• Superior Court
  • New Haven J.D., at New Haven
  • CR02-5839
  • Apr 23 2013 (Date Decided)
  • Fischer, J., and White, J.

An individual who commits a first-degree assault with a firearm, and who qualifies as a persistent, dangerous felony offender, can be sentenced to 45 years in prison. In June 2002, a police officer exited a police van in New Haven and identified himself. In response, the petitioner, who was dressed in army fatigues, allegedly shot the police officer in the face. The police officer underwent extensive surgery and treatment before he passed away. A jury convicted the petitioner, Arnold Bell, of first-degree assault with a firearm, as a persistent dangerous felony offender. The petitioner also was convicted of carrying a pistol without a permit and criminal possession of a pistol. Judge Jon Blue sentenced the petitioner to 45 years in prison. The petitioner's attorney, Jeffrey Kestenband, requested that the Sentence Review Division reduce the sentence to 30 years, because the shooting was not premeditated. The state's attorney, Kevin Doyle, requested that the Sentence Review Division increase the sentence, because the petitioner, who has an extensive, violent felony record, allegedly was selling drugs. The Sentence Review Division affirmed the sentence of 45 years. "The petitioner," wrote the Sentence Review Division, "shot a police officer in the head without any warning," and the police officer was disabled and passed away.