State v. Patterson
An intent to sell could be inferred from the quantity of cocaine the defendant possessed. William Patterson was convicted of possession of narcotics and risk of injury to a child and sentenced to five years of incarceration, execution suspended with five years of probation. During a motor vehicle stop, a police officer discovered in excess of one ounce of crack cocaine in Patterson's groin area. The trial court found that Patterson violated the terms of his probation, revoked probation and sentenced Patterson to five years of incarceration. Patterson appealed claiming, first, that the court violated his due process rights in relying on the state's proffer during the dispositional phase of his probation revocation hearing concerning five pending cases for narcotics sales or conspiracy to sell narcotics. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The panel declined to review the due process claim as it was not was raised below and review of the unpreserved claim was not sought under the 1989 Connecticut Supreme Court case of State v. Golding or the plain error doctrine. The defendant also claimed that the court abused its discretion in relying on clearly erroneous findings of fact. The defendant maintained that no evidence submitted during the hearing's adjudicatory phase supported the court's inference that a one ounce quantity of crack cocaine was indicative of intent to sell. The defendant's contention was rejected that without evidence of intent to sell, the court could not have drawn the reasonable inference that the quantity of crack cocaine found in his possession indicated an intent to sell. The court based its finding of an intent to sell on the arresting officer's testimony that he found a large rock of crack cocaine, in excess of one ounce, in the defendant's groin area. Although it would have been a permissible inference that the defendant was simply a heavy personal user, it was also a permissible inference that he intended to deliver some or all of the drugs to others. The Appellate Court declined to exercise its supervisory powers, as requested, to find that the trial court committed plain error by allegedly violating the defendant's right to allocution under Practice Book §43-10. The defendant was given a reasonable opportunity to allocute which was declined by his attorney.