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Criminal Law & Procedure

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3839

SC20083 - State v. Lebrick (Felony murder; home invasion; conspiracy to commit home invasion; burglary first degree; attempt to commit robbery first degree; assault first degree; certification from Appellate Court; "The defendant, Horvil F. Lebrick, claims in this certified appeal that the Appellate Court improperly affirmed his judgment of conviction because the trial testimony of two witnesses should have been excluded from evidence under the Connecticut Code of Evidence and the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment to the United States constitution. Specifically, the defendant contends that (1) the state failed to establish adequately that a nonappearing witness named Keisha Parks was unavailable to testify at trial, and, therefore, her former testimony improperly was admitted under § 8-6 (1) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence and in violation of the confrontation clause, and (2) the testimony of James Stephenson, the state's expert witness on firearm and tool mark identification, was predicated on inadmissible hearsay and, therefore, improperly was admitted in violation of the confrontation clause. We agree with the defendant that the admission of Parks' former testimony violated his constitutional right of confrontation, but we disagree that the admission of Stephenson's testimony was unconstitutional. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and remand the case for a new trial.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3830

SC19868 - State v. Collymore (Felony murder; attempt to commit robbery first degree; conspiracy to commit robbery first degree; criminal possession of firearm; prior inconsistent statements; statutory (§ 54-47a) immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony during state's case-in-chief; fifth amendment right against self-incrimination; "The primary question in this appeal is whether the defendant, Anthony Collymore, was harmed when the state, after granting immunity to three witnesses under General Statutes § 54-47a for testimony given during the state's case-in-chief, revoked that immunity when the same witnesses later testified in the defense case-in-chief. The defendant appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, attempt to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-134 (a) (2), conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 (a) and 53a-134 (a), and criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1). He claims that his rights to due process and a fair trial under the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution, and his rights to compulsory process and to present a defense under the sixth amendment to the United States constitution were violated when the trial court improperly permitted the state to revoke the immunity of the three witnesses, causing them to invoke their fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. Additionally, the defendant claims that the Appellate Court improperly denied his motion to reconsider in light of this court's holding in State v. Dickson, 322 Conn. 410, 141 A.3d 810 (2016), cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S. Ct. 2263, 198 L. Ed. 2d 713 (2017), on the ground that two witnesses made improper, first time in-court identifications. Because we conclude that the revocation of immunity did not violate the defendant's constitutional rights and that any improprieties regarding the first time in-court identifications were harmless, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")

AC41563 - State v. Watson (Murder; sale of narcotics; "The defendant, Semmion Watson, appeals from the judgment of conviction of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and sale of narcotics in violation of General Statutes § 21a-278 (b), rendered after a trial to the court. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the state failed to disprove his self and premises defenses beyond a reasonable doubt and (2) the court improperly precluded the testimony of a defense witness. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.")

AC41488 - State v. Randy G. (Violation of probation; "The defendant, Randy G., appeals from the judgment of the trial court finding him in violation of his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion by (1) admitting into evidence a police report from the underlying case in which he was convicted and (2) refusing to admit evidence of the victim's criminal complaint against a previous boyfriend. We 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=3826

AC41769 - State v. Mitchell (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, James Mitchell, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant challenges the trial court's denial of his motion to correct on four grounds: (1) that the sentence was imposed in an illegal manner in violation of Santobello v. New York, 404 U.S. 257, 262, 92 S. Ct. 495, 30 L. Ed. 2d 427 (1971), because the defendant was sentenced after the nine month period of the Garvin agreement had ended; (2) that the sentence was imposed in an illegal manner because the defendant was not given adequate notice of the sentencing hearing; (3) that he was denied the opportunity to make a statement or present evidence in violation of Practice Book § 43-10; and (4) that the imposition of the sentence violated Practice Book § 43-29. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41139 - State v. Brown (Breach of peace in second degree; criminal violation of protective order; assault in third degree; "The defendant, Oterrio R. Brown, appeals from the judgments of conviction, following a jury trial, of two counts of breach of the peace in the second degree, and of violation of a protective order and assault in the third degree.The defendant claims that the court improperly (1) granted the state's request for joinder of the two informations; (2) allowed the state to use prejudicial language during the voir dire process; and (3) denied the defendant's request for a continuance. We disagree and affirm the judgments of the trial court.")

