October 11, 2018
information charging the defendant with the crimes of assault
in the first degree, aggravated sexual assault of a minor,
risk of injury to a child and manslaughter in the first
degree, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial
district of Windham, geographical area number eleven, and
tried to the court, Swords, J.; judgment of guilty, from
which the defendant appealed to this court. Reversed in
part; judgment directed.
A. Barber, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).
Kathryn W. Bare, assistant state's attorney, with whom,
on the brief, were Patricia Froehlich, former state's
attorney, and Matthew Crockett, former senior assistant
state's attorney, for the appellee (state).
DiPentima, C. J., and Lavine and Moll, Js.
DIPENTIMA, C. J.
defendant, Carroll L. Bumgarner-Ramos, appeals from the
judgment of conviction, rendered after a court trial, of
assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes
§ 53a-59 (a) (3), aggravated sexual assault of a minor
in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-70c (a) (3)
and 53a-70 (a) (2), risk of injury to a child in violation of
General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), and manslaughter in
the first degree in violation of General Statutes §
53a-55 (a) (3). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1)
there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict
him of aggravated sexual assault of a minor and (2) his
conviction of both assault in the first degree and
manslaughter in the first degree violated the constitutional
guarantee against double jeopardy. We agree with the
defendant with regard to his double jeopardy claim and vacate
his conviction of assault in the first degree. We affirm the
judgment of the trial court in all other respects.
following facts are relevant to the defendant's claims on
appeal. The defendant met the victim's mother, Kim
(Kim), in 2009, when she was four months pregnant with N, the
victim. The two began a relationship, and, following the
birth of N in June, 2010, the defendant took on a paternal
role until his incarceration in August, 2011, at which time
the couple's relationship ended. Following his release,
the defendant reconciled with Kim in May, 2013, and, shortly
thereafter, Kim and N began to stay periodically at the
defendant's apartment in Willimantic.
11, 2013, Ronald Kelly, a pediatrician, performed a routine
medical examination of N, who was then three years old.
During the examination, Kelly observed ‘‘some big
bruises'' on the child's back that Kim was unable
to explain. The bruises were diagonal and similar to the
shape of three fingers on a person's hand. Kelly also
noted that N was acting unusual; ‘‘she was
throwing herself on the ground, [and acting] totally out of
control.'' Following the examination, Kelly, in
accordance with his responsibility as a mandatory reporter,
informed the Department of Children and Families (department)
that N had unexplained bruises.
department assigned a social worker, Rosiris Espejo, to
investigate the suspected abuse. Several days after Kelly had
informed the department, Espejo met with Kim at the residence
of N's grandmother. During their meeting, Espejo asked
Kim to name the people who were responsible for N's care.
She identified herself, the grandmother, and N's daycare
provider, Marion Snow. She did not mention the defendant or
the fact that N had often spent time at his apartment.
June24, 2013, Kim brought N to the grandmother's house.
When the grandmother saw N that day, she noticed that N had
‘‘black and blue'' bruises around her
eyes. Kim told her that the bruises were caused by a
fall. Later that day, when the grandmother
attempted to change N's diaper and to give her a bath, N
started screaming and jumped into her grandmother's arms.
N had never acted this way before and seemed scared, as
though ‘‘something came to her mind.''
days later, on June 26, 2013, Kim and N stayed at the
defendant's apartment. The defendant had rented a room in
the basement of a three-story house that was occupied by
several other individuals. When Kim and N stayed at the
apartment, Kim slept with the defendant on a mattress on the
floor, and N slept on a smaller mattress beside them. That
evening, Kim began to pack some of her belongings, intending
to leave with N and to go to the grandmother's house. The
defendant became angry, yelled at Kim and, in an effort to
prevent her from leaving, took her cell phone and car keys.
The defendant then went into the living room, just outside
the bedroom, and stayed there for most of the night while Kim
and N remained in the bedroom. At around midnight, the
defendant came back into the bedroom to sleep.
early morning hours of June 27, 2013, N started
‘‘fussing and crying and wouldn't settle
down.'' The defendant got out of bed, went over to
where N was sleeping, and repeatedly and forcefully poked her
in the stomach. While he was poking her, he yelled at her:
‘‘This is what you do to me. You're going to
keep me up? How do you like it?'' After he poked her
several times, N started to cry. Kim picked her up and
eventually comforted her back to sleep.
that morning, the defendant left to attend a therapy program
at Natchaug Hospital. A short while later, Kim and N woke up.
