State v. Sayles

Citation246 A.3d 1010,202 Conn.App. 736
Decision Date23 February 2021
Docket NumberAC 43500
CourtAppellate Court of Connecticut
Parties STATE of Connecticut v. Dwayne SAYLES

202 Conn.App. 736
246 A.3d 1010

STATE of Connecticut

AC 43500

Appellate Court of Connecticut.

Argued September 17, 2020
Officially released February 23, 2021

Dina S. Fisher, assigned counsel, for the appellant (defendant).

Timothy J. Sugrue, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Patrick J. Griffin, state's attorney, Seth R. Garbarsky, senior assistant state's attorney, and Lisa M. D'Angelo, assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

Elgo, Alexander and Suarez, Js.


202 Conn.App. 738

The defendant, Dwayne Sayles, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of felony murder in violation of General Statutes § 53a-54c, conspiracy to commit robbery in the first degree in violation of General Statutes §§ 53a-48 and 53a-134 (a) (2), criminal possession of a pistol or revolver in violation of General Statutes § 53a-217c and carrying a pistol without a permit in violation of General Statutes § 29-35 (a). On appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court improperly denied his motions to suppress certain evidence. Specifically, he contends that (1) police detectives violated his Miranda rights1

202 Conn.App. 739

and his rights pursuant to article first, § 8, of the Connecticut constitution when they continued to interrogate him after he invoked his right to counsel, (2) the police detectives seized his cell phone in violation of the fourth amendment to the United States constitution and article first, § 7, of the Connecticut constitution, and (3) the affidavit that the police submitted in support of their application for a warrant to search the contents of his cell phone contained materially false information.2 We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of conviction.

The jury reasonably could have found the following facts. On April 6, 2015, Leighton Vanderberg drove around in his wife's Ford Focus with the defendant and Jamal Sumler.3 The three men proceeded to the Fair Haven section of New Haven and then toward Forbes Avenue. Sumler requested that they stop at a store. Vanderberg complied, drove to a convenience store and parked on the street. Vanderberg asked Sumler to purchase a couple of cigars and provided him with cash to complete the transaction. The defendant and Sumler went into the convenience store while Vanderberg remained in the vehicle.

Sumler, wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, entered the convenience store first. As he approached the counter, he pointed

246 A.3d 1015

a pistol at the victim, Sanjay Patel, an employee at the convenience store. As Sumler moved behind a counter, the defendant entered the convenience store. The defendant pulled out a pistol from his pocket and, after a few moments, shot the victim. The defendant was handed a box of cigars and some cash. He then moved toward the entrance of the convenience store. As Sumler and the victim, who brandished

202 Conn.App. 740

a stool, engaged in a physical altercation, the defendant fled. After the defendant departed, Sumler shot the victim.

At the time of the robbery and shooting, Jonathan Gavilanes was at a friend's house on Forbes Avenue. He heard the sound of gunshots coming from the convenience store. Gavilanes observed two men leaving the store. Gavilanes called 911 and reported the shooting. The victim was transported to Yale New Haven Hospital, where he died from his injuries.4 During their investigation, the police recovered evidence from the shooting scene as well as a surveillance video of the incident.

After the shooting, Vanderberg noticed that the defendant was carrying cigars that were falling out of his hands as he returned to the vehicle.5 As the defendant entered the vehicle, he demanded that Vanderberg drive away. Vanderberg responded that they had to wait for Sumler. After Sumler returned and got into the car, the three men drove away, and the defendant directed Vanderberg to go to the Church Street South housing complex. After parking there, Vanderberg noticed that the defendant had taken an entire box of cigars from the convenience store and watched as the defendant placed that box, and the sweatshirt he had been wearing, into a nearby dumpster. Vanderberg, who had lent the sweatshirt to the defendant, asked why he had thrown it away. The defendant responded, "that shit [is] hot." The three men then walked along a path to the defendant's apartment, where Vanderberg, after speaking with the defendant later, realized that the defendant and Sumler likely had robbed the convenience

202 Conn.App. 741

store. After receiving approximately $20 for gas from the defendant and thirty to forty cigars from Sumler, Vanderberg left the apartment.

