State v. Reddick

Decision Date28 December 1993
CourtConnecticut Court of Appeals
PartiesSTATE of Connecticut v. Michael C. REDDICK. 10500.

Paul M. Vogt, Sp. Public Defender, with whom, on the brief, were Sally S. King and Matthew J. Cholewa, Sp. Public Defenders, for the appellant (defendant).

Frederick W. Fawcett, Asst. State's Atty., with whom, on the brief, were Donald A. Browne, State's Atty., and C. Robert Satti, Jr., Asst. State's Atty., for the appellee (state).


HEIMAN, Judge.

The defendant appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes § 53a-134(a)(4). 1

On appeal the defendant asserts that the trial court improperly (1) allowed into evidence an impermissively suggestive in-court identification of the defendant, (2) refused to order the state to produce the transcript of testimony given by a witness in a prior prosecution involving this defendant in a different judicial district, (3) permitted the jury, on the issue of identity, to consider evidence of the defendant's involvement in another bank robbery, (4) admitted into evidence, as an indication of consciousness of guilt, the fact of the defendant's flight, (5) denied his motion for acquittal made at the completion of all of the evidence, (6) conducted itself in such a manner, throughout the trial, so as to deny the defendant his constitutionally guaranteed right to due process of law, and (7) restricted the cross-examination of a witness, thus preventing him from eliciting evidence of the bias or prejudice of the witness. The defendant further asserts that the aggregate effect of the trial court's improper actions "deprived [him] of his right to a fair trial" and was not harmless error. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The jury could reasonably have found the following facts. On January 24, 1990, at about 1:15 p.m., two black males entered a Connecticut National Bank branch at 1334 Main Street in Stratford. When they entered the bank, there were no customers on the premises. One of the men was in his early twenties, about six feet in height and weighed about 150 pounds. His face was long and oval, and he had some hair on the sides of his cheeks and a light complexion. The second was older, about five foot seven or eight inches tall, and weighed about 180 pounds. He had pudgy cheeks and acne scars. He had darker skin than the other individual.

The shorter man approached Patricia Baptist, who was employed as a teller, and asked whether the bank had savings incentives for college. At that time, the taller man stood behind and to the left of the shorter male. In response to the question, Baptist indicated that the man would have to speak with a bank officer at the front of the lobby and pointed to the area where the officers' desks were located. Both men left the area of the tellers' station and walked in the direction that had been indicated by Baptist. Shortly thereafter, they returned to the tellers' station and the shorter man again asked Baptist about the existence of savings incentives for college. She again referred them to the officers' platform and both men left the area of the tellers' station, again going toward the officers' platform.

The two men again approached Baptist and this time the shorter man asked Baptist a question relating to savings and bonds for college tuition. At that point, the men stood next to each other at her station. She told him that the bank offered something like that but that he would still have to talk with one of the officers. The shorter man stepped aside and said to the taller man, "Why don't you do your business here?" The taller man moved directly in front of Baptist and said, "This is a robbery." Baptist saw that he was holding a silver colored gun in front of his chest with his right hand.

Baptist unlocked her money drawer and pulled a packet of "bait money" 2 that activated a silent alarm. She proceeded to hand loose bills to the taller man. The shorter man stepped up next to the taller man, looked at the money and said that he wanted fifties and hundreds. Baptist then proceeded to hand the shorter man $500 in strapped $1 bills. He dropped the packet back over the counter, again stating that he wanted fifties and hundreds. Warning Baptist that they did not want any smoke bombs or alarms, the two men left the bank. Baptist reported what had occurred and the police and Federal Bureau of Investigation were notified of the robbery.

On the day of the robbery, Baptist examined a number of mug shots at the Stratford police station but was unable to identify anyone as the bank robbers. On January 31, 1990, the police showed Baptist an array of photographs from which she identified both men. The photograph of the shorter man was that of the defendant, while the photograph of the taller man was that of Edward Singer.

On February 7, 1990, West Haven police went to the defendant's residence to arrest him for another bank robbery in West Haven committed one hour before the Stratford robbery. At the time of that arrest, the defendant attempted to flee. At the time of the attempted flight, the police had not yet advised the defendant of the crime for which they attempted to make the arrest.

The jury returned a verdict of guilty and the defendant filed motions for judgment of acquittal and for a new trial, both of which were denied by the trial court. This appeal followed.


The defendant first asserts that the trial court improperly permitted Baptist to make an in-court identification of the defendant. The following additional facts are necessary to a proper resolution of this claim.