N did not seem to be in any apparent distress, and she ate
her breakfast without difficulty. Kim received a phone call
from the defendant asking her to come get him at Natchaug
Hospital because he felt sick and his therapist told him to
go home. After she picked him up and dropped him off at the
apartment, Kim went to the grandmother's house to get
some medicine. When she got back to the apartment, she took a
bath with N, during which she noticed bruising on the
child's chest in the area where the defendant had poked
her. At approximately 12:30 p.m., Kim left for work, leaving
N alone with the defendant.
she was at work, Kim and the defendant exchanged several text
messages. At 1:42 p.m., the defendant sent the following
message: ‘‘So far so good just brushed her hair
her bump is still a little swollen but it should be gone
soon!'' Then, six minutes later, he texted:
‘‘Hopefully her bump leaves soon! She's
behaving really well!!!'' At 1:52 p.m., Kim responded
to the second message: ‘‘Where is it?''
Five minutes later, the defendant answered: ‘‘I
feel shitty I can't breathe. The same swollen side that
[N] had. I noticed it when I brushed her hair, she's
doing good tho[ugh]!!!''
p.m., Kim texted the defendant: ‘‘You want me to
come get [N]?'' He responded immediately:
‘‘She's good! She's chilling, keeping me
company.'' After he had asked Kim when she would be
home, the defendant, at 2:31 p.m., texted: ‘‘She
is feisty!!!!'' Then, six minutes later, the
defendant wrote: ‘‘Should I give her medicine?
She worries me because that bump takes so long to go away.
It's like another came or something and the bruising too!
She should be ok!'' At 2:40 p.m., the defendant
texted: ‘‘She feels [warm] ma!'' Kim
responded at 2:41 p.m., with two separate messages:
‘‘The heater is on remember, [because you're]
sick, '' followed by: ‘‘So that is
prob[ably] why she feels warm.'' Approximately ten
minutes later, the defendant wrote: ‘‘Her head
still looks swollen should I put ice [on it]?'' Kim
responded: ‘‘Yes.'' The defendant then,
at 2:52 p.m., texted: ‘‘And her eye is like a
[little] swollen too. But she won't let me!'' He
then sent a text at 3:05 p.m., which read:
‘‘I'm putting ice [on it] now!''
Approximately twenty minutes later, the defendant wrote:
‘‘Put [N] in the [tub] to cool her off she's
defendant sent Kim a text at 4:05 p.m., in which he wrote:
‘‘[N] and I just puked.'' One minute
later, Kim responded: ‘‘You both puked?
Omg.'' Then, at 4:10 p.m., Kim asked:
‘‘Did you make it to the bathroom at
least?'' At 4:11 p.m., the defendant replied:
‘‘[N's] left eye is strai[ght] but the
[right] eye [is] still a [little] swollen, another couple of
days [and] she'll be good!!!'' Approximately ten
minutes later, Kim asked: ‘‘Is she okay? Did she
puke a lot?'' Immediately, the defendant answered:
‘‘[A little] bit.''
p.m., the defendant texted: ‘‘Ok, I think [N] is
getting better because her eye is all swollen!''
Then, five minutes later, he wrote: ‘‘[N] and I
took [a] hot bath!!!'' Approximately an hour later,
the defendant sent the following text: ‘‘Kim, I
can't take it. I'm in fucking pain!!!!!'' Kim
responded four minutes later: ‘‘Let's go to
the hospital. [I'll] drop [N] off at my
mom's.'' The defendant wrote back immediately:
‘‘Give it a [little] more. It's [my] fucking
throat.'' At 7:45 p.m., the defendant texted:
‘‘[Damn], I can't even eat my throat hurt[s]
that much!!!!!'' Four minutes later, Kim responded:
‘‘I don't want you to stop breathing I'm
an hour later, the defendant wrote: ‘‘[N] threw
up again!!!!! All over the bed!!!'' Then, a few
minutes later, he texted: ‘‘She's pale
I'm pale!!!! Wtf.'' Twenty minutes later, at 9
p.m., he wrote: ‘‘Hurry.'' One minute
later, Kim responded: ‘‘I think we need to go to
the emergency room.'' Immediately, the defendant
replied: ‘‘[N] has too many bruises.''
