle; “The defendant appeals from the judgment of conviction on the ground that his federal and state constitutional rights were violated when the police continued to question him after he invoked his right to counsel pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 478–79, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966), and, therefore, claims that his statements to the police improperly were admitted into evidence. The defendant further claims that the prosecutor committed improprieties during closing argument that deprived him of his due process right to a fair trial. We reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4586

SC20361 - State v. Dawson (Criminal possession of a firearm; Whether evidence sufficient to support defendant's conviction of criminal possession of a firearm; "The defendant, Andre Dawson, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming his conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c. The defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the state had adduced sufficient evidence at trial to support his conviction. We agree and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4584

AC43137 - State v. Quintiliano (Criminal mischief in first degree; "In this criminal appeal, which arises out of a property dispute between neighbors, the defendant, Paul A. Quintiliano, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial to the court, of criminal mischief in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-115 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims, inter alia, that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that he had no reasonable ground to believe that he had a right to remove certain trees planted by his former neighbor, Brian Collins, on a portion of land then owned by Collins with respect to which the defendant claimed to enjoy deeded or prescriptive easement rights. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43686 - State v. Felimon C. (Sexual assault in second degree; risk of injury to child; motion to correct illegal sentence; mootness; "The defendant, Felimon C., appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. Specifically, he claims that (1) the sentencing court lacked statutory authority to impose a condition of probation prohibiting him from contesting the adoption of the minor child conceived as a result of his sexual assault (condition), (2) the condition was illegal because it violated his constitutionally protected right to familial association, (3) he did not waive his right to challenge the condition by voluntarily entering into a plea agreement, and (4) the appropriate remedy is to retain ‘‘the original sentence while striking the unlawful condition of probation.’’ Because the defendant’s parental rights have been terminated and the minor child has been adopted, we conclude that the appeal is moot.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4580

SC20355 - State v. Robert R. (Sexual assault; Whether evidence was sufficient to prove that defendant committed sexual assault in the first degree; Whether trial court properly admitted testimony from expert witness regarding child sexual abuse; Whether preventing defense counsel from arguing that victim planted evidence deprived defendant of sixth amendment right to present complete defense. "The defendant, Robert R., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court violated his sixth amendment right to the assistance of counsel by precluding defense counsel during closing argument from arguing to the jury that the complainant, M, had planted physical evidence on a paper towel in an effort to substantiate her false allegations against the defendant, (2) there was insufficient evidence to prove that the defendant used force or the threat of force, as required to sustain his conviction of sexual assault in the first degree, and (3) the trial court improperly admitted expert testimony from a witness who specializes in child and adolescent sexual abuse. We agree with the defendant with respect to his first claim and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4573

AC41474 - State v. Morlo M. (Assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; unlawful restraint in first degree; "The defendant, Morlo M., appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of one count of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (3), five counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), one count of unlawful restraint in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-95 (a), and one count of tampering with a witness in violation of General Statutes § 53a-151. On appeal, the defendant claims that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of (1) assault in the first degree, (2) risk of injury to a child (3) and unlawful restraint in the first degree, and that (4) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of his prior misconduct. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4552

AC42234 - State v. Santiago (Attempt to commit assault in first degree; attempt to commit assault of peace officer; engaging officer in pursuit; "The defendant, Israel Santiago, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of attempt to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-59 (a) (1) and two counts of attempt to commit assault of a peace officer in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-167c (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of attempt to commit assault in the first degree and (2) the crime of attempt to commit assault of a peace officer is not legally cognizable and, alternatively, the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of both counts of attempt to commit assault of a peace officer. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC43030 - State v. Collins (Possession of narcotics with intent to sell; motion for mistrial; motion to suppress; "The defendant, Jiquane Chris Collins, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered by the trial court in accordance with the jury's verdict, of two counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 21a-278 (b). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly denied his motions for a mistrial following testimony on the ultimate issue of his intent and following testimony concerning alleged prior misconduct, and (2) erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence seized during the execution of a search warrant that had been issued without probable cause. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42612 - State v. Williams (Sexual assault in second degree; whether trial court deprived defendant of constitutional right to assistance of counsel by allowing him to represent himself; "The defendant, Dayvon Williams, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a trial to the court, of sexual assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-71 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that the court (1) deprived him of his constitutional right to the assistance of counsel by allowing him to represent himself, and (2) abused its discretion by failing, sua sponte, to order a competency hearing or to appoint counsel for him after it granted his request to represent himself. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=4550

SC20152 - State v. Roy D. L. (Sexual assault in the first degree; Sexual assault in the fourth degree; RIsk of injury to a minor; Whether forensic interview of victim properly admitted under medical treatment exception to hearsay rule; Whether prosecutor engaged in impropriety during closing argument; Whether evidence sufficient to support convictions; Whether first degree sexual assault and risk of injury statutes are unconstitutionally vague as applied; "Following a trial to the court, Gold, J., the defendant, Roy D. L., was convicted of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2), sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A), and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) for the sexual abuse of his daughter, R. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence a video recording of R's forensic interview under the medical treatment exception to the hearsay rule, (2) the prosecutor improperly introduced facts not in evidence and commented on the credibility of a witness during closing argument, thereby depriving him of a fair trial, (3) the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his convictions, and (4) the statutes criminalizing sexual assault in the first degree and risk of injury to a child are unconstitutionally vague as applied to his conduct. We disagree with each of the defendant's claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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