AC42357 - State v. Jarmon (Home invasion; burglary in first degree; robbery in first degree; stealing firearm; (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, James Jarmon, appeals from the judgment of conviction of home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1), burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (3), robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (4), and three counts of stealing a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-212 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the state presented insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the operability of each firearm the defendant stole, (2) the trial court erroneously admitted into evidence a letter written by the then incarcerated defendant that was intercepted by a correction officer, and (3) the defendant's conviction of home invasion and burglary in the first degree violated his constitutional protection against double jeopardy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3814

AC42144 - State v. Mekoshvili (Murder; self-defense; "The defendant, Shota Mekoshvili, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered on a jury verdict of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. He claims that the trial court erred by (1) admitting testimony under the state of mind exception to the hearsay rule, (2) admitting testimony regarding the victim's habit, and (3) refusing to include in the jury instructions a unanimity charge as to whether the state had disproven an element of the defendant's self-defense claim. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3808

SC20087 - State v. Blaine ("The sole issue in this certified appeal is whether the defendant's conviction of conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2) should be reversed under the plain error doctrine due to an alleged error in the trial court's jury instructions. The defendant, Jayevon Blaine, contends that the trial court improperly failed to instruct the jury on an essential element of the crime as required by State v. Pond, 138 Conn. App. 228, 238–39, 50 A.3d 950 (2012), aff'd, 315 Conn. 451, 108 A.3d 1083 (2015), namely, that he agreed and specifically intended that he or another participant in the robbery would be 'armed with a deadly weapon . . . .' General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (2). The Appellate Court held that there was no 'obvious and undebatable error' in the trial court's jury instructions because the relevant instructions 'logically required the jury to find that the defendant had agreed that a participant would be armed with a deadly weapon.' State v. Blaine, 179 Conn. App. 499, 510, 180 A.3d 622 (2018). The Appellate Court also held that, even if the instructions were erroneous, there was no manifest injustice necessitating reversal of the defendant's conviction because '[e]very witness who testified that the agreement existed also testified that use of a weapon was contemplated.' Id., 511. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")

AC42443 - State v. Francis ("The defendant, Maurice Francis, appeals from the judgment of conviction rendered by the trial court of one count of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly denied his motion for a judgment of acquittal because there was insufficient evidence to establish that he caused the death of the victim or that he had the specific intent to cause the death of the victim. In the alternative, the defendant requests that we change our long-standing standard of review with respect to insufficiency of evidence claims, so that we review the evidence under a much more rigorous standard to determine if there is a reasonable view of the evidence that would support a hypothesis of innocence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3800

SC20048 - State v. Holmes (Felony murder; home invasion, conspiracy to commit home invasion; criminal possession of firearm; "C. J. From its inception, the United States Supreme Court's landmark decision in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 106 S. Ct. 1712, 90 L. Ed. 2d 69 (1986), has been roundly criticized as ineffectual in addressing the discriminatory use of peremptory challenges during jury selection, largely because it fails to address the effect of implicit bias or lines of voir dire questioning with a disparate impact on minority jurors. Consistent with these long-standing criticisms of Batson, the defendant, Evan Jaron Holmes, asks us in this certified appeal to overrule the line of cases in which this court held that a prospective juror's negative views about the police and the fairness of the criminal justice system constitute a race neutral reason for the use of a peremptory challenge to strike that juror. See, e.g., State v. King, 249 Conn. 645, 664–67, 735 A.2d 267 (1999). We conclude that the challenged line of cases, on which the Appellate Court relied in upholding the defendant's conviction of felony murder on the basis of its rejection of his Batson claim arising from the prosecutor's use of a peremptory challenge during jury selection; see State v. Holmes, 176 Conn. App. 156, 175–77, 169 A.3d 264 (2017); remains consistent with the federal constitutional case law that provides the sole basis for the Batson claim. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court in this case but refer the systemic concerns about Batson's failure to address the effects of implicit bias and disparate impact to a Jury Selection Task Force, appointed by the Chief Justice, to consider measures intended to promote the selection of diverse jury panels in our state's courthouses.")