Later, at 9:23 p.m., the defendant wrote:
‘‘She's eating oranges [a]nd
talking.'' Four minutes later, he texted:
‘‘Now that I think about it that sh[it] look[s]
like Lyme [disease]!''
after 9 p.m., Kim arrived back at the defendant's
apartment. The defendant met her at the top of the stairs
leading to the basement and gave her money to buy Tylenol for
N. At this time, Kim did not go downstairs to check on N. She
drove to a local pharmacy, purchased Tylenol, and drove back
to the apartment. When she arrived back, she went downstairs
and found N lying on the defendant's mattress in the
bedroom. N was ‘‘badly bruised from head to toe,
'' and the mattress was covered in vomit. Kim noticed
that N was wearing a different outfit than the one she had
dressed her in before she left for work. Concerned that there
might be more injuries in addition to the ones she could see,
Kim undressed N and found a large mark on her stomach. To
Kim, it appeared as though something had bitten N. She
observed bruises and scratches on her feet and
‘‘marks all over her body, '' and her
head was swollen and bruised on the right side. Kim testified
that N felt cold and clammy, and that she noticed that the
child was having trouble breathing.
dressed N in fresh clothes and carried her outside to the car
to go to the hospital. As she put her in the car, Kim
realized that N had stopped breathing. Kim took her out of
the car and ran to the sidewalk in front of the apartment.
She put N on the ground and attempted to perform
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) but stopped when she
started to panic. Kim screamed for help, and, hearing her
cries, one of the defendant's roommates, Robert
Trevorrow, came outside to assist her. Trevorrow resumed CPR
while Kim dialed 911 and requested an ambulance. At some
point, the defendant joined Kim and Trevorrow outside on the
sidewalk and attempted to assist in the efforts to
resuscitate N. Whenthe ambulance arrived, Kim handed N to the
responding emergency personnel and joined them in the back of
the ambulance. The defendant, at some point, also entered the
rear of the ambulance; however, he was told to ride up front
with the driver in order to give more space to the treating
Reddy, a paramedic, arrived on scene at 10:23 p.m., shortly
after the ambulance. He entered the back of the ambulance and
observed that N had no pulse and was not breathing and that
emergency personnel had started to perform CPR. He also
noticed that N had bruises all over her body, including
bruising and swelling in the area around her right eye, and
that her abdomen appeared ‘‘distended''
and ‘‘rigid, '' which was unusual for a
three year old child. After being on scene for approximately
two minutes, the ambulance left for Windham Hospital and
arrived there approximately three minutes later.
Windham Hospital, N was transferred to the care of Max
Goldstein, a physician working in the emergency department
that evening. Goldstein observed that N had sustained
numerous injuries. He testified that bruises were scattered
diffusely throughout her body; she had what appeared to be
bite marks on her skin; there was trauma to her vaginal,
perineal, and anal areas, and ‘‘the vagina itself
had trauma''; and there was extensive swelling behind
her face. Goldstein and medical personnel continued
resuscitation efforts but ultimately were unsuccessful in
reviving N, who was pronounced dead at 11:15
of N's death, state police detectives from the eastern
district major crimes squad arrived at the hospital and
interviewed Kim and the defendant separately. During the
interview, the defendant claimed that N had been sick for a
couple of days and that she had been vomiting periodically
during this time. When asked about the bruises to N's
face and body, he said that she had rolled off her mattress
and hit her head on a baseboard heater several days earlier,
and that she had caused the other bruises to herself during a
temper tantrum. With regard to the specific events that took
place on June 27, 2013, the defendant stated that N was not
acting herself, ‘‘she was out of it, ''
and she was throwing up all day and crying a lot. He stated
that he gave her a bath at around 6 p.m., dressed her in new
clothes, and then watched a movie with her. Throughout the
interview, the defendant repeatedly denied hitting or abusing
N in any manner.
early morning hours of June 28, 2013, the defendant was
arrested in connection with N's death and transported to
Troop K in Colchester. After he read and waived his
Miranda rights, the defendant agreed to an
interview with detectives. During this interview, the
defendant expressed suicidal feelings and invoked his right
to counsel. The detectives stopped questioning him and told
him that if he wanted to speak with them again, he would have
to initiate the conversation. A short while later, the
defendant requested to speak with the detectives, and he
again read and waived his Miranda rights. The
defendant claimed, during this second interview, that he was
playing with N, swinging her around by her arms, and that she
hit her head on a metal pole in the middle of the bedroom.
Although he initially denied hitting her, after further
questioning, he admitted that he spanked her because she
would not stop crying. When asked about the injuries to
N's vaginal, perineal, and anal areas, he said he was
‘‘spanking the shit out of her there . . . on her
ass, '' ‘‘slapping [her] ass''
and that he ‘‘might'' have hit her ...