State v. Delgado (1986)

In State v. Delgado, 8 Conn. App. 273, 513 A.2d 701 (1986), the victim had assaulted his former girlfriend, the defendant's daughter. Approximately one year later, the defendant and the victim got into an argument in which, ultimately, the defendant stabbed and killed the victim. At trial, the defendant sought to admit evidence of his state of mind through his wife's testimony. Specifically, she would have testified that three weeks prior to the killing, the defendant had sent her to the state's attorney's office seeking protection from the victim. She stated that the family was in fear and that she did not know what the defendant would do if the police could not protect them. The court, however, excluded the proffered evidence as collateral and confusing to the jury. On appeal, this court determined that the proffered evidence improperly had been excluded and that it was "crucial to the defendant's claim of self-defense." State v. Delgado, supra, 8 Conn. App. at 281.