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Criminal Law & Procedure

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5176

SC20447 - State v. Graham (“On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court erred in admitting the statement of an accomplice that inculpated the defendant, in violation of § 8-6 (4) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence and the defendant’s sixth amendment right to confrontation, (2) the prosecutor committed impropriety by presenting a generic tailoring argument during closing argument, which violated the defendant’s confrontation rights under our state constitution, and (3) the prosecutor committed impropriety by eliciting certain information contained in two witnesses’ cooperation agreements and by presenting closing argument related to those materials. We affirm the judgment of conviction.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5167

SC20512 - State v. Flores (Home invasion; burglary in the first degree; attempt to commit robbery in the first; conspiracy to commit home invasion; “On appeal, he claims that (1) the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress his written statement to the police, who failed to comply with the requirements of General Statutes § 54-1o, (2) the trial court improperly admitted into evidence the entirety of the cooperation agreement between the state and his accomplice, Benjamin J. Bellavance, including portions regarding Bellavance’s obligation to testify truthfully, and (3) there was insufficient evidence to convict him of attempt to commit robbery in the first degree, home invasion predicated on attempt to commit robbery in the first degree, burglary in the first degree, home invasion predicated on burglary in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit home invasion. We affirm the judgment of conviction.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5164

AC44179 - State v. Gamer (“On appeal, the defendant principally claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support the court’s finding that he wilfully failed to pay restitution and (2) the court abused its discretion by imposing a term of imprisonment in light of his purported inability to pay restitution. We conclude that the court neither erred in finding that the defendant wilfully failed to pay restitution nor abused its discretion in revoking the defendant’s probation and sentencing him to a term of imprisonment. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)

AC44242 - State v. White (“On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction of assault in the first degree as an accessory, and (2) the trial court improperly instructed the jury by omitting an essential element of the offense, namely, the defendant’s intent or knowledge that the principal would discharge a firearm during the offense. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5154

SC20442 - State v. Mekoshvili (“The question presented by this appeal is whether jurors, in order to reject a criminal defendant’s claim of self-defense, must unanimously agree as to which component or factor of that defense the state has disproven beyond a reasonable doubt. The Appellate Court, which affirmed the murder conviction of the defendant, Shota Mekoshvili, answered that question in the negative. State v. Mekoshvili, 195 Conn. App. 154, 164, 170, 223 A.3d 834 (2020). The Appellate Court read this court’s precedents in State v. Bailey, 209 Conn. 322, 551 A.2d 1206 (1988), and State v. Diggs, 219 Conn. 295, 592 A.2d 949 (1991), to mean that, although a jury must reject a self-defense claim unanimously before it may find a defendant guilty, there is generally no requirement that jurors agree on which specific factor of Connecticut’s four factor test for self-defense the state has disproven. See State v. Mekoshvili, supra, 167–70. We agree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5149

SC20476 - State v. Patrick M. (“On appeal, the defendant raises four claims: (1) the evidence was insufficient to establish his identity as the perpetrator of the crimes of conviction; (2) the prosecutor violated the proscriptions set forth in Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610, 96 S. Ct. 2240, 49 L. Ed. 2d 91 (1976), by improperly commenting on the defendant’s exercise of his right to remain silent following his arrest and advisement of rights pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S. Ct. 1602, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694 (1966); (3) the prosecutor’s comments during closing argument on the defendant’s post-Miranda silence and pretrial incarceration constituted prosecutorial improprieties that deprived the defendant of his due process right to a fair trial; and (4) the trial court improperly admitted evidence of the defendant’s prior uncharged misconduct in violation of our rules of evidence. We conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the defendant’s conviction but that the prosecutor improperly commented on the defendant’s post-Miranda silence. We therefore reverse the conviction and remand the case for a new trial.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5142

AC44472 - In re Police Case Numbers: Meriden PD 20-003903, 20-005055 & Berlin PD 2020-11662 (Motions to quash search and seizure warrant; subject matter jurisdiction; mootness; "Anthony Lazzari appeals from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his emergency motions seeking, inter alia, to quash a search and seizure warrant. The court determined that, because there was no pending criminal action against Lazzari, it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the motions. On appeal, Lazzari claims that the court had jurisdiction over the motions despite the absence of a pending criminal action. Since Lazzari filed this appeal, however, events have rendered the appeal moot. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5136

SC20555 - State vs. Hinds (Conviction of murder, carrying a dangerous weapon; “Following a jury trial, the defendant, Metese Hinds, was convicted of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and carrying a dangerous weapon in violation of General Statutes § 53-206 (a). On appeal, he claims that two instances of prosecutorial impropriety, which occurred during the state’s closing and rebuttal arguments, deprived him of his due process right to a fair trial. We disagree and affirm the judgment of conviction.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5135

