The mission of the Connecticut Judicial Branch is to serve the interests of justice and the public by resolving matters brought before it in a fair, timely, efficient and open manner.

Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

by Booth, George


SC20157 - State v. Davis (Criminal possession of pistol; carrying pistol without permit; conditional plea of nolo contendere; "The sole issue in this appeal is whether, under Navarette v. California, 572 U.S. 393, 134 S. Ct. 1683, 188 L. Ed. 2d 680 (2014), the trial court properly denied a motion to suppress evidence discovered by the police during the forcible detention of the defendant, Quentine L. Davis, pursuant to Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889 (1968), on the basis of an anonymous telephone tip regarding "a young man that has a handgun." After the police detained the defendant, they saw him drop an object in a garbage can, a subsequent search of which revealed a handgun. The defendant was arrested and charged with, inter alia, criminal possession of a pistol in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). The defendant moved to suppress the handgun, claiming that the evidence resulting from the search of the garbage can was tainted as the result of his unlawful seizure. Specifically, the defendant claimed that the anonymous tip did not give rise to a reasonable suspicion that he was engaged in, or was about to be engaged in, criminal activity, and, therefore, that his detention violated his right to be free from unreasonable seizures under the fourth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, §§ 7 and 9, of the Connecticut constitution. The trial court denied the motion to suppress. Thereafter, the defendant entered a conditional plea of nolo contendere to the gun charges pursuant to General Statutes § 54-94a. See also footnote 4 of this opinion. The trial court accepted that plea and rendered a judgment of conviction. This appeal followed. We agree with the defendant's claim that his detention violated his fourth amendment rights under Navarette. Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court improperly denied the motion to suppress and reverse the judgment of the trial court.")