October 18, 2018
information charging the defendant with the crime of murder,
brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of New
Britain, where the court, Keegan, J., denied in part the
defendant's motion to preclude certain evidence;
thereafter, the matter was tried to the jury before Keegan,
J.; subsequently, the court denied the defendant's motion
for a mistrial; verdict and judgment of guilty; thereafter,
the court denied the defendant's motion for a judgment of
acquittal and the defendant's amended motion for a new
trial, and the defendant appealed. Affirmed.
Jennifer B. Smith, for the appellant (defendant).
A. Chiarenza, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on
the brief, were Brian Preleski, state's attorney, John H.
Malone, former supervisory assistant state's attorney,
and David Clifton, assistant state's attorney, for the
Alvord, Sheldon and Eveleigh, Js.
defendant, Alanna R. Carey, appeals from the judgment of
conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of murder in
violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a
On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the trial court
improperly admitted hearsay testimony, (2) the state engaged
in prosecutorial impropriety that deprived her of a fair
trial, and (3) the trial court's instruction on witness
credibility improperly misled the jury. We disagree and,
accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.
jury reasonably could have found the following facts. The
defendant and the victim, Edward Landry, began dating in May,
1999. Between 1999 and the victim's death in January,
2012, the defendant and the victim had a tumultuous
relationship. In 2008, the victim moved into the
defendant's house in Glastonbury, where the two lived
together until 2011. Many of those acquainted with the
defendant and the victim, including their relatives and
neighbors, described their relationship as volatile and
testified that the two often argued and fought.
December 12, 2011, the defendant's twin sister, Johanna
Carey-Lang, learned that the victim was having an affair with
Jodi D'Onofrio when she walked into the defendant's
home and found the victim and D'Onofrio together. That
same day, the victim called the defendant and informed her of
his infidelity. Nevertheless, later in the day, Carey-Lang
saw the defendant and the victim
‘‘cuddling'' on a couch in the
December 14, 2011, the victim moved out of the
defendant's house and moved to the Carrier Motor Lodge in
Newington (motel). On that day, the victim removed his
belongings from the defendant's house and left his keys
in the house, which, according to D'Onofrio, was an
attempt by the victim to communicate to the defendant that
their relationship was over. D'Onofrio also testified
that the victim told her that he did not want to be in a
relationship with the defendant any longer and that he hoped
the breakup would be amicable.
the victim moved to the motel, he and the defendant remained
in contact. Between December 15, 2011 and January 2, 2012,
the two exchanged over ninety-five phone calls and
twenty-five text messages. Additionally, the defendant and
the victim saw each other in person several times during that
December 18, 2011, the defendant checked into the motel and
rented a room close to the victim's. The defendant called
Carey-Lang from the motel room and asked her to set up a
three way phone call with the victim. D'Onofrio was with
the victim when he received the defendant's call.
According to D'Onofrio, the defendant asked the victim
whether he still loved her, to which the victim responded
that he loved D'Onofrio. The victim subsequently informed
his friend, Jessica Montano, of his interaction with the
defendant on December 18, 2011. According to Montano, the
victim recounted that the defendant begged him not to end
their relationship and that, as a result of this interaction,
the victim feared the defendant.
January 2, 2012, the defendant and Carey-Lang went to the
shooting range at Hoffman's Gun Center (gun center) in
Newington. Leon Brazalovich, Carey-Lang's boyfriend,
accompanied the sisters to the gun center, but did not shoot
while he was there. The defendant and Carey-Lang, both of
whom had gun permits, signed in at the front desk and
proceeded to shoot at the range for approximately thirty
minutes to an hour. The defendant used her gun, a pink .380
Ruger light pistol, to shoot. After the defendant and
Carey-Lang left the range, the defendant asked Brazalovich to
load ammunition she had just purchased at the gun center into
p.m., while the defendant was at the shooting range, she
received a call from the victim. After speaking to the
victim, the defendant told Carey-Lang that she planned to
bring him lunch at the motel. At around 2 p.m., the defendant
drove Carey-Lang and Brazalovich to Boston Market, where the
defendant ordered lunch. The defendant then drove to the
motel, where she got out of the car and went to the
victim's room, carrying the food and her purse, which
contained her gun.
forty-five minutes after the defendant arrived at the motel,
Carey-Lang sent the defendant a text message, informing her
that she and Brazalovich had finished lunch. The defendant
responded that she would like to spend another hour at the
motel, and Carey-Lang told her to call when she was ready to
be picked up.
hours later, at approximately 4:20 p.m., the defendant sent
Carey-Lang a text message, asking: ‘‘When will
you be here.'' Approximately one minute later, the
defendant again texted Carey-Lang, asking: ‘‘When
can you pick me up? After dance?'' Between 5:35 and
6:51 p.m., the following text message exchange took place:
‘‘[The Defendant]: How long before you get here
‘‘[Carey-Lang]: I [don't] know. Why
‘‘[The Defendant]: Because he is yelling and
‘‘[The Defendant]: He hate[s] me
‘‘[Carey-Lang]: What happened
‘‘[The Defendant]: How long before you get here
‘‘[Carey-Lang]: [I'm] at [Dani's] g
class. [Can't] leave
‘‘[Carey-Lang]: I [don't] know
‘‘[The Defendant]: How long?
‘‘[The Defendant]: ???
‘‘[The Defendant]: Hello. . . .
‘‘[Carey-Lang]: Just leaving
‘‘[The Defendant]: How long''
7:02 and 7:04 p.m., Carey-Lang sent the defendant text
messages instructing the defendant to meet her at an Aldi
market near the motel in five minutes. Approximately eight
minutes later, Carey-Lang sent the defendant a text message
stating that she was at Aldi. About eighteen minutes after
that, at approximately 7:30 p.m., the defendant called
Carey-Lang and asked her to come to the victim's room.
Sometime during the period in which the defendant and
Carey-Lang discussed meeting at Aldi, the defendant shot and
killed the victim.
Carey-Lang arrived at the motel, the defendant invited her
into the room and informed her that ‘‘[the
victim] came after [the defendant] with a knife, and that he
put a hit on [their] family, and he was going to take care of
[the defendant] himself.'' The victim's body was
on the floor when Carey-Lang entered the room, but she did
not recall seeing a knife near the victim. She checked the
victim's pulse and could not detect one. Carey-Lang then
instructed the defendant to call 911, but the defendant
refused to do so.
approximately 8 p.m., the defendant and Carey-Lang left the
motel room. The defendant took the shell casings, which she
placed in her pocket, with her purse, her cell phone, and the
bag of food from Boston Market. The two drove from the motel
directly to the home of their brother, Joseph Carey, in
the drive to Wethersfield, Carey-Lang continued to encourage
the defendant to call 911. Once they arrived in Wethersfield,
Carey-Lang and Joseph Carey urged ...