Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Villar

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

December 17, 2019

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
JEFFREY VILLAR

          Argued October 16, 2019

         Procedural History

         Substitute information charging the defendant with the crimes of unlawful discharge of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit and risk of injury to a child, and with two counts of the crime of reckless endangerment in the first degree, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Waterbury and tried to the jury before Harmon, J.; verdict and judgment of guilty of unlawful discharge of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, risk of injury to a child and reckless endangerment in the first degree, from which the defendant appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          Justine F. Miller, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).

          Brett R. Aiello, special deputy 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).

          Alvord, Devlin and Norcott, Js.

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         The defendant, Jeffrey Villar, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of unlawful discharge of a firearm in violation of General Statutes § 53-203, carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a), reckless endangerment in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-63 (a), and risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1). He claims that there was insufficient evidence for the jury to have found him guilty of those crimes because (1) the state did not present sufficient evidence to prove that he fired the gunshot at issue and the complainant had an interest in seeing the defendant convicted, and (2) the only witness who testified to the defendant's firing the shot was a codefendant who had an interest in seeing the defendant convicted. We conclude that there was sufficient evidence for the jury to reasonably find the defendant guilty of the charged crimes and, therefore, affirm the trial court's judgment.

         The following facts reasonably could have been found by the jury and are relevant to the resolution of this appeal. On September 7, 2015, Waterbury police officers responded to a report of shots being fired on a residential street in Waterbury. They were advised that three males were seen leaving the area where the shots were fired. On their way to the scene, the officers had driven past three males but did not approach them. When the officers arrived at the scene, they questioned the complainant, Nathan Burk, who told them that three males-two Hispanic males and one white male-had been at his home, and that he had gotten into a fight with them. Burk told the officers that one of the individuals drew a gun and fired into his home. The officers observed a shell casing in Burk's yard and a small hole in the screen of Burk's window.

         Subsequently, two officers went in search of the three males they had passed earlier, who matched Burk's description, and eventually apprehended them. The three males would be later identified as the defendant, Brandon Medina, and Tommy.[1] After the officers apprehended him, Medina disclosed that he had a weapon, and the officers found a firearm in his possession. Burk subsequently identified the defendant as the individual with whom he had fought and who had fired a gun into his home.

         At trial, Burk testified to the following facts. On the date of the incident, he lived in Waterbury with his girlfriend and her five year old daughter, C.[2] At approximately noon, the defendant contacted Burk to purchase marijuana. Burk previously had sold marijuana to the defendant approximately ten times. The defendant arrived at Burk's home with two friends, Medina and Tommy, and all three appeared to be intoxicated. Once the defendant completed the marijuana transaction, he asked Burk for a ride to buy a new tire because the car the defendant was driving had a flat tire. Burk agreed to give the defendant a ride, but they were ultimately unsuccessful in purchasing the tire. They then returned to Burk's home; while outside, the defendant approached Burk, showed him a silver pistol, and asked him if he wanted to buy it, and Burk declined.

         Shortly thereafter, the defendant and Tommy got into an argument, which escalated to the two shoving each other. This altercation worried Burk, who then called his sister to see if he could bring C over to her home; when she agreed, he got C and left the premises. When he and C returned to the home a few hours later, the defendant and his friends were not present. At around 7 p.m., however, Burk noticed that they had returned outside and were even more intoxicated than before. He went outside and told the defendant that he had called a friend, Moses, [3] to assist with the flat tire. Moses arrived, but he left soon thereafter to retrieve a tire. The defendant and his friends then knocked on Burk's door and told him that Moses had left with their money. After a telephone call with Moses, Burk assured the defendant that Moses was returning.

         Later that evening, Burk saw that the defendant and his friends remained outside with the unrepaired vehicle. He noticed that Tommy was in a neighbor's yard and asked the defendant if Tommy was urinating. Burk then noticed a shift in the defendant's demeanor. Specifically, the defendant became angry, approached Burk, and stopped about a foot from his face. Feeling threatened, Burk told the defendant that he was going back inside his home. As he walked toward his home, the defendant followed him and attempted to punch him. Burk responded by punching the defendant, causing him to stumble backward.

         The defendant then reached into his waistband. Believing that he was about to be shot, Burk ran into his home, locked the door, and braced it with his body. Outside Burk's home, the defendant began yelling and banging on the door. This prompted Burk to call 911 on his cell phone. The defendant then stepped off Burk's porch, pulled a pistol from his waistband, and fired a shot into Burk's first floor living room window. Burk heard the shot while he was on the phone with the 911 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.