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State v. Marsan

Appellate Court of Connecticut

August 20, 2019

STATE of Connecticut

         Argued March 11, 2019

         Appeal from Superior Court, Judicial District of Fairfield, Holden, J.

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          James B. Streeto, senior assistant public defender, with whom was Declan J. Murray, former certified legal intern, for the appellant (defendant).

         Melissa Patterson, assistant state’s attorney, with whom, on the brief, were John C. Smriga, state’s attorney, and Richard L. Palumbo, Jr., senior assistant state’s attorney, for the appellee (state).

         Prescott, Elgo and Bishop, Js.


         ELGO, J.

         [192 Conn.App. 51] The defendant, Kris Marsan, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of one count of burglary in the third degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-103, and one count of larceny in the sixth degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-125b. On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) the evidence was insufficient to establish that she "unlawfully remained" on the victim’s property with respect to burglary in the third degree, and (2) the trial court improperly denied her motion to suppress statements she had made to police officers during an interview in her home without being provided with Miranda [1] warnings. We agree with the defendant’s first claim and, therefore, reverse in part the judgment of the trial court.

         On the basis of the evidence adduced at trial, the jury reasonably could have found the following facts. The defendant began working as a home aide for the widowed eighty-six year old victim, Eleanor Beliveau, [192 Conn.App. 52] in May, 2014. The defendant was hired to assist the victim with grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, and various other daily activities. The victim’s long-term insurance plan required that she first pay the defendant directly before seeking reimbursement from her insurer by submitting a form detailing the defendant’s work. At all relevant times, the victim’s son, Ronald Beliveau,[2] had power of attorney over his mother’s affairs and continued to assist with his mother’s finances.

          In January, 2015, the victim sustained serious injuries from a fall in her home. After her hospitalization, the victim subsequently began her rehabilitation at a facility for the elderly where she would remain

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until February 13, 2015. As a result, the defendant’s work hours were reduced. Nevertheless, she continued to perform tasks at the victim’s home and remained in frequent contact with Beliveau. The defendant, however, soon became concerned about the reduction in her hours. At first, she asked Beliveau to submit reimbursement request forms to the victim’s provider to frontload her hours so that she could be paid up front. Beliveau declined the offer, believing that to do so would amount to fraud. Frustrated with his answer, the defendant threatened to quit.

          From those conversations, Beliveau became suspicious of the defendant’s behavior and grew concerned about the valuables that remained in the victim’s vacant home. In late January, 2015, his suspicions intensified after he noticed both a discrepancy in the amount of money that the victim kept in an envelope for emergencies and missing jewelry from her dresser. That discovery prompted Beliveau to set up a hidden camera, known as a nanny cam, in the victim’s bedroom to capture a dresser containing an envelope with exactly $100 in twenty dollar bills.

         [192 Conn.App. 53] On January 30, 2015, the defendant entered the victim’s home and notified Beliveau that she intended to perform various chores. Later that same day, Beliveau and the defendant signed the required insurance form to provide to the victim’s insurance provider, which reflected that the defendant had worked from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. that day. The following day, Beliveau entered the victim’s home to check on the envelope of cash and immediately noticed that $40 was missing. Upon reviewing the nanny cam footage, Beliveau observed the defendant rummaging through the victim’s dressers and removing cash from both the envelope in question and a tin in a separate dresser drawer. With this evidence in hand, Beliveau filed a complaint with the Fairfield Police Department and provided the police with a copy of the video recording.

          On February 2, 2015, Detectives Jason Tackacs and Kevin McKeon visited the defendant’s house to discuss Beliveau’s complaint and the footage he had provided to them. When the defendant answered the door, the detectives asked whether she would be willing to speak about the complaint they had received. The defendant agreed and invited Tackacs and McKeon into her home. Upon entering, Tackacs, McKeon, and the defendant eventually made their way into her kitchen, where Tackacs played the recording to the defendant on a laptop computer. As Tackacs played the nanny cam footage, the defendant immediately identified herself as the person depicted in the victim’s bedroom removing money from the envelope and the tin, providing various explanations for doing so. Initially, the defendant explained that she was taking the money for the victim to use at the rehabilitation facility. After Tackacs dismissed her account, the defendant next claimed that she took the money because she was upset over not receiving a Christmas bonus. The defendant then offered a third explanation, stating that she was upset over her hours [192 Conn.App. 54] being cut as a result of the victim’s temporary stay at the rehabilitation facility.

          As the conversation progressed, the defendant admitted to taking jewelry from the victim’s home, including a pin, a necklace and a bracelet, but claimed to have returned the necklace and bracelet after feeling remorseful. When Tackacs asked whether the pin could be located, the defendant claimed to have sold it to a consignment shop that was owned by ...

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