SC20042 - State v. Raynor (Assault first degree as accessory; conspiracy to commit assault first degree; certification from Appellate Court; "The defendant, James Raynor, appeals, upon our grant of his petition for certification, from the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming his conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of assault in the first degree as an accessory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-59 (a) (5) and 53a-8, and conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-59 (a) (5) and 53a-48. State v. Raynor, 175 Conn. App. 409, 412–13, 167 A.3d 1076 (2017). On appeal, the defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that that the record was inadequate to review his challenge under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 106 S. Ct. 1712, 90 L. Ed. 2d 69 (1986), to the prosecutor's exercise of a peremptory challenge on prospective juror R.E. on the basis of his employment history, even though the record does not indicate the race or ethnicity of both R.E. and one of the two jurors, I.L. and G.H., whom the defendant highlighted as examples of disparate treatment by the prosecutor. In response, the state disagrees and also proffers, as an alternative ground for affirmance, that the trial court did not commit clear error in finding that the prosecutor did not engage in purposeful discrimination when he peremptorily challenged R.E. We affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")

SC19869 - State v. Moore (Murder; certification from Appellate Court; "After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal in this case should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.

Beyond dismissing the appeal, however, we offer an additional observation with respect to the defendant's request, supported by the amicus curiae Office of the Chief Public Defender, to exercise our supervisory authority over the administration of justice to enhance the diversity of our state's juries by requiring the jury administrator to collect racial and demographic information about prospective jurors, including by (1) amending the juror questionnaire to mandate the inclusion of racial and ethnic background, rather than the current practice under § 51-232 (c) of making the provision of such information voluntary, which might skew the data collected, and (2) maintaining statistical information based on that data prior to the destruction of the questionnaires in accordance with Judicial Branch policy intended to protect juror confidentiality. See, e.g., Barlow v. Commissioner of Correction, 328 Conn. 610, 612–15, 182 A.3d 78 (2018) (providing additional explanation in dismissing appeal as improvidently granted). As we noted in State v. Raynor, 334 Conn. ___, ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2019), a companion case raising similar issues in the context of claims under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 106 S. Ct. 1712, 90 L. Ed. 2d 69 (1986), the fact that the legislature has acted in this area by enacting § 51-232 (c)—which specifically makes the provision of racial and ethnic data optional for the juror—renders us reluctant to exercise our supervisory authority in the sweeping manner sought by the defendant and the amicus curiae Office of the Chief Public Defender. Instead, we anticipate these issues will be considered by the Jury Selection Task Force, which the Chief Justice will appoint pursuant to our decision in State v. Holmes, 334 Conn. ___, ___, ___ A.3d ___ (2019), to suggest those changes to court policies, rules, and legislation necessary to ensure that our state court juries are representative of Connecticut's diverse population.

The appeal is dismissed.")

AC42490 - State v. Mukhtaar (Murder; "The self-represented defendant, Abdul Mukhtaar, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his motion for a second sentence review hearing. The court dismissed the defendant's motion after finding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider the motion. We affirm the judgment of the court dismissing the defendant's motion.")

AC42061, AC42062 - State v. Bradley (Sale of controlled substance; violation of probation; "In this consolidated appeal, the defendant, William Hyde Bradley, appeals from judgments that were rendered against him by the trial court following his entry of conditional pleas of nolo contendere to charges of sale of a controlled substance in violation of General Statutes § 21a-277 (b) and violation of probation in violation of General Statutes § 53a-32. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in denying his motions to dismiss those charges, wherein he argued, inter alia, that his prosecution under Connecticut's statutes criminalizing the possession and sale of marijuana violated his rights under the equal protection clause of the United States constitution because such statutes were enacted for the illicit purpose of discriminating against persons of African-American and Mexican descent. We affirm the judgments of the court, concluding that it did not err in denying the defendant's motions to dismiss. We do so, however, on the alternative ground raised by the state that the defendant, as a nonmember of either group of persons against whom he claims that the challenged statutes were enacted to discriminate, lacked standing to bring such an equal protection claim. Accordingly, we do not reach the merits of the defendant's equal protection claim on this appeal.")



Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3794

AC42147 - State v. Vasquez (Application for discharge from jurisdiction of Psychiatric Security Review Board; "The acquittee, Ruben Vasquez, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his application for discharge from the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board (board). On appeal, the acquittee claims that the court erred in denying his application for discharge because the diagnoses attributed to him—cannabis induced psychotic episode, an acute intoxication now in full remission; cannabis use disorder in remission in a controlled environment; and alcohol use disorder in remission in a controlled environment—are not considered mental illnesses and, thus, do not constitute psychiatric disabilities under General Statutes §§ 17a-580 through 17a-602 (board statutes). We affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC41503 - State v. Villar (Unlawful discharge of firearm; carrying pistol without permit; risk of injury to child; reckless endangerment in first degree; "The defendant, Jeffrey Villar, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of unlawful discharge of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53-203, carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a), reckless endangerment in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-63 (a), and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1). He claims that there was insufficient evidence for the jury to have found him guilty of those crimes because (1) the state did not present sufficient evidence to prove that he fired the gunshot at issue and the complainant had an interest in seeing the defendant convicted, and (2) the only witness who testified to the defendant's firing the shot was a codefendant who had an interest in seeing the defendant convicted. We conclude that there was sufficient evidence for the jury to reasonably find the defendant guilty of the charged crimes and, therefore, affirm the trial court's judgment.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3777

AC41379 - State v. Joseph ("The defendant, Kenyon Joseph, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of assault of a correction officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167c (a). On appeal, the defendant asserts that the jury's rejection of his affirmative defense of mental disease or defect was not reasonably supported by the evidence. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41597 - State v. Salters ("The defendant, Gaylord Salters, appeals from the judgment of the trial court . . . denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court abused its discretion by denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence because the sentencing court substantially relied on the state's materially inaccurate information at sentencing, (2) the trial court applied an incorrect legal standard regarding the reliability of testimonial evidence, (3) the use of materially inaccurate information at the defendant's sentencing hearing was structural error, and (4) the prosecutor's use of the allegedly inaccurate information constituted prosecutorial impropriety. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41053 - State v. Michael T. ("The defendant, Michael T., appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (2), five counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), two counts of unlawful restraint in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-95 (a), criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-59 (a) (2), and assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) abused its discretion by admitting into evidence the forensic interviews of the two minor victims, (2) improperly denied his motions for a judgment of acquittal with respect to two counts of risk of injury to a child and (3) improperly precluded the defendant from presenting evidence of third-party culpability. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgments of conviction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3766

AC42330 - State v. Ramos (Motion to correct illegal sentence; subject matter jurisdiction; "The self-represented defendant, Jose E. Ramos, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. In 2016, following a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. Thereafter, the court, A. Hadden, J., imposed a sentence of sixty years of incarceration. In his motion to correct, filed on September 5, 2018, the defendant asked the court to reverse or vacate the judgment of conviction on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction over him because he "is not the defendant named in the charging instrument." The defendant also presented the court with a memorandum of law that, in his view, supported his claim. The court, Strackbein, J., heard argument on the motion on October 12, 2018. In its October 16, 2018 memorandum of decision, the court, noting that the defendant's arguments in support of the motion generally were incomprehensible, nonetheless accurately distilled his arguments to be his assertion that he is a "sovereign citizen," and, therefore, his conviction was illegal because he was not subject to the jurisdiction of the court. The court reasoned that the arguments raised by the defendant in the motion to correct did not challenge the legality of the sentence imposed, assert a violation of his double jeopardy rights, or implicate any of the established criteria on which it could afford him any relief with respect to the sentence imposed. The court denied the motion to correct, and this appeal followed.

