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. Miller

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

December 18, 2018

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
OMAR MILLER

          Argued September 24, 2018

         Procedural History

         Substitute information charging the defendant with the crime of murder, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of New London, where the defendant was presented to the court, Stanley, J., on a plea of guilty; judgment of guilty in accordance with the plea; thereafter, the court, Strackbein, J., denied the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence, and the defendant appealed to this court; subsequently, the matter was transferred to our Supreme Court, which transferred the matter back to this court. Reversed; further proceedings.

          Kevin W. Munn, with whom, on the brief, was Michael W. Brown, for the appellant (defendant).

          Lawrence J. Tytla, supervisory assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, was Michael L. Regan, state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          Alvord, Prescott and Moll, Js.

          OPINION

          PRESCOTT, J.

         The defendant, Omar Miller, appeals from the trial court's denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The defendant claims on appeal that the court improperly denied his motion to correct an illegal sentence without first conducting a hearing on the merits of the motion. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the case for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.[1]

         The record reveals the following undisputed facts and procedural history, which are relevant to our resolution of this appeal. On September 27, 1991, the defendant pleaded guilty to murder, in violation of General Statutes (Rev. to 1991) § 53a-54a. The defendant was nineteen years of age when he committed the offense. After he entered his plea, but before he was sentenced, he escaped from the custody of the Commissioner of Correction. On November 6, 1991, the trial court, Stanley, J., sentenced the defendant, in absentia, to a thirty-five year term of incarceration. He remained at large until 1997, when he was apprehended in New York City and ultimately returned to Connecticut to begin serving his sentence.

         On June 2, 2016, the defendant filed a pro se motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Practice Book § 43-22.[2] The essence of the claim raised in the defendant's motion is that the thirty-five year sentence imposed on him by Judge Stanley violated article first, §§ 8 and 9, of our state constitution's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.[3] Specifically, the defendant asserted that, despite the fact that he was nineteen years old at the time he committed the offense, the court unconstitutionally failed to consider mitigating factors related to his young age, as it would be constitutionally required to had he committed the offense when he was less than eighteen years old.

         On June 30, 2016, the trial court, Strackbein, J., sua sponte denied the defendant's motion. Notice of the denial was sent to the defendant on July 5, 2016. On August 18, 2016, the defendant appealed from the denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence.[4]

         On September 1, 2016, in order to perfect his appeal, the defendant filed a motion requesting that the trial court comply with Practice Book § 64-1 by either filing a written memorandum of decision setting forth the factual and legal basis for denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence or by stating its decision orally in open court and then providing a signed copy of the transcript.[5] Upon receipt of the defendant's § 64-1 notice from the appellate clerk's office, the trial court ordered the parties to appear on September 29, 2016, for the purpose of orally stating its decision on the record. After doing so, the court signed a transcript of its oral decision and filed it with this court. Additional facts and procedural history will be set forth as necessary.

         The defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to correct an illegal sentence without first providing him an opportunity to be heard on the motion. The state claims that the court provided the defendant an adequate hearing on his motion at the September 29, 2016 proceeding. We agree with the defendant.

         We begin by setting forth our standard of review. Whether the court is required to hold a hearing prior to disposing of a motion to correct an illegal sentence presents a question of law subject to plenary review. See Green v. Commissioner of Correction, 184 Conn.App. 76, 82, 194 A.3d 857, cert. denied, 330 Conn. 933, 195 A.3d 383 (2018); State v. LaVoie, 158 Conn.App. 256, 268, 118 A.3d 708, cert. denied, 319 Conn. 929, 125 A.3d 203 (2015), cert. denied, U.S., 136 S.Ct. 1519, 194 L.Ed.2d 604 (2016). Furthermore, to the extent that we are called upon to construe our rules of practice, that process is ''governed by the same principles as those regulating statutory interpretation. . . . The interpretation and application of a statute, and thus a ...


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.