January 12, 2017
from Superior Court, judicial district of Waterbury, Moll, J.
E. Mortimer, with whom, on the brief, was Michael D. Day, for
the appellant (defendant).
A. McShane, state's attorney, with whom, on the brief,
were Maureen Platt, state's attorney, Lisa Herskowitz,
senior assistant state's attorney, and Elena Palermo,
assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).
DiPentima, C. J., and Mullins and Bishop, Js.
defendant, Jose A. Toro, appeals from the judgment of
conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of attempt to commit
assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes
§§ 53a-59 (a) (1) and 53a-49 (a) (1), and breach of
the peace in the second degree in violation of General
Statutes § 53a-181 (a) (1). The defendant claims that
the court abused its discretion by admitting evidence of his
uncharged misconduct. The defendant, however, has not
included an analysis in his main appellate brief pertaining
to how this allegedly improper ruling was harmful.
Consequently, we conclude that the defendant's claim is
inadequately briefed and, therefore, unreviewable.
Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
following facts, which the jury reasonably could have found,
and procedural history inform our review. In February, 2013,
the victim, Wilfredo Rivera, had been dating his girlfriend,
Luz Torres, for approximately four years. Prior to their
relationship, Torres had been involved with another
individual, who had been a friend of the defendant. When that
relationship ended, the defendant sought to date Torres, but
she was not interested. Instead, she began dating the victim,
which upset the defendant. The defendant then began
threatening the victim and Torres, telling them that he would
kill them if they did not end their relationship. These
threats soon escalated to physical violence.
February 4, 2013, at approximately 8:15 a.m., the victim took
his dog for a walk on the sidewalk outside of his Waterbury
apartment. As the dog made its way to some bushes on the side
of a building, the victim let go of its leash but followed
the dog into the bushes. As the victim exited the bushes, he
saw the defendant standing on the sidewalk holding a machete
in his hands. The victim grabbed his dog and started running
back toward his apartment. The defendant chased the victim,
repeatedly saying that he was going to kill him. The victim
was yelling as the defendant chased him, which caused Torres
to look out of the window of the victim's apartment.
Torres observed the victim running while being chased by
another person, but she could not see the face of the other
person. Aneighbor, Roberto Millan, also heard yelling, and,
when he looked out of his window, he saw the victim and a man
with a machete engaged in a confrontation.
the chase, the victim fell to the ground. The defendant then
swung the machete at him and hit him on the back of his leg.
The victim was able to block the blow substantially by using
a metal flashlight he had been carrying. As a result, the
victim sustained only a minor injury to his leg. After taking
the hit, the victim managed to get on his feet, and he ran
behind a vehicle. At that point, the defendant left the
scene. The victim returned to his apartment and told Torres
what had happened, and she telephoned police.
thereafter, the defendant was arrested on several charges,
and, following a jury trial, the jury found him guilty of
attempt to commit assault in the first degree and breach of
the peace in the second degree. See footnote 1 of this
opinion. The court sentenced the defendant to a total
effective sentence of twelve years incarceration, execution
suspended after seven years, five years of which were
mandatory, followed by three years probation. This appeal
followed. Additional facts will be set forth as necessary in
consideration of the defendant's claim.
appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its
discretion by admitting evidence of uncharged misconduct.
Specifically, he asserts that the court erred in admitting
the uncharged misconduct evidence that, on February 3, 2013,
the day before the attack on the victim that is the subject
of this appeal, the defendant had chased the victim with a
knife and threatened to kill him. The defendant argues that
this evidence was unduly prejudicial and that the court
should have excluded it. He fails to argue in his main brief
to this court, however, that the trial court's erroneous
admission of this evidence was harmful error. Thus, because
the defendant has failed to brief adequately how he was
harmed by this allegedly improper evidentiary ruling, we
decline to review the defendant's claim.
following additional facts are relevant. Prior to trial, the
state filed two notices of intent to admit uncharged
misconduct. The defendant does not challenge on appeal the
court's admission of various uncharged misconduct
evidence offered by the state in its first
second notice, which is the subject of this appeal, the state
sought ‘‘to introduce testimony from [the victim]
that, on February 3, 2013, the defendant came at [the victim]
with a knife threatening to kill him.'' In response
to the two notices, the defendant filed a motion in limine
asking the court to preclude the state from eliciting any
testimony, or offering any evidence, as to any
uncharged misconduct on the part of the defendant, including
the February 3, 2013 incident. The court denied the motion in
limine, thereby permitting the state to offer evidence of the
defendant's prior misconduct. At ...