On the basis of our review of the record and the arguments advanced by the defendant before this court, we conclude that the trial court correctly determined that the defendant's motion to correct was not the proper procedural vehicle to raise the claim set forth therein because, properly construed, it attacks the validity of the defendant's underlying conviction. We conclude, however, that the court should have dismissed, rather than denied, the motion. As we previously have determined, a trial court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and, therefore, should dismiss claims raised in a motion to correct that do not challenge the legality of the sentence imposed or disposition made during a sentencing proceeding. See, e.g., State v. Brown, 192 Conn. App. 147, 155, ___ A.3d ___ (2019); State v. Walker, 187 Conn. App. 776, 794–95, 204 A.3d 38, cert. denied, 331 Conn. 914, 204 A.3d 703 (2019); State v. Gemmell, 155 Conn. App. 789, 791, 110 A.3d 1234, cert. denied, 316 Conn. 913, 111 A.3d 886 (2015); State v. Smith, 150 Conn. App. 623, 636–37, 92 A.3d 975, cert. denied, 314 Conn. 904, 99 A.3d 1169 (2014).

The form of the judgment is improper, the judgment denying the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence is reversed and the case is remanded with direction to render judgment dismissing the motion for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3751

AC41888 - State v. Carpenter (Murder; arson in second degree; "The defendant, Benjamin Chase Carpenter, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder and arson in the second degree.The defendant claims that the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury, as he requested, on third-party culpability. We disagree with the defendant and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42470 - State v. Pernell (Murder; prosecutorial impropriety; "The defendant, Anthony Pernell, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant claims that the prosecutor committed prosecutorial improprieties in his closing argument, which deprived the defendant of his due process right to a fair trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC42097 - State v. Cecil (Murder; criminal possession of firearm; "The defendant, Lashawn R. Cecil, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and the judgment of conviction, rendered following a trial to the court, of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erroneously (1) admitted video recorded statements into evidence under State v. Whelan, 200 Conn. 743, 513 A.2d 86, cert. denied, 479 U.S. 994, 107 S. Ct. 597, 93 L. Ed. 2d 598 (1986), and, simultaneously, admitted those same statements as impeachment evidence without instructing the jury how to evaluate that evidence, and (2) admitted into evidence a handgun magazine that was irrelevant, highly prejudicial, and misleading. We 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=3741

AC40425 - State v. Brooks (Illegal receipt of firearm; "The defendant, Anthony E. Brooks, Jr., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of illegal receipt of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 29-33 (b). On appeal, the defendant asserts that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction of that charge because the state did not prove when or how the defendant received the firearm. We disagree with the defendant's argument but conclude, for another reason, that there was insufficient evidence to support the defendant's conviction of illegal receipt of a firearm. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of conviction only on this count and remand this case with direction to vacate the conviction of this offense.")

AC41151 - State v Dejesus (Sexual assault in fourth degree; risk of injury to child; unpreserved claim that trial court improperly admitted into evidence expert testimony regarding how child victims of sexual abuse behave and how they disclose their abuse; "The defendant, Osvaldo DeJesus, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of four counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), and two counts of sexual assault in the fourth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-73a (a) (1) (A). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) improperly admitted into evidence expert testimony that amounted to impermissible bolstering of the victim's credibility and (2) erred in concluding, during a pretrial hearing, that the victim was not an adverse party, thereby precluding defense counsel from asking the victim leading questions on direct examination. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41821 - State v. Patel (Murder; home invasion; burglary in first degree as accessory; robbery in first degree as accessory; conspiracy to commit burglary in first degree; tampering with physical evidence; "The defendant, Hiral M. Patel, appeals from the judgment of conviction of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a, home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1), burglary in the first degree as an accessory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-101 (a) (1) and 53a-8 (a), robbery in the first degree as an accessory in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-134 (a) (2) and 53a-8 (a), conspiracy to commit burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-101 (a) (1) and 53a-48, and tampering with physical evidence in violation of General Statutes § 53a-155 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the court erred in admitting into evidence dual inculpatory statements of his coconspirator, Michael Calabrese; (2) the court erred in precluding the defendant from introducing into evidence a statement of Shyam Patel (Shyam), a cousin of the defendant, that was against his penal interest; (3) the court erred in admitting historical cell site location information without conducting a Porter hearing; and (4) there was insufficient evidence adduced at trial to sustain his conviction of murder on a theory of Pinkerton liability. We 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=3735

