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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=5751

SC20721 - State v. Kyle A. (Burglary first degree; criminal mischief first degree; threatening second degree; “In the present appeal, the defendant contends that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the trial court had not committed plain error when it failed to give a jury instruction identifying the crime that he allegedly intended to commit when he unlawfully entered or remained in the residence. We conclude that, although the trial court’s instruction did not conform to the language that this court has repeatedly endorsed, the trial court did not commit plain error. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5717

AC45975 - State v. Kenneth B. (“On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to support his conviction of assault in the second degree, and (2) the trial court abused its discretion in admitting into evidence two photographs of the victim. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5696

AC45444 - State v. Torell (State petition seeking continued commitment to the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Review Board pursuant to § 17a-593 (c); “The acquittee claims that the court improperly denied (1) his motion to dismiss alleging a violation of substantive due process, (2) his motion to dismiss alleging a violation of procedural due process, and (3) his motion to strike a portion of the board’s report to the court recommending a period of continued commitment not to exceed ten years. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Oumano, Emily

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5689

AC45869 - State v. Christopher R. (“The defendant, Christopher R., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (1), two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2), and one count of attempt to commit sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-70 (a) (1). On appeal, he claims that the trial court violated his constitutional rights by finding that his waiver of his right to testify was voluntary and denying his request to open the evidence to allow him to testify following his assertion that the waiver of his right to testify was involuntary. 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=5674

SC20771 - State v. Gamer (“We granted the defendant’s petition for certification to appeal, limited to the following issues: (1) ‘Did the Appellate Court err in failing to reverse the trial court’s judgment revoking the defendant’s probation on the ground that the evidence was insufficient to establish that the defendant’s failure to pay restitution was wilful?’ And (2) ‘[d]id the Appellate Court correctly conclude that the trial court had not abused its discretion in imposing a term of imprisonment for the defendant’s violation of probation rather than some lesser sanction?’ State v. Gamer, 345 Conn. 920, 284 A.3d 984 (2022).

After examining the entire record on appeal and considering the briefs and oral arguments of the parties, we have determined that the appeal should be dismissed on the ground that certification was improvidently granted.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5671

SC20740 - State v. Samuel U. (“The defendant, Samuel U., appeals from his conviction of one count of sexual assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-70 (a) (2) and two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (2). Specifically, he claims that the state infringed on his due process rights by providing a notice of its intent to offer evidence of his other sexual misconduct that was inadequate and did not conform to the evidence elicited at trial. The defendant also contends that the trial court abused its discretion under § 4-5 (b) of the Connecticut Code of Evidence by admitting the testimony of his daughter, S, concerning sexual misconduct he engaged in with her fourteen years before the charged conduct in the present case. We disagree with both of the defendant’s claims and affirm the trial court’s judgment.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5668

AC45529 - Reyes v. State (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the trial court (1) abused its discretion in denying his petition for certification to appeal, (2) improperly determined that his newly discovered third-party culpability evidence would probably not produce a different result in a new trial, and (3) improperly determined that the state did not suppress his newly discovered impeachment evidence in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S. Ct. 1194, 10 L. Ed. 2d 215 (1963). We disagree and, therefore, dismiss the appeal.”)

AC45634 - Reyes v. State (“On appeal, the petitioner claims that the trial court improperly (1) concluded, as a matter of law, that the three year limitation period of § 52-582 cannot be tolled by application of the fraudulent concealment statute, General Statutes § 52-595,2 and (2) determined that the exception to the three year limitation period for newly discovered forensic scientific evidence pursuant to § 52-582 (a) was not applicable to the present case. We agree with the petitioner’s first claim but disagree with his second claim. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the trial court, and we remand the case to the trial court for a new evidentiary hearing before a different judge to determine whether the three year limitation period of § 52-582 was tolled by § 52-595.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Agati, Taryn

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5658

AC45397 - State v. Jeffrey G. ("The defendant, Jeffrey G. (petitioner), appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his petition for postconviction DNA testing pursuant to General Statutes § 54-102kk. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the trial court erred in concluding that he failed to establish that a reasonable probability existed that he would not have been prosecuted or convicted if exculpatory results obtained through DNA testing had been available at his criminal trial. We affirm the judgment of the court.")

AC45812 - State v. Martin G. ("The defendant, Martin G., appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion for modification of his sentence pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-39 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion in finding that he had failed to establish good cause to modify his sentence. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.")


