State v. Gordon

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*********************************************** The “officially released” date that appears near the be- ginning of each opinion is the date the opinion will be pub- lished in the Connecticut Law Journal or the date it was released as a slip opinion. The operative date for the be- ginning of all time periods for filing postopinion motions and petitions for certification is the “officially released” date appearing in the opinion. All opinions are subject to modification and technical correction prior to official publication in the Connecticut Reports and Connecticut Appellate Reports. In the event of discrepancies between the advance release version of an opinion and the latest version appearing in the Connecticut Law Journal and subsequently in the Connecticut Reports or Connecticut Appellate Reports, the latest version is to be considered authoritative. The syllabus and procedural history accompanying the opinion as it appears in the Connecticut Law Journal and bound volumes of official reports are copyrighted by the Secretary of the State, State of Connecticut, and may not be reproduced and distributed without the express written permission of the Commission on Official Legal Publica- tions, Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. *********************************************** STATE OF CONNECTICUT v. TAMARA GORDON (AC 42039) Alvord, Prescott and Cradle, Js. Syllabus Convicted of the crime of larceny of an elderly person by embezzlement in the second degree in connection with certain credit card transactions, the defendant appealed to this court. The defendant was a health care aide who lived part-time with the alleged victim, R, and his wife. Eventu- ally, the defendant and R became romantic and intimate. R gave the defendant large sums of money, and, according to the defendant, author- ized the use of his credit card to make purchases for the defendant’s own personal needs. After R’s health declined, his son, B, hired a book- keeper to help R manage his finances. When the bookkeeper found certain credit card charges and checks written to the defendant, the defendant’s employment was terminated. B filed a complaint with the police, who conducted a larceny investigation, during which a detective, S, interviewed R. Prior to trial, R died, and the court granted a motion in limine filed by the defendant to preclude the admission of statements made by R to any law enforcement agent. At trial, S testified that he met with R and that R consented to the investigation. On appeal, the defendant claimed that the trial court improperly admitted into evidence a testimonial hearsay statement of R in violation of her constitutional right to confrontation and that she was deprived of her due process rights when the prosecutor engaged in prosecutorial impropriety by making substantive use of the testimonial hearsay statement in her closing rebuttal argument. Held: 1. The trial court violated the defendant’s right to confrontation under the federal constitution by admitting into evidence, without limitation, S’s testimony that R consented to the larceny investigation, which consti- tuted hearsay: R’s consent to the larceny investigation was an out-of- court statement, and, although S did not repeat any …

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