October 25, 2018
petition for a writ of habeas corpus, brought to the Superior
Court in the judicial district of Tolland and tried to the
court, Oliver, J.; judgment denying the petition,
from which the petitioner, on the granting of certification,
appealed to this court. Affirmed.
Heather Clark, assigned counsel, for the appellant
R. Lockwood, senior assistant state's attorney, with
whom, on the brief, were Maureen Platt, state's attorney,
and Marc G. Ramia, senior assistant state's attorney, for
the appellee (respondent).
DiPentima, C. J., and Elgo and Harper, Js.
DiPENTIMA, C. J.
petitioner, Robert Buie, appeals from the judgment of the
habeas court denying his petition for a writ of habeas
corpus. On appeal, the petitioner claims that the court
improperly determined that he had received effective
assistance from his prior habeas counsel. We conclude that
the court properly determined that the petitioner failed to
establish prejudice as a result of the allegedly deficient
performance of his prior habeas counsel. Accordingly, we
affirm the judgment of the habeas court.
following facts and procedural history are relevant to our
decision. The petitioner was convicted of two counts of
aiding and abetting aggravated sexual assault in the first
degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-8
and 53a-7Oa (a) (1), and one count each of attempt to commit
aggravated sexual assault in the first degree in violation of
General Statutes §§ 53a-49 (a) (2) and 53a-7Oa (a)
(1), conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault in the
first degree in violation of General Statutes §§
53a-48 (a) and 53a-70a (a) (1), and burglary in the first
degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a)
(1). See State v. Buie, 129 Conn.App. 777, 779-80,
21 A.3d 550 (2011), affd, 312 Conn. 574, 94 A.3d 608 (2014).
During the criminal trial, attorney Errol Skyers represented
the petitioner. His conviction was upheld on appeal. See
the appeal process, the self-represented petitioner commenced
three separate habeas actions. These matters were
consolidated for trial, and attorney Paul Kraus was appointed
to represent the petitioner. At this habeas proceeding, the
petitioner claimed that Skyers had been ineffective by
failing (1) to call an alibi witness, (2) to question the
victim about contracting a sexually transmitted disease as a
result of the assault, (3) to offer expert testimony
regarding the state's use of DNA evidence, (4) to
challenge the chain of custody of the DNA evidence and (5) to
challenge the testimony regarding the residence of his
codefendant, Beverly Martin. The habeas court, Cobb,
J., denied the petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and
we dismissed the appeal from that judgment. See Buie v.
Commissioner of Correction, 151 Conn.App. 901, 93 A.3d
182, cert, denied, 314 Conn. 910, 100 A.3d 402 (2014).
December 5, 2013, the self-represented petitioner commenced
the present habeas action designated CV-14-4005884-S. He also
commenced another habeas action, designated CV-16-4007998-S.
The habeas court subsequently consolidated the two matters.
On July 6, 2016, the petitioner, now represented by counsel,
filed an amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus. He
alleged numerous instances of ineffective assistance against
Kraus, his first habeas counsel. The habeas court,
Oliver, J., conducted a trial on November 8 and 9,
2016; the only witnesses were the petitioner and Skyers.
11, 2017, Judge Oliver issued a thorough memorandum of
decision denying the petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
The court noted that the petitioner had "failed to
overcome the presumption of competent representation."
Additionally, it stated that he had not "demonstrated
prejudice from his counsel's alleged failures."
Finally, the court observed that because the petitioner had
failed to establish that Skyers had been constitutionally
ineffective, he failed to demonstrate that he received
ineffective assistance from Kraus.
habeas court subsequently granted the petition for
certification to appeal from the denial of his petition for a
writ of habeas corpus. This appeal followed. Additional facts
will be set forth as needed.
initial matter, we set forth the relevant legal principles
and our well-settled standard of review. "In a habeas
appeal, this court cannot disturb the underlying facts found
by the habeas court unless they are clearly erroneous, but
our review of whether the facts as found by the habeas court
constituted a violation of the ...