September 19, 2019
from the Superior Court in the judicial district of
Fairfield, Comerford, J.
Ricks, self-represented, the appellant (defendant).
C. Lukban, senior assistant states attorney, with whom, on
the brief, were John C. Smriga, states attorney, and C.
Robert Satti, Jr., supervisory assistant states attorney,
for the appellee (state).
Moll and Norcott, Js.
Conn.App. 217] The defendant, Ronald Ricks, appeals from the
judgment of the trial court denying his motion to correct an
illegal sentence. On appeal, the defendant claims that the
trial court improperly concluded that he had breached his
initial plea agreement with the state and that his sentence
was not illegally imposed. Specifically, the defendant
asserts that due process requires the state to prove, by a
preponderance of evidence, that he was in breach of the
initial plea agreement before the state could enter a second
plea agreement. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
following facts and procedural history are relevant to this
appeal. On April 9, 1999, the state offered, and the
defendant accepted, a plea agreement in which the defendant
agreed to plead guilty to the charge of felony murder in
violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, for crimes committed
on December 12, 1997, and to testify truthfully in his
codefendants trial, or, in the alternative, if his
codefendant pleaded guilty without [194 Conn.App. 218] going
to trial, the state would recommend the mandatory minimum
sentence of twenty-five years of incarceration. The plea
agreement also contained the stipulation that if the
defendant refused to testify or did not testify truthfully,
the state would recommend a more substantial sentence. The
codefendant referred to in the plea agreement ultimately
pleaded guilty, without going to trial, on April 15, 1999.
before May 25, 1999, the defendant filed a grievance against
his original attorney for alleged misrepresentations and
requested that a new attorney be assigned to his case. At
about the same time, the defendant filed a motion to withdraw
his guilty plea, as he believed he was induced, by his
original attorney, to accept the initial plea agreement. When
the defendant filed the motion to withdraw, the prosecutor
forewarned the defendant that his sentence would likely be
increased, stating in relevant part, "Im quite
confident that if [the defendant] is successful in anything,
its going to be successful in, by the end of July, having
himself about [a] ten to fifteen more year sentence that he
already has secured for himself." Thereafter, the court
appointed a substitute assigned counsel for the remainder of
the defendants case.
June 18, 1999, the court held a sentencing hearing for the
defendant. At the hearing, the defendant, having had a
"change of heart," orally moved to withdraw his
motion to withdraw the guilty plea. The court permitted the
withdrawal of such motion. Immediately thereafter, the court
vacated the defendants initial plea. Subsequently, the
defendant pleaded guilty to felony murder. Accepting the
states recommendation, the court sentenced the defendant to
thirty years of incarceration, twenty-five of which is the
March 19, 2001, the defendant filed a petition for a writ of
habeas corpus alleging ineffective assistance [194 Conn.App.
219] of counsel, which was denied by the habeas court on June
28, 2004. Thereafter, the defendant filed a motion to correct
an illegal sentence with the trial court. A hearing on the
motion was held on December 13, 2017. Subsequently, the trial
court, Devlin, J., denied the motion on February 20,
2018. This appeal followed.
examination of the record on appeal and the briefs and
arguments of the parties persuades us that the judgment of
the trial court should be affirmed. The trial courts
memorandum of decision fully addresses the arguments raised
in the present appeal, and we adopt its concise and well
reasoned decision as a proper statement of the relevant facts
and applicable law on the issue. See State v. Ricks,
Superior Court, judicial district of Fairfield, Docket No.
CV-97-135273, 2018 WL 1460696 (February 20, 2018) (reprinted
at 194 Conn.App. 216, 221 A.3d 90). It serves no useful
purpose for us to repeat the ...