The next night, Vanderberg learned from a friend that the victim had been shot and killed at the convenience store. Thereafter, he informed his probation officer about what had transpired at the convenience store. Following his arrest, Vanderberg met with police detectives on April 14, 2015, and identified the defendant and Sumler in photographs that were taken from surveillance video at the convenience store. On April 15, 2015, after the police had procured a warrant and conducted a search of the defendant's residence, the defendant came to the police station, accompanied by his mother, and was interviewed by two detectives. After further investigation, the police arrested the defendant. In May, 2015, while in pretrial custody, he admitted to a fellow inmate that he and Sumler had shot the victim during the robbery of the convenience store.

The state charged the defendant with felony murder, conspiracy to commit robbery

246 A.3d 1016

in the first degree, criminal possession of a pistol or revolver and carrying a pistol without a permit. The court denied two pretrial motions to suppress that the defendant had filed, and, following a trial, the jury found him guilty of all counts. The court rendered judgment in accordance with the verdict and imposed a total effective sentence of eighty years of incarceration. This appeal followed.6

The following additional facts and procedural history are necessary to address the defendant's specific claims. In the defendant's first motion to suppress, filed on January 16, 2018, he sought to suppress the contents of his cell phone, which, he alleged, had been seized

202 Conn.App. 742

in violation of the United States and Connecticut constitutions. The defendant claimed that, after his unambiguous request for counsel during his interview at the police station on April 15, 2015, Detective Christopher Perrone of the New Haven Police Department asked him where his cell phone was located. The defendant responded that his mother, who was waiting outside the interview room, possessed the phone.7 Perrone then obtained the phone from the defendant's mother. The next day, Perrone prepared an affidavit as part of an application for a search and seizure warrant to obtain the data contained in the defendant's cell phone. Thereafter, the court issued the warrant for the contents of the defendant's cell phone.8

In his first motion to suppress, the defendant argued that the police detectives lacked probable cause to seize his cell phone on April 15, 2015. At that time, they did not have a warrant. He additionally claimed that, during

202 Conn.App. 743

the interview at the police station, the detectives continued questioning him after he had requested the presence of counsel and that the subsequent search of the contents of the cell phone constituted "fruit of the poisonous tree"9 as a result of inaccuracies in Perrone's

246 A.3d 1017

affidavit, which was part of the April 16, 2015 application for a search and seizure warrant.

The defendant filed his second motion to suppress on January 18, 2018. He moved to suppress the contents of his cell phone and any cellular data because of violations of both the federal and state constitutions. The defendant again claimed that the contents of the phone constituted fruit of the poisonous tree. He argued that he had made a preliminary showing that the affidavit in support of the April 16, 2015 search warrant contained assertions that were known to be false or were made with reckless disregard for the truth, and, therefore, he was entitled to a hearing pursuant to Franks v. Delaware , 438 U.S. 154, 98 S. Ct. 2674, 57 L. Ed. 2d 667 (1978).

The court held a hearing on the defendant's motions to suppress on January 24, 2018. Perrone and the defendant's mother testified at the hearing. After argument from counsel, the court orally denied both of the defendant's motions and indicated that a supplemental memorandum of decision would be issued at a later date. The state utilized the data obtained from the defendant's cell phone as part of its case against the defendant, including global positioning system (GPS)...

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3 cases
  • Deleo v. Equale & Cirone, LLP
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • February 23, 2021
    ...for a fact specific inquiry and it cannot be said that there is a default number of 202 Conn.App. 683 years that is uniformly reasonable. 246 A.3d 1010 See Robert S. Weiss & Associates, Inc. v. Wiederlight , supra, 208 Conn. at 530, 546 A.2d 216 (holding that time restrictions in restrictiv......
  • State v. Smith
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • August 9, 2022
    ...are frequently used by persons engaged in the particular type of criminal conduct alleged. Id., p. 5; see also, e.g., State v. Sayles , 202 Conn. App. 736, 764, 246 A.3d 1010 (probable cause to seize cell phone was partially based on police officer's general knowledge that coconspirators "o......
  • State v. Sayles
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • March 30, 2021
    ...J. Sugrue, assistant state's attorney, in opposition.The defendant's petition for certification to appeal from the Appellate Court, 202 Conn. App. 736, 246 A.3d 1010, is granted, limited to the following issues:"1. Did the Appellate Court properly uphold the trial court's denial of the defe......

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