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5643

AC45104 - State v. Thomas S. (Violation of criminal protective order; no specific unanimity instructions given to jury; “On appeal, the defendant claims that the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had the requisite intent to violate the protective order. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5621

AC45243 - State v. James S. (The defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to convict him of risk of injury to a child, (2) he ‘‘has a due process right to a pretrial taint hearing to evaluate whether the complainant’s statements and testimony were reliable or whether they were coerced and a product of suggestive questioning,’’ and (3) if he did not have a right to a pretrial taint hearing, that this court should exercise its supervisory authority to require pretrial taint hearings to assess the reliability of complainants in child sexual abuse cases. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5613

AC44898 - State v. Wade (“On appeal, the defendant argues that the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment to the federal constitution prohibited the admission of a witness’ out-of-court statements at his probation revocation hearing because the witness was not present and available for cross-examination. The defendant claims that the court improperly failed to implement the balancing test referenced in State v. Crespo, 190 Conn. App. 639, 647, 211 A.3d 1027 (2019), when it admitted the witness’ out-of-court statements relating to the identification of the defendant in order to establish that the defendant violated the condition of his probation that he not violate any criminal laws. The defendant thus contends that, without this improper hearsay evidence, the evidence was insufficient to support the court’s finding that he violated that condition. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)

AC45314 - State v. Russo (Conditional plea of nolo contendere pursuant to § 54-94a; sexual assault in the second degree; “The defendant entered his conditional plea following the court’s denials of his two motions to dismiss, the first of which alleged that the facts set forth in the arrest warrant affidavit were insufficient to sustain a charge alleging a violation of § 53a-71 (a) (8), and the second of which claimed that § 53a-71 (a) (8) is unconstitutionally overbroad. In connection with his first motion to dismiss, the defendant specifically argued that the arrest warrant lacked probable cause that he committed a crime because the allegations in the arrest warrant affidavit did not establish that he was a ‘‘school employee’’ for purposes of § 53a-71 (a) (8). As to his second motion to dismiss, the defendant contended that the statute impermissibly criminalizes a range of consensual romantic relationships that the state has no legitimate basis to regulate. We are not persuaded by the defendant’s claims and, therefore, affirm the judgment of conviction.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5606

SC20702 - State v. Butler (“This certified appeal requires us to decide, as a matter of first impression, whether a criminal court has inherent common-law jurisdiction to open a judgment of dismissal following the defendant’s completion of a supervised diversionary program within four months of the date it was rendered. We are also asked to decide whether the trial court has the authority to open the same judgment of dismissal if that judgment was the result of purported misrepresentations to the court. We conclude that criminal courts do not have jurisdiction to open a judgment following a dismissal. We also decline to reach the second certified question because the trial court made no findings of misrepresentations in the present case.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5604

SC20452 - State v. Robles (Murder; criminal possession of a firearm; illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle ; “The defendant elected a jury trial on the murder charge and a bench trial on the charges of criminal possession of a firearm and possessing a weapon in a motor vehicle. The jury found the defendant not guilty of murder but guilty of the lesser included offense of manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55a. After the bench trial, the court found the defendant guilty of both criminal possession of a firearm and possessing a weapon in a motor vehicle…On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court violated his right to confront the witnesses against him under the sixth amendment to the United States constitution4 by allowing Chief Medical Examiner James Gill to testify about the results of the victim’s autopsy, which he had not performed himself, and (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of possessing a weapon in a motor vehicle. We disagree with the defendant’s first claim and affirm the trial court’s judgment as to the conviction of manslaughter in the first degree with a firearm. With respect to the defendant’s second claim, we agree that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of possessing a weapon in a motor vehicle and, therefore, reverse the trial court’s judgment as to that conviction.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5599

SC20683 - State v. Velasquez-Mattos (Sexual Assault in First Degree; Risk of injury to a child; “On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court improperly admitted, pursuant to the constancy of accusation doctrine, testimony that included excessive and unnecessary details of the sexual assault of the victim, J, (2) the trial court improperly excluded impeachment evidence of pending criminal charges against a key witness for the state, and (3) the first degree sexual assault charge was duplicitous, in violation of his sixth amendment right to jury unanimity. We disagree with the defendant’s claims and, accordingly, 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=5590

SC20693 - State v. James K. (“On appeal to this court, the defendant asserts that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that the trial court did not (1) improperly limit defense counsel’s questions to potential jurors and that this limitation did not result in harmful prejudice, and (2) improperly admit into evidence a video recording of the forensic interview of the victim regarding the crimes at issue. We disagree and conclude that, even if the trial court improperly limited defense counsel’s questions to potential jurors, any error did not result in harmful prejudice, and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the video recording of the forensic interview into evidence. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5540

AC45288 - State v. King (“On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly denied that motion, which challenged the sentencing court’s imposition of a special condition of probation that he register as a sex offender pursuant to General Statutes § 54-254 (a). In response, the state argues, inter alia, that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the defendant’s motion to correct because the requirement that the defendant register as a sex offender was not part of his sentence. We agree with the state and, accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case with direction to dismiss the motion to correct.”)