SC20554 - State v. Freeman (“The sole issue on appeal is whether the prosecution of the defendant was time barred by the five year statute of limitations set forth in General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 54-193 (b)1 on the ground that the state failed to establish that the warrant for the defendant’s arrest was executed without unreasonable delay. See State v. Swebilius, 325 Conn. 793, 802, 159 A.3d 1099 (2017); State v. Crawford, 202 Conn. 443, 451, 521 A.2d 1034 (1987). We conclude that the state failed to produce sufficient evidence to establish that the arrest warrant was executed with due diligence, and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5134

AC44427 - State v. Sweet (“The defendant, Derek R. Sweet, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of larceny in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-124 (a) (2), and one count of identity theft in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-129d (a).On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence to sustain the jury's verdict of guilty of larceny in the third degree and (2) the court erred in admitting certain hearsay evidence.We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Booth, George

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5123

SC20550 - State v. Schimanski (Whether Appellate Court properly upheld trial court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss charge of operating motor vehicle with suspended license under General Statutes § 14-215 (c) (1); "The defendant, Anastasia Schimanski, appeals from the judgment of the Appellate Court upholding the trial court's denial of the defendant's motion to dismiss the charge of operating a motor vehicle while her license was under suspension in violation of General Statutes § 14-215 (c) (1). The defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly determined that the forty-five day license suspension period imposed by General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 14-227b (i) (1) on persons who refuse to submit to a chemical analysis of their blood, breath, or urine, as required by § 14-227b (b), does not terminate upon the expiration of the forty-five days specified in the statute but, rather, continues indefinitely until such time as the persons subject to the suspension install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicles. The defendant contends that, because the conduct underlying her conviction occurred after the expiration of the forty-five day suspension period authorized by § 14-227b (i) (1), the state could not lawfully charge her pursuant to § 14-215 (c) (1). We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse in part the judgment of the Appellate Court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5121

AC44630 - State v. Gonzalez (“On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly determined that No. 18-63, § 2, of the 2018 Public Acts (P.A. 18-63), which amended General Statutes (Rev. to 2017) § 54-125e (b) to require that a trial court determine that a period of special parole is necessary to ensure public safety before imposing a period of special parole, did not retroactively apply to his 2017 sentence. See General Statutes § 54-125e (b) (1). Specifically, the defendant claims that (1) § 54-125e, as amended by § 2 of P.A. 18-63, is a procedural statute presumed to apply retroactively, and (2) the legislature, through passing § 2 of P.A. 18-63, intended to clarify § 54-125e, rather than change the law. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)

AC44806 - State v. Turner (“On appeal, the defendant claims (1) that the court erred in dismissing his motion to correct an illegal sentence, in which he alleged that the sentencing court made materially false assumptions about his potential for rehabilitation, for failure to state a colorable claim, and (2) he is entitled to an evidentiary hearing to present expert testimony on juvenile brain science in support of his motion to correct. We agree with the defendant’s contention that the court improperly dismissed his motion to correct on the ground that he failed to state a colorable claim but, nevertheless, conclude that the defendant was not entitled to a new sentencing hearing on the basis of the ground alleged in his motion. Additionally, we disagree with the defendant’s assertion that he was entitled to an evidentiary hearing. Accordingly, the form of the trial court’s judgment is improper in that the court should have denied, rather than dismissed, the defendant’s motion to correct an illegal sentence.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Slip Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5116

SC20303 - State vs. Peluso (“On appeal to this court, the defendant contends that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the state had demonstrated good cause to amend its information during trial and that the defendant’s substantive rights would not be prejudiced by the late amendment. See id., 501. We agree with the defendant and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the Appellate Court and order a new trial.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5111

SC20469 - State v. Rogers (“On appeal, he claims that, in light of this court’s recent decision in State v. Jackson, 334 Conn. 793, 224 A.3d 886 (2020), in which his codefendant, Raashon Jackson, was granted a new trial premised on his properly preserved objection to the state’s untimely disclosure of an expert witness, this court should exercise its supervisory authority over the administration of justice to reverse his conviction, even though he did not join in Jackson’s objection to the untimely disclosed expert, because they were tried jointly and suffered the same harm. Additionally, he requests that this court overrule our recent decision in State v. Turner, 334 Conn. 660, 686–87, 224 A.3d 129 (2020), and review the merits of his unpreserved Porter1 claim under State v. Edwards, 325 Conn. 97, 156 A.3d 506 (2017). We affirm the judgment of conviction.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5107