At trial, during June, 1991, the prosecutor asked Baptist to look around the courtroom and see whether she recognized anyone as having been in the bank on January 24, 1990. She indicated that she could not really tell. 3 She further testified that the police showed her photographs at the police station on the day of the robbery and she was unable to identify the robbers from among the photographs. She also stated that on January 31, 1990, a detective brought a photographic array to her place of employment. On that day, she identified one of the photographs as that of the defendant. She further identified a series of photographs, taken by the surveillance cameras at the bank on the day of the robbery, that showed her and the two robbers. The state requested that the court require the defendant to approach the witness stand for the purpose of asking the witness about the defendant's physical characteristics. The defendant stated that he had no objection to that procedure. In the absence of the jury, the trial court instructed the sheriff to remove the defendant's leg irons and his glasses, "because [the state was] asking him to appear the way he appeared that day." Baptist told the jury that the shape of the defendant's head, his cheeks and nose were similar to those of the robber, and that his height and weight were similar. She also testified that his face was similar to the face of the shorter robber. The prosecution finally asked whether she could then say that it was the defendant that she saw on January 24, 1990. Over the defendant's objection that the question had been asked and answered, she responded that the defendant was the person that she saw in the bank.

The defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion in allowing Baptist to make her in-court identification of the defendant, and violated his constitutional rights. 4 The defendant claims that (1) Baptist had already indicated her inability to identify him, (2) she identified the defendant while holding the photographic array, which suggested to her the identity of the defendant, and (3) the trial court's statement, in the absence of the jury, "because you are asking him to appear as he appeared that day," indicated to the witness that the trial court believed the defendant was one of the robbers. We are unpersuaded. 5

The defendant neither moved to strike the evidence of which he now complains, nor objected to the in-court identification other than on the ground that the question had been asked and answered. "We review evidentiary rulings solely on the ground on which the party's objection is based." State v. Ulen, 31 Conn.App. 20, 27, 623 A.2d 70, cert. denied, 226 Conn. 905, 625 A.2d 1378 (1993); State v. Baldwin, 224 Conn. 347, 362, 618 A.2d 513 (1993); State v. Dukes, 29 Conn.App. 409, 416, 616 A.2d 800 (1992), cert. denied, 224 Conn. 928, 619 A.2d 851 (1993).

Under our law, the trial court is vested with wide and liberal discretion in determining the admissibility of evidence claimed to be repetitious, remote or irrelevant. See State v. Devanney, 12 Conn.App. 288, 291, 530 A.2d 650 (1987). "On appeal, we are limited in our review to a determination of whether, under the circumstances of the case, the trial court, in exercising its broad discretion, could legally act as it did, and we will not intervene unless there is a clear abuse of the court's discretion." Id. Our examination of the record fails to disclose any abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court. The record reveals that the witness answered the original question, whether she could identify anyone in the courtroom as having been involved in the robbery, by saying that she could not really tell. After she had reviewed the surveillance photographs and the photographic array that she had previously seen, and after examining the defendant close up without his glasses, she then testified that she was able to identify the defendant as one of the perpetrators of the bank robbery. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in overruling the defendant's objection on the ground claimed by the defendant.

As a second string to his bow, the defendant asserts that the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
47 cases
  • State v. Haggood
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • 7 d2 Fevereiro d2 1995
    ... ... See, e.g., State v. Holloway, 209 Conn. 636, 651, 553 A.2d 166, cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1071, 109 S.Ct. 2078, 104 L.Ed.2d 643 (1989); State v. Reddick, 33 Conn.App. 311, 330, 635 A.2d 848 ... Page 222 ... (1993), cert. denied, 228 Conn. 924, 638 A.2d 38 (1994) ...         "Viewing the cumulative effect of the evidence as a whole, and giving due weight to all the considerations urged upon us by the defendant, we are persuaded that ... ...
  • Hinds v. Comm'r of Corr.
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 26 d2 Abril d2 2016
    ...supra, 151 Conn.App. at 860, 97 A.3d 986, citing State v. Samuels, 273 Conn. 541, 562, 871 A.2d 1005 (2005), and State v. Reddick, 33 Conn.App. 311, 338–39, 635 A.2d 848 (1993), cert. denied, 228 Conn. 924, 638 A.2d 38 (1994). The petitioner contends that the United States Supreme Court and......
  • State v. Carter, 12839
    • United States
    • Connecticut Court of Appeals
    • 25 d3 Maio d3 1994
    ...Holloway, 209 Conn. 636, 651, 553 A.2d 166, cert. denied, 490 U.S. 1071, 109 S.Ct. 2078, 104 L.Ed.2d 643 (1989); State v. Reddick, 33 Conn.App. 311, 330, 635 A.2d 848 (1993). He posits, however, that the trial court "grossly misstated the evidence and did so in a way that was highly prejudi......
  • State v. Floyd
    • United States
    • Connecticut Supreme Court
    • 25 d2 Julho d2 2000 charged with possession of it. 31. We are not persuaded by the state's argument that this case is governed by State v. Reddick, 33 Conn. App. 311, 324-36, 635 A.2d 848 (1993), cert. denied, 228 Conn. 924, 638 A.2d 38 (1994) (transcript of witness' testimony in prior trial not "in possess......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT