Judicial District of Hartford


      Criminal; Whether Defendant Denied Right to be Present at Critical Stage of Proceeding; Whether Court Erred in Denying Continuances; Whether Jury Properly Instructed on Defense of Extreme Emotional Disturbance.  The defendant was convicted of capital felony, two counts of murder, attempted murder and assault in connection with the  shooting deaths of two women and the nonfatal shooting of a third woman.  He appeals, claiming that the trial court denied him his right to be present at all critical stages of his prosecution by excluding him from pretrial conferences that implicated the adequacy of his legal representation.  He also claims that, in denying him continuances, the trial court denied him his right to a fair trial in that his counsel lacked sufficient time to prepare for trial.  The defendant also contends that the trial court improperly found that he was competent to stand trial and that it erred in refusing his request that the jury be instructed that, as to his defense of extreme emotional disturbance, the disturbance need not have been sudden and may have “simmered” in his mind.  Among the defendant’s other claims are that he was deprived of a fair trial by prosecutorial impropriety and by judicial bias, that the jury could not have reasonably rejected his affirmative defense of extreme emotional disturbance, that he was denied his right to an impartial jury in that three of the jurors failed to give unequivocal assurances that they could be impartial, and that the trial court wrongly admitted eyewitness identification testimony that was tainted by an unnecessarily suggestive identification procedure.