SC20552 - State v. Qayyum (“On appeal, the defendant asserts that the Appellate Court improperly affirmed the judgment of the trial court because the trial court improperly admitted (1) expert testimony regarding the defendant’s intent to sell narcotics, and (2) evidence that the defendant had no reportable wages on record with the Connecticut Department of Labor (department) in 2016 and 2017. We reject both of these claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5105

SC20349 - State v. Patterson (“The defendant, Harold Patterson, directly appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of two counts of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a. He claims that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of uncharged misconduct, namely, two prior shootings involving the alleged murder weapon, to prove identity and means. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the uncharged misconduct. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of conviction.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5099

SC20600 - State v. Smith (“On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress evidence discovered during a search of his cell phone and evidence obtained from T-Mobile, his cell phone service provider, because the warrants authorizing those searches were not supported by probable cause and lacked sufficient particularity to comport with the fourth amendment to the United States constitution. The state disagrees with each of these claims and asserts, in the alternative, that any error was harmless. For the reasons that follow, we agree with the defendant that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the information obtained from the execution of both warrants. We further conclude, however, that this error was harmless with respect to some, but not all, of the crimes alleged. As a result, we affirm in part and reverse in part.”)

SC20488 - State v. Bowden (“On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress certain evidence from a search of his cell phone violated his rights under the fourth amendment to the United States constitution because (1) the application for the warrant authorizing that search lacked a particular description of the things to be seized, and (2) the affidavit supporting that application failed to establish probable cause. The state disagrees with each of these claims and asserts, in the alternative, that any error was harmless. For the reasons that follow, we agree with the state that any error in the trial court’s failure to suppress evidence obtained from the search warrant was harmless. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5098

SC20299 - State v. Samuolis (“The sole issue is whether the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence seized from his home, specifically, the dead body of the defendant’s father, John Samuolis, on the grounds that (1) the police officers’ warrantless entry into the Samuolis home was justified under the emergency exception to the warrant requirement of the fourth amendment to the United States constitution, or, alternatively, (2) the defendant’s alleged actions in shooting at the officers upon their initial entry attenuated the taint from that unlawful initial entry and justified their subsequent reentries into the home. We affirm the trial court’s judgment on the basis of the first ground.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5090

AC43092 - State v. Glass (“The defendant, Edwin Ronald Glass, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (3), and robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that there was insufficient evidence to establish his identity as the person who committed the burglary and robbery. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.”)

AC44342 - State v. Waters (“The defendant, Rodney Waters, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in violation of General Statutes § 14-227a (a) (1), and, following a plea of guilty to a part B information, of being a second time offender pursuant to § 14-227a (g) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that his conviction under § 14-227a (a) (1) is not supported by sufficient evidence. He also claims that the trial court improperly admitted expert testimony related to the defendant's blood alcohol content (BAC) in contravention of § 14-227a (c), restricted his cross-examination of the state's expert witness, and denied his motion to suppress inculpatory statements he made to the police. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Zigadto, Janet

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5084

SC20335 - State v. Davis ("In State v. Davis, 338 Conn. 458, 460, 258 A.3d 633 (2021), this court agreed with the defendant, Brock Davis, that, on two separate occasions, the trial court improperly failed to inquire into whether defense counsel, Kirstin B. Coffin, had a conflict of interest. We therefore remanded the case to that court for a determination of whether Coffin did, in fact, have such a conflict and, if so, whether it adversely affected her representation of the defendant. Id., 460, 475. Because a new trial would have been required if the trial court answered these two questions in the affirmative, we did not reach the defendant’s additional claim that the trial court had improperly admitted into evidence testimony from lay witnesses identifying him in a surveillance video recording. Id., 479. In accordance with this court’s remand order, the trial court, following a hearing, determined that the defendant had failed to establish that Coffin was burdened by an actual conflict of interest that adversely affected her performance. On appeal, the defendant challenges that determination. We reject this claim, and, because we also reject the defendant’s remaining claim, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5082

SC20513 - State v. Council (Whether trial court properly precluded testimony of expert on cell phone location data; conviction of murder and criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; “At trial, defense counsel proffered testimony from an expert witness as to the defendant’s location during certain relevant times on the basis of cell phone carrier data. The trial court precluded the witness from testifying on the grounds that (1) the evidence was immaterial and irrelevant, (2) the witness did not articulate sufficient qualifications to provide expert opinion on the data, and (3) the testimony did not establish the reliability of the data. On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court improperly excluded the testimony because the witness was qualified as an expert pursuant to § 7-2 of the Connecticut Code of Evidence. We dismiss the defendant’s appeal as moot because he has not challenged all of the trial court’s bases for its evidentiary ruling, and, therefore, this court cannot provide him practical relief.”)