Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Smith

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

March 27, 2018

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
JEFFREY SMITH

          Argued December 7, 2017

         Procedural History

         Substitute information charging the defendant with two counts of the crime of kidnapping in the first degree, and with the crimes of capital felony, murder, felony murder and robbery in the first degree, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of New London and tried to the jury before the court, Schimelman, J.; verdict and judgment of guilty of two counts of kidnapping in the first degree, and of felony murder, robbery in the first degree and the lesser included offense of manslaughter in the first degree; thereafter, the court, Strackbein, J., denied the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence, and the defendant appealed. Affirmed.

          Jeffrey Smith, self-represented, the appellant (defendant).

          Michael L. Regan, state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          DiPentima, C. J., and Lavine and Bishop, Js.

          OPINION

          BISHOP, J.

         The defendant, Jeffrey Smith, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant argues that the court abused its discretion in denying his motion. Specifically, the defendant claims that his sentence violates his fifth amendment protection against double jeopardy, which is applied to the states through the fourteenth amendment to the United States constitution. The defendant also argues that the principles our Supreme Court established in State v. Polanco, 308 Conn. 242, 61 A.3d 1084 (2013), and State v. Miranda, 317 Conn. 741, 120 A.3d 490 (2015), should be applied retroactively to the circumstances of his case. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         The court's memorandum of decision sets out the relevant facts and procedural history. ‘‘The defendant . . . was charged in a six count information dated July 9, 2001, with capital felony . . . in violation of [General Statutes (Rev. to 1997) § 53a-54b (5)], murder in violation of [General Statutes (Rev. to 1997) § 53a-54a], felony murder in violation of [General Statutes (Rev. to 1997)] § 53a-54c, [two counts of] kidnapping in the first degree . . . in violation of [General Statutes §§] 53a-92 (a) (2) (A) [and (B)] and robbery in the first degree in violation of [General Statutes] § 53a-134 (a) (1).[1]

         ‘‘On August 18, 2005, after a jury trial before the Hon. Stuart Schimelman, the jury returned verdicts of guilty on felony murder, manslaughter [in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-55], both kidnapping counts and the robbery count. [The defendant] was acquitted on capital felony and murder.[2]

         ‘‘The trial court merged the conviction on manslaughter with the felony murder [conviction] and sentenced the defendant to sixty years [of] imprisonment. The defendant was also sentenced to concurrent sentences of twenty-five years on each kidnapping count concurrently and twenty years on the robbery count all concurrent to each other but consecutive to the felony murder sentence. The total effective sentence was eighty-five years to serve.'' (Footnotes added.)

         On August 6, 2015, the defendant, representing him-self, [3] filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Practice Book § 43-22, and filed an amended motion on November 10, 2015. In his motions, the defendant made the following claims to support his double jeopardy argument: (1) he was unconstitutionally charged with three homicide offenses for a single act of homicide; (2) his acquittal on the capital felony charge barred prosecution on the kidnapping charges because the capital felony incorporated the kidnapping counts; (3) he was unlawfully convicted of felony murder as well as the underlying predicate offenses of kidnapping and robbery; (4) he was unlawfully convicted of two counts of kidnapping for a single act of kidnapping; and (5) the court's merger of the felony murder and manslaughter convictions was improper under Polanco and Miranda, and the court instead should have vacated the manslaughter conviction. For relief, the defendant requested that the court vacate the conviction as to the offenses that he alleged violated double jeopardy and release him on the basis of time served on the robbery conviction.

         The court denied the defendant's motion on June 27, 2016. In its decision, the court stated: ‘‘The defendant believes that the [s]tate cannot charge him with multiple counts of murder and/or kidnapping. This is erroneous. The information in a criminal prosecution may charge various aspects of the crimes alleged. The jury, after hearing the evidence and the instructions to the jury by the judge may find a defendant guilty or not guilty on any or all of the charges. Here, the jury found the defendant guilty of felony murder, manslaughter, robbery and two counts of kidnapping. The jury did not find the defendant guilty of capital felony and murder. The defendant erroneously believes [that] an acquittal on capital felony murder should exonerate him on all counts of murder. The elements of the charges for which the defendant was found guilty were met and the judge sentenced him accordingly.'' The court also determined that, based on principles of retroactivity, ‘‘the 2013 decision in Polanco and 2015 decision in Miranda, which were based on our Supreme Court's supervisory authority, do not apply retroactively to the defendant's case.'' This appeal followed.

         ‘‘We review claims that the court improperly denied the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence under an abuse of discretion standard. . . . The jurisdiction of the sentencing court terminates when the sentence is put into effect, and that court may no longer take any action affecting the sentence unless it has been expressly authorized to act. . . . The judicial authority may at any time correct an illegal sentence or other illegal disposition, or it may correct a sentence imposed in an illegal manner or any other disposition made in an illegal manner. . . . An illegal sentence is essentially one which exceeds the relevant statutory maximum limits, violates the defendant's right against double jeopardy, is ambiguous, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.