State v. Tierinni
It is within the sentencing court's purview to hear and analyze evidence from a variety of sources at sentencing and the comments of a prosecutor, including that her disbelief that the defendant would not violate his probation again stemmed from her "long experience" with him, were not improper in the context of a dispositional hearing for a violation of probation. Christopher Tierinni was found guilty of sexual assault in the first degree in 1999 and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, suspended after 27 months, and 10 years probation. After his release from prison, he was arrested and admitted to violations of probation on four separate occasions. Following his fourth violation, concerning being seen with a minor, he was sentenced to 66 months incarceration, suspended after 20 months and five years probation. He appealed raising multiple claims. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The defendant's first claim was unpreserved that his plea and waiver of his right to a hearing were unenforceable because they were made involuntarily, unknowingly and unintelligently. The claim failed review under the 1989 Supreme Court case of State v. Golding, as the defendant did not prove that a constitutional violation existed. The record of the plea hearing belied his claim that he never was informed of the rights he waived. Due to inadequate briefing, review was denied for a claim that the condition of probation that prohibited the defendant from having any contact with minors was unconstitutionally restrictive, vague and overbroad. The defendant's final claim was rejected on the merits that the prosecutor improperly became a witness at the dispositional hearing. The prosecutor made statements while arguing that the defendant should serve the five-and-a-half years remaining on his original sentence, including that she had been prosecuting him for a long time and he "manipulated the system over and over…' The defendant did not show that the information provided lacked a "minimal indicium of reliability" under the 2012 Supreme Court standard in State v. Altajir. Nor did he show that the court substantially relied on the statements. The court imposed a less severe sentence than that sought. Further, it was within the court's purview to hear and analyze evidence from a variety of sources at sentencing.