Judicial District of New Haven


†††† †Criminal; Whether Trial Court Properly Ordered that Defendant be Involuntarily Medicated to Render him Competent to Stand Trial for Murder.† The defendant stands charged with murder and attempted murder based on allegations that, in 2010, he shot his former supervisor to death and shot at the supervisor's pregnant wife.† The trial court found the defendant competent to stand trial in 2011, and the defendant represented himself in pretrial matters until April of 2015, when the court determined that he was no longer competent to represent himself or stand trial.† The court ordered that the defendant be committed to the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital and it appointed a public defender to represent him.† In September of 2015, the court held another competency hearing, where a psychiatrist testified that the defendant was refusing to take the medications that were expected to restore his competency to stand trial.† The court ruled that the defendant was still incompetent to stand trial and appointed a nurse practitioner to serve as his healthcare guardian.† The nurse practitioner later submitted a report to the court indicating that the psychiatristís medication plan was in the defendant's best interest both for restoring his competency and for aiding his mental health.† The state then moved that it be allowed to forcibly medicate the defendant, and the court granted the state's motion.† The court ordered that the defendant be involuntarily medicated pursuant to General Statutes ß 54-56d (k) (2) on finding that the state had shown by clear and convincing evidence (1) that the involuntary medication was likely to render the defendant competent to stand trial, (2) that a determination of his guilt or innocence could not be had by a less intrusive means, (3) that the proposed treatment plan was narrowly tailored to minimize the intrusion on the defendantís liberty and privacy interests, (4) that the proposed drug regimen will not cause unnecessary risk to the defendantís health, and (5) that the charges the defendant faces are so serious that the criminal law enforcement interest of the state in fairly and accurately determining the defendantís guilt or innocence overrides the defendantís interest in self-determination.† The trial court also found that an order that the defendant be forcibly medicated did not offend Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166 (2003), where the United States Supreme Court imposed strict limits on a courtís authority to order that a defendant be involuntarily medicated for the purpose of making him competent to stand trial.† The defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court improperly ordered that he be medicated against his will.† ††