313 A.2d 84 (Conn.Cir.A.D. 1972), CR 18-6049, State v. Pope

Docket Nº:CR 18-6049.
Citation:313 A.2d 84, 6 Conn.Cir.Ct. 712
Opinion Judge:DEARINGTON, Judge.
Party Name:STATE of Connecticut v. Anthony G. POPE.
Attorney:Nicholas B. Eddy, Winsted, for the appellant (defendant). Frank R. Buonocore, Prosecuting Atty., for the appellee (state).
Judge Panel:In this opinion JACOBS and KINMONTH, JJ., concurred. DEARINGTON,
Case Date:December 08, 1972
Court:Circuit Court of Connecticut

Page 84

313 A.2d 84 (Conn.Cir.A.D. 1972)

6 Conn.Cir.Ct. 712

STATE of Connecticut

v.

Anthony G. POPE.

No. CR 18-6049.

Circuit Court of Connecticut, Appellate Division.

Dec. 8, 1972

Argued Nov. 6, 1972.

Nicholas B. Eddy, Winsted, for the appellant (defendant).

Frank R. Buonocore, Prosecuting Atty., for the appellee (state).

Page 85

DEARINGTON, Judge.

The defendant was convicted of the crime of negligent homicide in violation of § 14-218 1 of the General Statutes and has appealed.

[6 Conn.Cir.Ct. 713] The trial court concluded that the sole proximate cause of death was the negligent acts of the defendant in that he failed to keep a proper lookout for persons in and upon the highway; in that he operated his vehicle in such a manner as to endanger the life and limb of the decedent; in that he did not have his vehicle under proper control; and in that he operated his vehicle at a speed greater than was reasonable, having regard to width, traffic and use of the highway and weather conditions, in violation of § 14-219 (speeding). The court further concluded that the decedent and her two companions were clearly visible, since the area was well lighted and visibility was good. Thereupon, the court found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of violating § 14-218.

The defendant claimed that the court ignored the decedent's conduct, which, it is asserted, was a substantial factor and contributed to the accident. In short, it is argued that the conduct of the decedent constituted contributory negligence. Section 14-218 provided that '(a)ny person who, in consequence of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle upon the highways of this state, causes the loss of any human life' shall be subject to the penalty provided. The defendant contends that contributory negligence of a decedent in a negligent homicide case is a factor to be considered, and if such negligence is established it becomes a defense. Contributory negligence has been held to be no defense if a defendant's vehicle is operated in a grossly negligent or reckless manner. State v. Alterio, 154 Conn. 23, 29, 220 A.2d 451; State v. Campbell, 82 Conn. 671, 675, 74 A. 927. We have been unable to find a reported case in this jurisdiction holding [6 Conn.Cir.Ct. 714] that contributory negligence is a defense where one is charged with a violation of § 14-218, wherein the culpable standard is...

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