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State v. Euclides L.

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

April 9, 2019

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
EUCLIDES L.[*]

          Argued January 15, 2019

         Procedural History

         Substitute information charging the defendant with the crime of risk of injury to a child, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Tolland and tried to the jury before Graham, J.; verdict and judgment of guilty, from which the defendant appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          Robert L. O'Brien, assigned counsel, with whom, on the brief, was William A. Adsit, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).

          Nancy L. Walker, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Matthew C. Gedansky, state's attorney, and Elizabeth C. Leaming, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          Alvord, Prescott and Eveleigh, Js.

          OPINION

          EVELEIGH, J.

         The defendant, Euclides L., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1).[1] On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court violated his constitutional rights by failing to instruct the jury that it should acquit the defendant if it concluded that his use of force in caring for his daughter, V, was an accident. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         The jury reasonably could have found the following facts. The defendant and J have one child together, V. From October, 2014, to January 9, 2015, the defendant, J and V lived together in an apartment in Vernon. During this time, the defendant and J were V's primary care-givers.

         On January 9, 2015, V, who was four months old at the time, was fussy because she was suffering from a cold and had received vaccinations two days earlier. At approximately 9:30 p.m., the defendant and J took V upstairs to put her to bed. While the defendant prepared V for bed, J was downstairs, although she periodically came upstairs to check on the defendant and the child. At approximately 11:10 p.m., after V fell asleep, the defendant joined J downstairs.

         After spending ‘‘about a minute [downstairs] . . . [the defendant] asked J if [he] should wake [V] up and feed her because she didn't eat before bed.'' After J agreed that they should try to feed V, the defendant ‘‘grabbed [V's] bottle and went upstairs and [woke] her up.'' When the defendant woke V, the child began to cry hysterically. Because V was congested and ‘‘mucous was coming out of her nose in bubbles, '' the defendant tried to suction mucous out of her nose using a plastic bulb syringe. V wiggled and resisted the defendant so the defendant ‘‘grabbed her face.'' This episode lasted approximately a minute to a minute and a half.

         J, who was downstairs while the defendant attempted to suction V's nose, heard V crying and went upstairs to check on the defendant and the child. As J approached the room in which the defendant was tending to V, she heard a muffled cry. When J entered the room, she saw that there was blood around V's nose and that the child's skin was blue in color. J believed that V needed oxygen and feared that this was a side effect of the vaccinations V had received two days earlier.[2]

         J and the defendant immediately drove V to Rockville General Hospital (hospital). They arrived at the hospital at approximately 11:30 p.m. While the defendant parked the car, J ran into the hospital carrying V in her arms. J told the hospital staff that V was turning blue and needed oxygen. V was crying when she arrived, but stopped after being comforted by hospital staff.

         Danielle Mailloux, a physician employed at the hospital, attended to V. Mailloux observed a red mark under the child's nose and a purple round mark that was approximately two centimeters in diameter on her left cheek. During the first two hours that V was at the hospital, this mark grew in size and two additional marks developed on the ...


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