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State v. Mukhtaar

Appellate Court of Connecticut

December 24, 2019

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
ABDUL MUKHTAAR

         Argued September 24, 2019

         

          Appeal from the Superior Court in the judicial district of Fairfield, and tried to the jury before Gormley, J.; Devlin, J.,

         COUNSEL:

          Abdul Mukhtaar, self-represented, the appellant (defendant).

          Jennifer F. Miller, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were John Smriga, state's attorney, and Marc R. Durso, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          Judges: DiPentima, C. J., and Alvord and Flynn, Js.

         OPINION

Page 402

         [195 Conn.App. 2] PER CURIAM.

          The self-represented defendant, Abdul Mukhtaar, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his motion for a second sentence review hearing. The court dismissed the defendant's motion after finding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider the motion. We affirm the judgment of the court dismissing the defendant's motion.

          The following facts, taken from one of the defendant's prior appeals,[1] and procedural history are relevant to this appeal. " On February 14, 1996, the defendant shot and killed Terri Horeglad . . . . [The defendant] was arrested, charged and, following a jury trial, convicted of murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54a . On September 19, 1997, the trial court sentenced the defendant to fifty years imprisonment." State v. Mukhtaar, 179 Conn.App. 1, 3, 177 A.3d 1185 (2017). Subsequently, the defendant's sentence was reviewed by the [195 Conn.App. 3] sentence review division of the Superior Court, which concluded that the defendant's sentence was " neither inappropriate nor disproportionate" and, thus, affirmed it in 2003.

          On or about October 22, 2018, the defendant filed a motion with the Superior Court that was disconnected from any pending action to request a second sentence review hearing. In his motion, the defendant argued that an April, 2015 " psychological evaluation [that] determined that the defendant was not capable to aid and assist in his own defense [at] pretrial, [at] trial, and at sentencing" was " newly discovered evidence" that entitled him to a second sentence review hearing. On November 21, 2018, the court held argument on the defendant's motion. The defendant explained that he first made his request for a second sentence review hearing to the sentence review division, which informed the defendant that it lacked jurisdiction to grant the defendant's request and that he would have to make his request to the trial court. The court issued a memorandum of decision on November 28, 2018, in which it held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the defendant's motion and, accordingly, dismissed the motion.

          In its memorandum of decision, the court succinctly stated: " Under Connecticut law, a trial court is ordinarily without jurisdiction to modify a lawful sentence that a defendant has begun to serve. . . . The legislature, ...


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