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State v. Brooks

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

November 12, 2019

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
ANTHONY E. BROOKS, JR.

          Argued September 18, 2019

         Procedural History

         Substitute information charging the defendant with the crimes of criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of ammunition, carrying a pistol without a permit, stealing a firearm, illegal receipt of a firearm, illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle and interfering with an officer, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Waterbury, geographical area number four, and tried to a jury before K. Murphy, J.; thereafter, the court granted the defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal as to the count alleging stealing a firearm; verdict and judgment of guilty, from which the defendant appealed to this court. Reversed in part; judgment directed.

          Judie Marshall, for the appellant (defendant).

          Rocco A. Chiarenza, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Maureen Platt, state's attorney, and David A. Gulick, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          Lavine, Devlin and Harper, Js.

          OPINION

          DEVLIN, J.

         The defendant, Anthony E. Brooks, Jr., appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of illegal receipt of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 29-33 (b).[1] On appeal, the defendant asserts that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction of that charge because the state did not prove when or how the defendant received the firearm. We disagree with the defendant's argument but conclude, for another reason, that there was insufficient evidence to support the defendant's conviction of illegal receipt of a firearm. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of conviction only on this count and remand this case with direction to vacate the conviction of this offense.[2]

         As relevant to this appeal, the jury reasonably could have found the following facts. On September 9, 2015, the police attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop of the defendant for his failure to obey a stop sign. After crashing his car and fleeing on foot, the defendant was confronted by the police and was seen tossing an object away from him. The police recovered the object, which proved to be a Remington Arms Model 1911 R1 .45 ACP handgun that had been reported stolen on July 27, 2012.

         Following a jury trial, the defendant was convicted on November 30, 2016 of, inter alia, illegal receipt of a firearm in violation of § 29-33 (b). The statute provides in relevant part: ‘‘[N]o person may purchase or receive any pistol or revolver unless such person holds a valid permit to carry a pistol or revolver . . . a valid permit to sell at retail a pistol or revolver . . . or a valid eligibility certificate . . . or is a federal marshal, parole officer or peace officer.'' General Statutes § 29-33 (b).[3] On appeal, the defendant argues that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction on this count. We agree.

         Although the parties disagree as to the precise meaning of the word ‘‘receive'' in § 29-33 (b), both agree that it means more than mere possession. At trial, the state proved that on September 9, 2015, when the defendant was found to be in possession of a firearm, he was disqualified from receiving a firearm because he was a convicted felon. The state, however, concedes that it did not prove that the defendant was disqualified at the time that he received the firearm, nor did it establish when the defendant came into possession of the firearm. The state, therefore, further concedes, and we agree after examining the record, that there was insufficient evidence to establish that the defendant violated § 29-33 (b).[4]

         The judgment is reversed only as to the conviction of illegal receipt of a firearm and the case is remanded with direction to vacate the defendant's conviction of that offense; the judgment is affirmed in all other respects.

         In this opinion the ...


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