AC45614 - State v. Despres (“On appeal, the defendant claims that the court improperly concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to hear his motion. Specifically, the defendant argues that the court improperly determined that his claims regarding the sentencing court’s denial of his motion to represent himself at that proceeding and his attorney’s failure to turn over documents did not fall within the ambit of Practice Book § 43-22. We agree with the defendant that the trial court improperly concluded that it lacked jurisdiction with respect to his claim regarding the denial of his request for self-representation and disagree with respect to his claim regarding his attorney’s failure to turn over the aforementioned documents. Accordingly, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the court.”)


Criminal Law Supreme and Appellate Court Opinions

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5520

SC20653 - State v. Massaro (§ 21a-277 (a) Sale of narcotics; certification from Appellate Court; “First, he claimed that the trial court erred in imposing a discovery sanction precluding the admission of a written memorandum that contained the inconsistent statement of one of the state’s main witnesses. See id., 692–93. Second, he claimed that the trial court erred in permitting the prosecutor to elicit expert opinion testimony on cross-examination of defense counsel’s private investigator, Benjamin Pagoni, who had been neither offered nor qualified as an expert witness. See id., 704. The Appellate Court agreed with the parties that the discovery sanction was improper, but it concluded that such error was harmless. See id., 699, 701. Likewise, with regard to the second issue, the Appellate Court concluded that the cross-examination of Pagoni, even if improper, was also harmless. See id., 704, 707. As a result, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of conviction. Id., 690, 718. We thereafter granted the defendant’s petition for certification to appeal. In this appeal, the defendant asserts that the Appellate Court’s judgment must be reversed because any errors related to the improper discovery sanction and expert testimony were harmful. We disagree. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Appellate Court.”)

AC45378 - State v. Sullivan (Unlawful restraint in the second degree ; sexual assault in the fourth degree; attempt to commit sexual assault in the third degree; “On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the prosecutor committed prosecutorial impropriety and deprived him of a fair trial when she made certain improper statements during closing arguments, and (2) his punishments stemming from his conviction of sexual assault in the third degree and sexual assault in the fourth degree violated his constitutional protection against double jeopardy. We disagree with both claims and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the court.”)


Criminal Law Supreme Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5517

SC20620 - State v. Lanier (“In this certified appeal, the defendant, Travis Lanier, challenges the judgment of the Appellate Court, which affirmed the defendant’s conviction of burglary in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-102 (a). The defendant claims that the Appellate Court incorrectly concluded that (1) the trial court did not violate his constitutional rights to confrontation, to present a defense, and to a fair trial under the sixth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution, and (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it limited defense counsel’s cross-examination of the victim, Alejandro Marrinan. We 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=5479

SC20734 - State v. Langston (“On appeal, the defendant claims that the sentencing court’s consideration of conduct related to a charge of which he was acquitted violated his rights to due process and to a trial by jury under the sixth and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution and article first, §§ 8 and 19, of the Connecticut constitution. The defendant also urges us, in the absence of a constitutional violation, to use our supervisory authority to prohibit consideration of acquitted conduct during sentencing. Although we do not endorse that practice, we decline to reverse the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s motion because (1) a long line of both federal and state precedent has allowed significant latitude for what judges may consider during sentencing and has permitted sentencing courts to consider a wide range of conduct, including conduct related to acquitted charges, and (2) the sentence imposed by the sentencing court in this case was within the statutorily prescribed range for the counts of conviction. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to correct an illegal sentence.”)


Criminal Law Appellate Court Opinion

   by Townsend, Karen

 https://jud.ct.gov/lawlib/LawLibNews/Posts/Post.aspx?Id=5468

AC42991 - State v. Olivero (“On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court incorrectly denied his pretrial motion to dismiss the charges of first degree burglary and home invasion, (2) the trial court abused its discretion by denying his requests to present testimony in support of his pretrial motion to dismiss, (3) the trial judge, White, J., improperly failed, sua sponte, to disqualify himself from presiding over the defendant’s jury trial because Judge White previously had denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss and used the term ‘victim’ in various pretrial hearings, (4) the trial court improperly restricted his ability to cross-examine the victim concerning the content of certain text messages, and (5) the prosecutor’s use of the term ‘victim’ during the trial and in closing argument deprived him of his constitutional right to a fair trial. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.”)