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State v. Walcott

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

September 18, 2018


          Argued April 10, 2018

         Procedural History

         Substitute information charging the defendant with violation of probation, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Hartford and tried to the court, Hon. John F. Mulcahy, Jr., judge trial referee; judgment revoking the defendant's probation, from which the defendant appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          Dana H. Sanetti, assistant public defender, for the appellant (defendant).

          James A. Killen, senior assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Gail P. Hardy, state's attorney, and Richard J. Rubino, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          DiPentima, C. J., and Alvord and Bear, Js.


          ALVORD, J.

         The defendant, Ijahmon Walcott, appeals from the judgment of the trial court revoking his probation and imposing a sentence of thirteen years incarceration, execution suspended after four years, with three years of probation. On appeal, the defendant claims that the court abused its discretion by relying on unproven facts when it revoked his probation and sentenced him during the dispositional phase of the violation of probation proceeding. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         The following facts and procedural history are relevant to our resolution of this appeal. On September 9, 2005, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count of assault in the first degree, in violation of General Statutes § 53a-59 (a) (3), and one count of carrying a pistol without a permit, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 2003) § 29-35 (a). The two convictions arose from an incident that occurred on November 10, 2003, when the defendant was fifteen years old and shot a woman in the chest. The court imposed a total effective sentence of twenty-five years incarceration, suspended after twelve years, followed by five years of probation. In addition to the standard conditions of probation, the sentencing court imposed special conditions of probation. The defendant was released from incarceration on October 20, 2014, and his probationary period commenced.

         The standard and special conditions of his probation required, inter alia, the defendant to submit to random urine testing and mental health evaluation and/or treatment, not possess any drugs and/or narcotics, and ‘‘not violate any criminal law of the United States, this state or any other state or territory.'' On October 23, 2014, the defendant signed the conditions of probation form, acknowledging that he read the form, and that he understood the conditions and would abide by them.

         On December 7, 2015, the defendant, who was still on probation, was arrested and subsequently charged with, inter alia, criminal possession of a revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c, and possession of a controlled substance in violation of General Statutes § 21a-279 (a) (1). Thereafter, on March 31, 2016, he was charged with violating the conditions of his probation in violation of General Statutes § 53a-32.

         The record reveals that the following events led to the defendant's arrest on December 7, 2015. Officer Robert Fogg, a member of the shooting task force for the Hartford Police Department, testified that he was conducting surveillance in the vicinity of 80 Cabot Street in Hartford on December 7, 2015. He was accompanied by Detective Brian Connaughton from the Windsor Police Department. They were dressed in plain clothes and sat in an unmarked truck preparing to execute an arrest warrant for Antonio Keane and a search warrant for 80 Cabot Street. Although the defendant was not the target of the search warrant, Fogg and Connaughton observed the defendant leave through the front door of 80 Cabot Street and lock the door behind him with a key. Fogg and Connaughton drove closer to the defendant, determined that he was not Keane, and continued to observe 80 Cabot Street.

         The defendant walked past the officers' truck multiple times, and Fogg and Connaughton, believing that the defendant had identified them as police officers, called upon other officers to continue the surveillance of 80 Cabot Street before they left the area. Later that day, officers saw Keane leaving 80 Cabot Street, and took him into custody while other members of the shooting task force secured the house. Fogg and Connaughton returned to 80 Cabot Street with the search warrant, and they joined the other officers. Keane did not have a key on his person, and the officers had to break down the door in order to execute the search warrant.

         The officers searched the apartment that is located on the second and third floors, which has two bedrooms on each floor. In one of the bedrooms on the second floor, which Fogg identified as Keane's bedroom, the officers found plastic bags next to a glass container, which contained a razor blade and a digital scale; there was a white residue on the razor blade, scale, and container. In the drawer of a nightstand in Keane's bedroom, the officers found a plate containing a white, rock-like substance, another razor blade, and a second digital scale. Officers also found several individually packaged pieces of a ...

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