AC41656 - State v. Carter (Assault in first degree; attempt to commit assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; criminal possession of firearm; mootness; "The self-represented defendant, Anthony Carter, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his motion to set aside a judgment of conviction imposed on August 2, 2002. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the prosecutor committed fraud by writing in the state's response to the defendant's motion for reconsideration, dated June 2, 2017, that it was not "[t]he appropriate mechanism" to secure relief and that a "motion for a new trial or a motion to set aside the judgment" would be; (2) the court's determination that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over his motion to set aside his judgment of conviction was erroneous; and (3) even if the court did not err in its subject matter jurisdiction determination, the state "[submitted] to the jurisdiction of the court." The state argues, in part, that because the defendant fails to challenge all independent grounds for the court's adverse ruling, his appeal is rendered moot. We agree with the state. Accordingly, we dismiss the defendant's appeal.")

AC40914 - Carter v. State (Petition for new trial; assault in first degree; attempt to commit assault in first degree; risk of injury to child; criminal possession of firearm; summary judgment; "The self-represented petitioner, Anthony Carter, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his petition for a new trial. The court granted the motion for summary judgment filed by the state of Connecticut on the ground that the petitioner had filed the petition for a new trial past the applicable statute of limitations. See General Statutes (Rev. to 2001) § 52-582. The petitioner then sought to appeal the trial court's decision. His petition for certification to appeal was untimely, however, and the trial court denied his petition. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court abused its discretion by denying his late petition for certification to appeal. We disagree and, accordingly, dismiss this appeal.")

AC41520 - State v. Ricks (Motion to correct illegal sentence; "The defendant, Ronald Ricks, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly concluded that he had breached his initial plea agreement with the state and that his sentence was not illegally imposed. Specifically, the defendant asserts that due process requires the state to prove, by a preponderance of evidence, that he was in breach of the initial plea agreement before the state could enter a second plea agreement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC41803 - State v. Riddick (Motion to correct judgment mittimus; subject matter jurisdiction; "In this appeal from the denial of a motion to correct a judgment mittimus, the defendant, Jerome Riddick, claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion on the ground that he was not entitled to the presentence confinement credit he claimed. We conclude that the court should have dismissed the motion rather than denied it because, as we previously have determined, a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, rather than a motion directed at the sentencing court, is the proper method to challenge the Commissioner of Correction's application of presentence confinement credit.")

AC40528 - State v. Alexis (Robbery in first degree; threatening in second degree; "The defendant, Garyl Alexis, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (4) and threatening in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-62 (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court erred by admitting into evidence an unduly prejudicial photograph of guns that had minimal, if any, probative value, and (2) pursuant to Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610, 96 S. Ct. 2240, 49 L. Ed. 2d 91 (1976), the state violated his due process right to a fair trial by eliciting testimony and making a remark during closing arguments about the defendant's silence following his arrest and the advisement of his constitutional rights pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966). We conclude that any error relating to the court's admission of the photograph was harmless and that any Doyle violation was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3726

AC40534 - State v. Ward (Motion to correct illegal sentence; manslaughter in first degree; assault in first degree; unpreserved claim that defendant's due process rights, under federal constitution, were violated when trial court failed to refer motion to correct sentence imposed in illegal manner to sentencing judge; "The defendant, Jeffrey K. Ward, appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his motion to correct a sentence imposed in an illegal manner (motion to correct). On appeal, the defendant claims that the court erred in (1) adjudicating the motion to correct, rather than referring the motion to the sentencing court, and (2) concluding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the motion to correct. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3724

SC20002 - State v. Lewis (Carrying pistol without permit; criminal possession of pistol or revolver; certification from Appellate Court; "The defendant contends that the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress the gun on the ground that his seizure and subsequent patdown were lawful under both the fourth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, §§ 7 and 9, of the Connecticut constitution. Specifically, he claims that the Appellate Court improperly concluded that the trial court correctly determined that (1) he was not seized until the police officer touched him and performed a patdown search for weapons, (2) the officer had reasonable and articulable suspicion that he had committed a crime, and (3) the officer had reasonable and articulable suspicion that he might be armed and dangerous. Although we recognize the unique challenges that this case raises, we disagree with the defendant's claims and conclude that the seizure and subsequent patdown of the defendant were lawful. We therefore affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3716

