October 11, 2017
information charging the defendant with the crimes of murder
and criminal possession of a pistol or revolver, brought to
the Superior Court in the judicial district of Fairfield,
geographical area number two, where the charge of murder was
tried to the jury before Blawie, J.; thereafter, the
court, Blawie, J., denied in part the
defendant's motion to suppress; verdict of guilty;
subsequently, the charge of criminal possession of a pistol
or revolver was tried to the court, Blawie, J.;
judgment of guilty, and the defendant appealed; thereafter,
the court, Blawie, J., issued an articulation of its
denial of the defendant's motion to suppress.
J. Steele, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).
N. Feldman, special deputy assistant state's attorney,
with whom, on the brief, were John C. Smriga, state's
attorney, and Pamela J. Esposito, senior assistant
state's attorney, for the appellee (state).
Alvord, Elgo and Sullivan, Js.
defendant, Dennis Salmond, appeals from the judgment of
conviction of murder in violation of General Statutes §
53a-54a (a) and criminal possession of a pistol or revolver
in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2013) §
53a-217c (a) (1). On appeal, the defendant claims that the
trial court (1) violated his constitutional right to due
process by denying his motion to suppress an eyewitness'
in-court identification of him, and (2) abused its discretion
by denying his request for a special credibility instruction
with respect to the testimony of that eyewitness. We disagree
and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.
basis of the evidence presented at trial, the jury reasonably
could have found the following facts. This case is the end
result of a dispute over ‘‘drug turf'' in
the east end of Bridgeport. The victim, Kiaunte
‘‘Stretch'' Ware, lived on Sixth Street
in Bridgeport and sold drugs in that neighborhood. The
defendant had recently returned to live in the east
end and started selling drugs on Sixth Street. The defendant
was not a Sixth Street regular, but he ‘‘[w]as .
. . out there enough'' to be noticed by the victim
and his friend, Richard Jackson. On July 15, 2013, the victim
and the defendant had a physical altercation on Sixth Street.
Later that day, the defendant sent a text message to a friend
stating that he had been jumped by the victim and another
male, who told him that he could not come on Sixth Street.
The defendant further stated that he ‘‘wasn't
hearing [that]'' and that he was looking for a gun.
On July 16, 2013, the victim pulled a gun on the defendant
while the defendant was with his children at a nearby park.
the victim, Jackson had no issue with the defendant, and the
two interacted on four or five occasions in the two weeks
prior to the victim's murder. On one occasion, Jackson
and the defendant shared a marijuana cigarette and talked for
approximately twenty minutes. On another occasion, the two
sat together on the porch steps of a property on Sixth
Street. Jackson and the defendant also exchanged remarks as
they passed by each other on the street. Jackson did not
witness the July 15, 2013 altercation, but the next day he
was shown a cell phone video recording of the incident.
morning of July 17, 2013, at approximately 7:20 a.m., the
victim and Jackson were sitting in a car outside the
victim's apartment on Sixth Street. The victim sat in the
driver's seat with his window rolled down, and Jackson
sat next to him in the front passenger seat. The two friends
talked about the July 15, 2013 altercation and Jackson
cautioned the victim that his dispute with the defendant was
unnecessary. The defendant walked up Sixth Street wielding a
small black handgun and approached within three feet of the
driver's side of the victim's car. The defendant was
wearing a black shirt and his face was covered up to the top
of his nose, leaving only his eyes and the top of his head
exposed. The defendant fired at the victim and then uttered
the words ‘‘bitch ass n*****.'' Jackson
told the defendant to ‘‘chill'' and that
he had ‘‘proven his point.'' The
defendant, however, fired more bullets, hitting the victim in
the left upper neck, left upper shoulder, back and chest. The
defendant then fled.
also fled because there were outstanding warrants for his
arrest and he feared becoming involved with the police. As
Jackson ran east toward Bunnell Street through the backyards
of houses on Sixth Street, he said aloud,
‘‘I'm going to jail.'' He then heard
a voice reply, ‘‘[m]y bad my n*****, ''
and realized that the defendant, whose face was no longer
covered, was running close behind him. The defendant
continued running in the direction of Stratford Avenue.
juvenile standing in the backyard of a house on Bunnell
Street, which abutted the backyards of houses on Sixth
Street, heard the gunshots and called 911. Shortly
thereafter, police and emergency response personnel found the
unconscious victim, who was later pronounced dead at
Bridgeport Hospital. The police recovered four spent bullets
from the victim's car, four spent casings in the roadway
and a white tank top in the grass near the victim's car.
