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Colon v. Commissioner of Correction

Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Tolland, Somers, Geographic Area 19

October 29, 2015

Hector Colon (Inmate #259937)
v.
Commissioner of Correction

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

Fuger T. Stanley, Senior Judge.

The petitioner, Hector Colon, inmate #259937, alleges in his petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus initially filed on February 15, 2013 and amended for the final time on August 18, 2015, that his confinement under the custody of the Commissioner of Correction is illegal. Specifically, the petitioner in his complaint alleges that his Trial Defense Counsel, Atty. Nicholas Cardwell, who represented the petitioner in his criminal case was ineffective in his representation of the petitioner. In addition, the petitioner alleges that the counsel, Atty. Aaron Romano, whom the petitioner hired to help him withdraw his plea of guilty was also ineffective in his representation.

During the trial on the merits of this habeas petition the Court received testimony from the petitioner, his Trial Defense Counsel, Atty. Nicholas Cardwell an associate of Atty. Cardwell, Atty. Matthew Costello, and the petitioner's replacement trial defense counsel, Atty. Aaron Romano. Finally, the Court received various pieces of documentary evidence into evidence.

The petitioner alleges numerous specific areas in which he complains that Attys. Cardwell and Romano were deficient. In essence, the petitioner's complaint can be summarized as one in which he believes he should have received a lower sentence in his plea bargaining with the state because he believed he had valuable evidence to offer the state in regard to other cases. It must be noted that the petitioner did enter into a plea bargain with the state, subsequently entering pleas of guilty and receiving a sentence that was within the perimeter of the plea agreement. Despite, the petitioner's misplaced belief that he should have received a lighter sentence, the fact of the matter is that he did, in fact, receive that for which he bargained.

There is a third count in this petition that is considered abandoned and will therefore be dismissed.

Findings of Fact

1. The petitioner was a defendant in multiple criminal cases (five in all), all proceeding in the Judicial District of Hartford.

2. The Petitioner was represented by Atty. Nicholas Cardwell and subsequently, Atty. Aaron Romano.

3. On October 27, 1998, the petitioner entered pleas of guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement with the state in all five of the Hartford criminal dockets. The agreement provided that the petitioner would receive a total effective sentence of between 25 and 30 years' confinement. Additionally, it was agreed that any sentence in the case pending in the Judicial District of Danbury would not increase the sentence imposed in the Hartford cases.

4. Prior to the imposition of sentence, the petitioner hired Atty. Aaron Romano in an attempt to withdraw his guilty plea. That attempt was unsuccessful.

5. On June 17, 2009, the Court (Gold, J.) imposed a total effective sentence of twenty-seven and one-half years of confinement.

6. The petitioner, on his own initiative, approached law enforcement authorities in order to provide information that he believed would be helpful to the prosecution of certain individuals. He hoped that this information would result in a favorable reduction in the length of his prison sentence.

7. Atty. Cardwell did not discourage him from so doing and told him to be truthful. Atty. Cardwell was not present when the interview took place.

8. Unfortunately for the petitioner's plan, the prosecution was not interested in his information and there was no ...


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