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State v. Sherrod

Appellate Court of Connecticut

May 26, 2015

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
AL-MALIK SHERROD

Argued February 3, 2015.

Page 1168

Appeal from Superior Court, judicial district of Hartford, Lobo, J. Information charging the defendant with violation of probation, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Hartford and tried to the court, Lobo, J.; judgment revoking the defendant's probation, from which the defendant appealed to this court.

SYLLABUS

The defendant appealed to this court from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation following his arrest on charges of assault in the first degree, criminal possession of a firearm, and carrying a pistol without a permit in connection with an incident in which he allegedly shot a person with a firearm. The defendant had been serving a period of probation after pleading guilty under the Alford doctrine to robbery in the first degree and assault in the first degree in connection with a prior incident. The conditions of the defendant's probation required, inter alia, that he not possess any weapon, that he not violate any criminal law of this state, and that he not possess, receive or transport any firearm. He claimed that the trial court lacked sufficient evidence to support its finding that he had violated his probation. Held :

1. There was sufficient evidence in the record from which the trial court reasonably could have found by a fair preponderance of the evidence that the defendant had violated his probation: that court's findings, which were based on the exhibits and testimony, that the defendant violated the conditions of his probation that he not possess any weapon or violate any criminal law of this state by possessing a handgun and shooting another person were not clearly erroneous.

2. The defendant's claim that the state failed to prove the underlying criminal charges by a fair preponderance of the evidence in the adjudicatory phase of the violation of probation hearing was unavailing; contrary to the defendant's assertion, the state, in the violation of probation hearing, did not have the burden of proving that the defendant's conduct constituted a violation of a criminal law, but, rather, it had to prove that he engaged in conduct sufficient to violate a condition of his probation; moreover, even if the defendant was ultimately acquitted of the pending criminal charges, the outcome of the probation hearing would not be affected.

Douglas H. Butler, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).

Jonathan M. Sousa, special deputy assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Gail P. Hardy, state's attorney, and Ann Mahoney, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

Beach, Alvord and Bear, Js.

OPINION

Page 1169

[157 Conn.App. 377] PER CURIAM.

The defendant, Al-Malik Sherrod, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-32[1] [157 Conn.App. 378] and committing him to the custody of the Commissioner of Correction for the remaining eight years of his original sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court lacked sufficient evidence to support its finding of a violation of probation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The following facts and procedural history are relevant to the defendant's appeal. On May 31, 2001, the defendant pleaded guilty pursuant to the Alford doctrine[2] to the offenses of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134 (a) (3) and assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (1), arising out of an incident that occurred on July 13, 2000. On July 13, 2001, the court, Solomon, J., sentenced the defendant to twenty years incarceration, execution suspended after twelve years, and five years of probation. The conditions of probation, signed by the defendant on July 3, 2012, included the special condition of no possession of any weapons. Additionally, ...


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