AC41420 - State v. Lynch (Operating motor vehicle while under influence of intoxicating liquor; failure to appear in second degree; criminal trespass in first degree; motion to withdraw guilty pleas; "The self-represented defendant, Kevin Lynch, appeals from the judgments of conviction rendered by the trial court following the denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly (1) failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing on his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas, (2) denied his motion to withdraw his guilty pleas, and (3) failed to conduct an evidentiary hearing prior to terminating his participation in the pretrial alcohol education program (program). We affirm the judgments of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3707

AC40882 - State v. Crewe (Possession of narcotic substance; "The defendant, Jeffrey Orlando Crewe, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of possession of a narcotic substance in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 (a). The defendant's sole claim on appeal is that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his conviction. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3700

AC41509 - State v. Palumbo (Sexual assault in first degree; sexual assault in fourth degree; risk of injury to child; ". The defendant, Jeffrey Todd Palumbo, appeals from the judgments of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, 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 two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims, pursuant to Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610, 619, 96 S. Ct. 2240, 49 L. Ed. 2d 91 (1976), that the state (1) violated his constitutional right to remain silent by introducing evidence of his post-Miranda silence and (2) engaged in prosecutorial impropriety by attempting to elicit evidence of his post-Miranda silence. 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=3687

AC40848 - State v. Bryan (Murder; conspiracy to commit murder; "The defendant, Carlton Bryan, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-54a (a) and 53a-8, and conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 (a) and 53a-54a (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court erroneously concluded that an unavailable declarant's hearsay statements were admissible as dual inculpatory statements pursuant to § 8-6 (4) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence, and (2) the state, in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963), failed to disclose to him certain internal affairs records relating to Reginald Early, a police sergeant whom the state called as a witness at trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40385 - State v. Shin (Interfering with officer; disorderly conduct; "The self-represented defendant, Yoon Chul Shin, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered by the trial court following a jury trial, of three counts of interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a and one count of disorderly conduct in violation of General Statutes § 53a-182. On appeal, the defendant raises a plethora of claims. Primarily, he claims that (1) he was illegally seized by the police because he was arrested without probable cause or an arrest warrant; (2) the evidence was insufficient to find him guilty of any of the crimes with which he was charged because testimony elicited from police officers at trial was fabricated; (3) the court improperly admitted testimony from police officers about statements the defendant made in a video he posted on the Internet; (4) the court abused its discretion in denying his request to excuse a prospective juror for cause during voir dire; (5) the court violated his constitutional right to compulsory process by declining to issue a subpoena; (6) the court improperly found him incompetent to stand trial but restorable before later determining that he was competent; and (7) the court improperly imposed on him as part of his conditional discharge a special condition that he stay out of the state of Connecticut. We dismiss the last claim as moot and, with respect to the remaining claims, 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=3680

AC41364 - State v. Gomes (Assault in second degree; "The defendant, Wagner Gomes, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in omitting from its jury instruction his proposed sentence, "[h]owever, you may consider evidence of the police investigation as it might relate to any weaknesses in the state's case," and, in doing so, deprived him of his right to present a defense of investigative inadequacy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")

AC40657 - State v. Cane (Criminal possession of firearm; criminal possession of ammunition; possession of controlled substance with intent to sell; "The defendant, Robert A. Cane, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of two counts of criminal possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1), three counts of criminal possession of ammunition in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217 (a) (1), and one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell in violation of General Statutes § 21a-277 (b). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court (1) erroneously denied his motion to suppress evidence that was obtained in violation of his right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, (2) improperly granted the state's motion for joinder of the two separate cases against him for trial, and (3) demonstrated judicial bias, thereby violating his right to due process. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=3676

SC19888 - State v. Ayala (Murder; conspiracy to commit murder; "This appeal arises from a judgment of conviction against the defendant, Vincente Ayala, on the charges of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a and conspiracy to commit murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-54a. On appeal, the defendant raises two evidentiary claims. First, he claims that the trial court improperly admitted testimony implicating him in the murder under the coconspirator exception to the hearsay rule. Second, he claims that the trial court improperly admitted certain state of mind evidence. We disagree with both claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


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