State v. OwenAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial court determining that the prosecutor did not abuse her discretion in a manner clearly contrary to manifest public interest when she entered a nolle prosequi on the basis that the State's material witness had become disabled for purposes of Conn. Gen. Stat. 54-56b, holding that, given the prosecutor's representations, the trial court properly deferred to the prosecutor's exercise of her discretion and allowed the nolle to enter.
On appeal, Defendant argued that the prosecutor's basis for entering the nolle, i.e., that the State's key witness was "disabled" because her fear prevented her from being able to testify, was insufficient as a matter of law to establish that the witness was disabled for purposes of Conn. Gen. Stat. 54-56b. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the prosecutor represented to the court that the witness was disabled to her compromised mental state and that her statements demonstrated that compromised mental state; and (2) the trial court did not make a finding that the witness was or was not disabled but, rather, properly grounded its ruling on its finding that, in entering the nolle, the prosecutor had not abused her discretion in a manner clearly contrary to manifest public interest.