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State v. Brown

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

November 6, 2018

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
CLEVELAND BROWN

          Argued September 17, 2018

         Procedural History

         Information charging the defendant with the crimes of murder, felony murder, attempt to commit robbery in the first degree, criminal possession of a firearm;, and carrying a pistol without a permit, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Hartford; thereafter, the defendant elected a court trial as to the charge of criminal possession of a firearm; subsequently, the state entered a nolle persequi as to that charge; thereafter, the remaining charges were tried to the jury before Dewey, J.; verdict and judgment of guilty of murder and carrying a pistol without a permit, from which the defendant appealed. Affirmed.

          Stephanie L. Evans, for the appellant (defendant).

          Jennifer F. Miller, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Gail P. Hardy, state's attorney, and Chris A. Pelosi, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          DiPentima, C. J., and Elgo and Norcott, Js.

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         The defendant, Cleveland Brown, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a (a) and carrying a pistol without permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal he claims that the trial court failed to ensure that the trial transcript reflected each individual juror's oral concurrence with the jury verdict. Specifically, the defendant argues that Practice Book § 42-29, which provides that ‘‘the verdict shall be . . . announced by the jury in open court, '' requires that all jurors orally concur with the verdict, and that the trial court's failure to ensure that this procedure was transcribed on the record violated his state and federal constitutional due process rights. In response, the state argues that the record is inadequate for review. We agree with the state that we have an inadequate record for review in the present case.[1] Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         The following facts and procedural history are relevant to the defendant's appeal. The defendant was tried before a jury on a four count information charging him with murder in violation of § 53a-54a (a), felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, attempt to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-134 (a), and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of § 29-35 (a).[2] The jury initially announced its verdict in the absence of the court monitor and, therefore, it was not transcribed. Once the court monitor was present, the court instructed the jury foreperson to reiterate the verdict. The following colloquy took place:

‘‘The Court: Are you ready. All right. I'm going to note for the record that the verdict was already announced by the jurors. Unfortunately, the monitor was not here-was not called. So for the record all of the juror's names were called out. All of the jurors indicated they are present. The only portion that you're going to reread is the actual verdict itself the questions. All right. If the foreperson could please stand. Thank you. All right. Do it again.
‘‘The Clerk: Madam Foreperson, has the jury reached a verdict in the case of the state of Connecticut versus Cleveland Brown, docket number HHD-CR14-0676472T, please answer yes or no.
‘‘Madam Foreperson: Yes.
‘‘The Clerk: Will defendant, Cleveland Brown, please rise and remain standing.
‘‘Madam Foreperson, in the first count charging the defendant with the crime of murder in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-54a (a), do you ...

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