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State v. Jackson

Appellate Court of Connecticut

September 15, 2015

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
TROY JACKSON

Argued April 6, 2015

Page 1245

Substitute information charging the defendant with the crimes of murder, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of New Haven, where the charge of murder was tried to the jury before B. Fischer, J.; verdict of guilty; thereafter, the charges of criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit were tried to the court; judgment of guilty, from which the defendant appealed.

SYLLABUS

Convicted, following a jury trial, of the crime of murder and, following a trial to the court, of the crimes of criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit in connection with the shooting death of the victim, the defendant appealed. He claimed that the trial court improperly failed to give certain special credibility instructions. Held :

1. This court declined the defendant's request to invoke its supervisory powers to require trial courts to give a special credibility instruction where, as here, an incarcerated witness received a benefit from the state in exchange for testimony regarding a crime that he claimed he personally observed prior to his incarceration; this court was bound by the prior decision of our Supreme Court declining to extend the rule that requires a special credibility instruction to be given when a jailhouse informant testifies regarding a confession he overheard while incarcerated to cases in which the witness testified regarding his own observations of the circumstances surrounding the crime, and this case did not present one of those rare circumstances that would require the exercise of this court's supervisory powers, as the witness was subject to cross-examination and his testimony was corroborated by other evidence, which was adequate for testing the truthfulness of his statements.

2. The defendant waived review of his claim that the trial court committed plain error when it failed to give a special accomplice credibility instruction as to the testimony of two witnesses, the record having clearly demonstrated that the defendant received a copy of the charge and had sufficient time to review it, and that his counsel discussed various legal issues with the court that were not appealed, offered changes to the charge, which the court accepted, affirmatively stated that he had no exceptions on multiple occasions, and confirmed that he had had sufficient time to review the charge; accordingly, the defendant's waiver of the claim precluded a finding that the jury instruction constituted plain error because his valid waiver meant that there was no error to correct.

Adele V. Patterson, senior assistant public defender, for the appellant (defendant).

Ronald G. Weller, senior assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Michael Dearington, state's attorney, and Stacey M. Miranda, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

Lavine, Beach and Mihalakos, Js.

OPINION

Page 1246

[159 Conn.App. 671] PER CURIAM.

The defendant, Troy Jackson, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered following a [159 Conn.App. 672] jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a.[1] On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly failed to give certain special credibility instructions. Specifically, the defendant claims that based upon evidence elicited at trial, the court should have instructed the jury on the credibility of jailhouse informant testimony and accomplice testimony. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

On the basis of the evidence presented at trial, the jury reasonably could have found the following facts. On the evening of June 4, 2007, the victim, Julian Ellis, was standing with Sterling Cole on the corner of Lloyd and Exchange Streets in New Haven. The defendant approached the victim along with several unidentified individuals, including Nicholas Newton, and asked whether the victim was dealing drugs in the defendant's territory. After a ...


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