January 12, 2018
information charging the defendant with the crimes of murder
and criminal possession of a firearm, brought to the Superior
Court in the judicial district of Hartford, and tried to the
jury before Mullarkey, J.; verdict of guilty;
thereafter, the court rendered judgment in accordance with
the verdict, from which the defendant appealed.
E. Byron, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).
N. Feldman, special deputy assistant state's attorney,
with whom, on the brief, were Gail P. Hardy, state's
attorney, and John F. Fahey, senior assistant state's
attorney, for the appellee (state).
DiPentima, C. J., and Elgo and Bear, Js.
defendant, Montrell Brown, appeals from the judgment of
conviction, rendered following a jury trial, of murder in
violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and criminal
possession of a firearm in violation of General Statutes
(Rev. to 2013) § 53a-217 (a) (1). The defendant claims
that the trial court erred by providing inadequate jury
instructions regarding eyewitness testimony and
identification reliability, although his counsel did not make
any request for such an instruction. Because the issue was
not raised or preserved at trial, the defendant requests that
this court reverse his convictions either pursuanttothe plain
error doctrine or by the exercise of our inherent supervisory
powers over the administration of justice. We affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
basis of the evidence presented at trial, the jury reasonably
could have found the following facts. Between 1 and 2 a.m. on
July 27, 2013, near the intersection of Albany Avenue and
Vine Street in Hartford, a group of people approached the
victim, Edmond Johnson, Jr. This group included two
individuals who were identified later as the defendant and
his brother, Trem-aine Jackson. The victim was shot multiple
times and subsequently died from his injuries. Although spent
shell casings, a bullet projectile, and live rounds were
found near the scene, no gun was recovered.
eyewitnesses to the shooting identified the defendant as the
perpetrator. The victim's mother, Elizabeth Johnson, also
identified and placed the defendant near the location of the
shooting shortly after it occurred.
Johnson testified that around 2 a.m. on July 27, 2013, she
was walking to pick the victim up near the Ave Super Deli
store, where he worked. She was talking to him on her
cellphone when she heard gunshots. She testified that as she
approached the intersection of Albany Avenue and Burton
Street, she saw two people who ‘‘looked like [the
defendant] and his brother'' walking past her on the
other side of the street. On cross-examination, she stated
that she did not know the defendant's name until after
she found out what had happened to the victim.
Reyes owned the Ave Super Deli store located at the
intersection of Albany Avenue and Vine Street. She testified,
under subpoena, that around 1 a.m. on July 27, 2013, the
victim had injured Jackson with a knife during an
altercation. At some point thereafter, Jackson went into her
store to wash his hands. The defendant came into the store
briefly as well and interacted with Reyes before leaving. She
testified that shortly before the shooting, she was in her
car about to pick up her mother when she witnessed the
defendant, Jackson, and two other individuals approach the
victim on the other side of the street from her store. She
witnessed the defendant, the only person she saw with a gun,
shoot the victim approximately six times. The following day
on July 28, 2013, Reyes submitted a written statement to the
Hartford Police Department. She also was given separate
photographic arrays from which she identified the defendant
as the shooter and identified Jackson as being with the
defendant when he shot the victim.
Chaney, the victim's half-brother, testified that he also
witnessed the shooting. He was in the parking lot of a store
at the intersection of Albany Avenue and Vine Street when he
heard and saw two or three individuals approach the victim.
He heard someone tell the victim to put down a knife and then
saw the defendant shoot the victim five times. Chaney also
identified the defendant from a police photographic array
approximately one month after the shooting. Chaney testified
that he knew the defendant as ‘‘Wolf''
but was not friendly with him. On cross-examination, Chaney
admitted that he was under the influence of marijuana on the
night of the shooting. Detective Christopher Reeder testified
that, approximately one month after the shooting, he had
shown Chaneya photo-graphic array containing Jackson's
photograph, but Chaney was unable to identify him.
Deneen Johnson also testified that she witnessed the
shooting. Immediately prior to the shooting, she saw the
victim walking along the other side of the street. She saw
the victim get into an argument with two individuals, one
with short hair and the other who was bald. The short-haired
individual had a gun and used it to shoot the victim.
Approximately one month later, Deneen Johnson gave a
statement to the police and identified the defendant and his
brother in separate police photographic arrays. She also
testified that she did not know the defendant and ...