State v. Booth

In State v. Booth, 250 Conn. 611, 737 A.2d 404 (1999), the defendants, Anthony Booth, Daniel Brown and Jamie Gomez, repeatedly requested severance before and during the trial, claiming that their defenses were antagonistic because Booth intended to point the finger at Brown, and Brown and Gomez intended to implicate Booth. 250 Conn. at 617-19. The trial court denied the motions, concluding that the defendants merely had different interpretations of the evidence and that there would be no great discrepancies as to what the evidence might be. 250 Conn. at 618. The court further concluded that it was logical to have joined the cases because the issues were straightforward, and the evidence against all three defendants was similar. Id. Moreover, any possible prejudice could be eliminated through curative instructions to the jury. Id. On appeal, the Court concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that the defendants' defenses were not antagonistic because the jury reasonably could have accepted all of the defenses simultaneously, and the court had issued curative instructions sufficient to mitigate any possible prejudice that might have occurred. 250 Conn. at 625-26.