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State v. Bennett

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

February 19, 2019

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
CALVIN BENNETT

          Argued October 25, 2018

         Procedural History

         Substitute information charging the defendant with the crimes of aiding and abetting murder, felony murder, home invasion and burglary in the first degree, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Waterbury and tried to a three judge court, Cremins, Crawford and Schuman, Js.; judgment of guilty, from which the defendant appealed to our Supreme Court, which reversed the judgment in part and remanded the case for further proceedings; thereafter, the court, Fasano, J., denied the defendant's motion to correct an illegal sentence, and the defendant appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          W. Theodore Koch III, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).

          Linda Currie-Zeffiro, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Maureen Platt, state's attorney, and John Davenport, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

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

          OPINION

          HARPER, J.

         The defendant, Calvin Bennett, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant argues that the court improperly rejected his claim that his sentence for both burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (3)[1] and home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1)[2] violates his constitutional protection against double jeopardy. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         Our Supreme Court, in its opinion addressing the defendant's direct appeal, recited the following procedural history and facts relevant to this appeal. ‘‘The defendant . . . was charged with aiding and abetting murder in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-8 and 53a-54a, felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, home invasion in violation of General Statutes § 53a-100aa (a) (1), and burglary in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-101 (a) (3). The defendant elected a trial to a three judge court (panel). See General Statutes § 54-82. The panel, consisting of Cremins, Crawford and Schuman, Js., rendered a unanimous verdict of guilty on all of the charges except aiding and abetting murder, on which a majority of the panel found the defendant guilty, and thereafter rendered judgment in accordance with the verdict and imposed a total effective sentence of sixty years imprisonment. . . .

         ‘‘[The victim] James Caffrey lived in the second floor apartment of 323 Hill Street in Waterbury with his girlfriend Samantha Bright and one other roommate. James' mother, Emilia Caffrey, lived in the first floor apartment. In the late afternoon of Saturday, October 26, 2008 . . . Caffrey and Bright had five visitors, including Tamarius Maner, in their living room. Maner had a clear view of the bedroom from where he was seated in the living room. Maner purchased a small amount of marijuana from . . . Caffrey and paid him some money, which Caffrey putin the bedroom. Caffrey kept the marijuana in the bedroom. Caffrey remarked that he had saved $500 for a child that he was expecting with Bright.

         ‘‘At about that time, Maner and the defendant lived next door to each in other in Bridgeport and had done drug business together. Maner contacted the defendant by cell phone during the evening of Saturday, October 26. Shortly after midnight on Sunday, October 27, Maner and the defendant drove from Bridgeport to Waterbury to go to James Caffrey's apartment. They were carrying loaded handguns.

         ‘‘Just after 1 a.m., the doorbell to the second floor apartment at 323 Hill Street rang and Caffrey answered the door. A conversation of a few seconds with . . . Caffrey ensued. Maner then shot Caffrey in the face from a distance of one to three feet with a .45 caliber handgun. Caffrey fell in the hallway in a pool of blood and died from the gunshot wound to the head.

         ‘‘Maner and the defendant walked past Caffrey and into the bedroom. Then the defendant put a gun to Bright's head and asked: ‘Where is everything?' Bright understood the question to inquire about money and drugs. Bright referred them to the top dresser drawer. Maner opened it and threw its contents on the bedroom floor.

         ‘‘At about that time, they heard the screams of Emilia Caffrey, who had heard the shot and discovered her son lying in the second floor hallway. The defendant told Bright to keep her head down and face the wall. Maner and the defendant then ran into the kitchen, which Emilia Caffrey had also entered to call 911. Maner, who was standing at the ...


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