A firearm never was recovered.
basis of video surveillance and witness inter-views,
Detective Robert Winkler applied for, and was issued, a
warrant for the arrest of the defendant on July 25, 2013.
That same day, Jackson was arrested on unrelated charges and
interviewed by Detectives Winkler and Dennis Martinez about
the victim's murder. Initially, Jackson was reluctant to
provide the detectives with the assailant's identity.
Jackson stated that he had been sitting in the victim's
car for approximately four to seven minutes before the
assailant ran up to the car and started shooting at the
victim. He described the victim's assailant as a black
male at least six feet, three inches tall, wearing a black
shirt and a scarf or shirt covering most of his face, and
wielding a black small caliber gun. Jackson stated that as he
was running to his girlfriend's apartment on Bunnell
Street, the assailant, whose face was still covered, ran by
him and continued in the direction of Stratford Avenue. Later
in the interview, Martinez inadvertently used the
defendant's street name, ‘‘Sleep, ''
instead of the victim's street name,
‘‘Stretch.'' Jackson was shown portions
of the Stratford Avenue surveillance video and he confirmed
that the man in the video was the person he recognized as the
assailant. He claimed, however, that he did not know the
assailant's name. Jackson stated that he had seen the
assailant on Sixth Street previously and would recognize him
if he saw him again. He also stated that he knew the
assailant's voice because he had heard it before and that
he could match that voice to a face.
detectives conducted a blind sequential photo array of eight
photographs. When he was shown the seventh photograph, that
of the defendant, Jackson became quiet and asked to return to
his cell multiple times. The detectives urged Jackson to tell
them what he knew and whether the seventh photograph was the
assailant. Jackson asked to speak alone with Winkler and
attempted to negotiate a release on a promise to appear on
his unrelated charges. Winkler stated multiple times that he
could try to help but could not promise anything. Jackson
admitted that he knew the defendant was the assailant all
along, identified him in the seventh photograph in the array
and stated that Martinez already had used his street name,
30, 2013, the defendant was arrested and charged with murder
and criminal possession of a pistol or revolver. Prior to
trial, the defendant moved to suppress Jackson's
out-of-court identification and any subsequent in-court
identification of the defendant, claiming, inter alia, that
the procedures used by the detectives during the out-of-court
identification were unnecessarily suggestive, and that, as a
result, any in-court identification would be tainted by the
improper out-of-court identification. In response, the state
contended that it did not seek to offer Jackson's
out-of-court identification of the defendant at trial.
day jury trial commenced on September 24, 2014. During trial,
outside the presence of the jury, the court conducted a two
part evidentiary hearing on the defendant's motion to
suppress. After reviewing Jackson's videotaped interview
and hearing testimony from Winkler,  the court determined that
the police identification procedure was unnecessarily
suggestive and suppressed the out-of-court identification.
The court reasoned that Martinez's inadvertent use of the
defendant's street name and ‘‘showing
[Jackson] the surveillance video that only contained [the
defendant was] tantamount to making a suggestion as to who
should be picked out of the [photographic] array.''
court then addressed the reliability of any subsequent
in-court identification. The court heard testimony from
Jackson, who stated that he knew that the defendant was the
shooter prior to the interview, but did not want to provide
that information to the detectives. Jackson testified that
there weren't ‘‘too many different people . .
. on Sixth Street'' and that he ‘‘[paid]
attention to who was out there.'' It was important
for Jackson, who was involved in the sale of narcotics, to
know who the regular people were, ‘‘because other
people could be snitches.'' Jackson further testified
that he had seen the defendant on Sixth Street four or five
times in the two weeks prior to the shooting, and had become
familiar with both the defendant's appearance and voice.
Jackson indicated that he would have known that the defendant
was the shooter even if he had not seen him a second time as
he was running away. The court then asked Jackson the
Court: Sir, you were shown some video by the detectives that
was taken from a street pole camera that day. Is that right?
Court: Did that video influence or plant the idea in your
mind that [the defendant] was the shooter?
Court: How ...