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. Vasquez

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

December 17, 2019

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
RUBEN VASQUEZ

          Argued September 24, 2019

         Procedural History

         Application for discharge from the jurisdiction of the psychiatric security review board, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Hartford and tried to the court, D'Addabbo, J.; judgment dismissing the application, from which the acquittee appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          Monte P. Radler, public defender, with whom was Richard E. Condon, Jr., senior assistant public defender, for the appellant (acquittee).

          Sarah Hanna, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Gail P. Hardy, state's attorney, Vicki Melchiorre, supervisory assistant state's attorney, and Adam B. Scott, supervisory assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          Bright, Moll and Bishop, Js.

          OPINION

          BISHOP, J.

         The acquittee, [1] Ruben Vasquez, appeals from the judgment of the trial court denying his application for discharge from the jurisdiction of the Psychiatric Security Review Board (board).[2] On appeal, the acquittee claims that the court erred in denying his application for discharge because the diagnoses attributed to him-cannabis induced psychotic episode, an acute intoxication now in full remission; cannabis use disorder in remission in a controlled environment; and alcohol use disorder in remission in a controlled environment-are not considered mental illnesses and, thus, do not constitute psychiatric disabilities under General Statutes §§ 17a-580 through 17a-602 (board statutes). We affirm the judgment of the court.

         The following facts and procedural history are relevant to our analysis. ‘‘[On July 14, 2009, the acquittee] . . . randomly attack[ed] five young individuals, with a four foot six inch [one by four] hard yellow pine pressure treated board. Two of the young individuals attacked were a three and one year old child. While being taken into custody, [the acquittee] physically attacked a police officer.''

         The acquittee was charged with four counts of assault in the second degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-60 (a) (2), two counts of risk of injury to a child in violation of General Statutes § 53-21 (a) (1), four counts of criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-49 and 53a-50 (a) (1), and two counts of assault of a peace officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167c (a) (1).[3] On June 7, 2011, the acquittee was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect pursuant to General Statutes § 53a-13.[4] On August 8, 2011, the court, Randolph, J., committed the acquittee to the jurisdiction of the board and ordered that he be confined at Dutcher Service on the campus of the Connecticut Valley Hospital for a period not to exceed fifteen years.

         On July 25, 2017, in accordance with § 17a-593 (a), the acquittee filed an application with the court seeking discharge from the jurisdiction of the board. The court forwarded the application to the board, which held a hearing on September 15, 2017, pursuant to General Statutes § 17a-593 (d). On October 26, 2017, the board filed its report with the court recommending that the acquittee not be discharged because ‘‘[a]lthough [the acquittee's] psychotic symptoms have not been active since his commitment to the [b]oard, he has repeatedly demonstrated poor judgment, impulsivity, deceitfulness and rule breaking behavior. He has disregarded the rules and protocols in a hospital setting, thereby jeopardizing the [t]emporary [l]eave that would have permitted [the acquittee] to transition to the community. [The acquittee's] treatment team has recommended he con- sider medication to assist with some of his problematic behaviors, but he has declined the recommendation.''

         In addition, in its report filed with the court, the board discussed the acquittee's risk factors, stating that ‘‘[a] significant risk factor for [the acquittee] remains his history of substance use. As testimony indicated, a substance use relapse would increase [the acquittee's] risk for a re-emergence of his psychotic symptoms. Testimony noted that stress has the potential to exacerbate [the acquittee's] risk of relapse. If discharged from the jurisdiction of the [b]oard, [the acquittee] would return to the community without an established support network. Given that [the acquittee's] psychotic symptoms are intimately tied to his substance use, and [that the acquittee] failed to conform his behavior appropriately in a supervised inpatient setting, the [b]oard finds that [the acquittee's] risk for a substance abuse relapse in a nonsupervised setting without an established community support network is significant. Therefore, the [b]oard finds that [the acquittee] cannot reside safely in the community without [b]oard oversight and should remain under the supervision and jurisdiction of the [b]oard.''

         On May 29, 2018, after receiving the report, the court, D'Addabbo, J., held a hearing on the acquittee's application for discharge pursuant to § 17a-593 (f). The court heard testimony from the following individuals: Maya Prabhu, M.D., consultant to the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services; the acquittee; and Larry Spencer of the Capitol Region Mental Health Center. The court concluded the evidentiary portion of the hearing on May 29, 2018, and heard arguments from the parties' respective counsel on June 18, 2018.

         On July 27, 2018, the court issued a memorandum of decision denying the acquittee's application for discharge, concluding that, on the basis of the evidence presented at the May 29, 2018 hearing, the acquittee has ‘‘psychiatric disabilities'' and ‘‘if . . . released from the [b]oard's supervision entirely . . . would . . . present a ...


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.