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State v. Gomes

Appellate Court of Connecticut

September 24, 2019

STATE of Connecticut
v.
Wagner GOMES

         Argued March 5, 2019

Page 1064

          Lisa J. Steele, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).

         Timothy J. Sugrue, Rocky Hill, assistant state’s attorney, with whom, on the brief, were John C. Smriga, Bridgeport, and Margaret E. Kelley, state’s attorneys, for the appellee (state).

         Alvord, Moll and Bear, Js.

          OPINION

         ALVORD, J.

         [193 Conn.App. 80] The defendant, Wagner Gomes, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2).[1] On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court erred in omitting from [193 Conn.App. 81] its jury instruction his proposed sentence, "[h]owever, you may consider evidence of the

Page 1065

police investigation as it might relate to any weaknesses in the state’s case,"[2] and, in doing so, deprived him of his right to present a defense of investigative inadequacy.[3] We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         The jury reasonably could have found the following facts. In the early morning hours of September 12, 2015, the victim, Edilene Brandao, along with several other persons, including Raphael Morais,[4] attended a birthday party at the Brazilian Sports Club (club), located at 29 Federal Street, in Bridgeport. Shortly after arriving, the victim had one drink, and Morais went to the bar to get a drink for himself. Morais confronted the defendant’s girlfriend, who was at the bar, pushed her, and made offensive remarks to her. A fight then broke out inside [193 Conn.App. 82] the club between the defendant and Morais. Security guards intervened and separated them. The defendant was taken outside, and Morais was taken to the patio.

          The victim went to the patio with Morais. There was a fence at the back of the patio, and the victim had her back to that fence. The victim proceeded to ask Morais why he was fighting, and Morais responded, "it’s him." The victim then turned to face the fence and saw the defendant standing approximately two feet away from her, on the outside of the fence, with a bottle in his hand. The defendant then struck the victim on the fore-head with the bottle.

         The club’s owner, Demetrio Ayala, Jr., knew the defendant because he visited the club several times per month. Ayala observed the fight between the defendant and another person known to him as "Rafael."[5] Ayala, after hearing shouting on the patio, went to investigate and discovered that the victim was bleeding. Ayala then

Page 1066

went out the front door of the club in order to try to find the defendant, whom he saw in the parking lot running away from the club. Ayala subsequently called the police.

         Before the police arrived, the victim was transported to St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport by private car in the company of several persons who were in the club that night. She arrived at the hospital at about 12:30 a.m., where she was seen by a triage nurse and received treatment for the bleeding and ...


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