State v. Ortiz (1996)

In State v. Ortiz, 40 Conn. App. 374, 671 A.2d 389, cert. denied, 236 Conn. 916, 673 A.2d 1144 (1996), "the court admitted the challenged testimony after finding that the evidence, although prejudicial to the defendant, was necessary to allow the jury to get the 'whole flavor of this case' and to avoid having it look at the circumstances surrounding the death of the victim 'in a semivacuum.'" Id. Because Ortiz involved drugs and drug dealing, notwithstanding the fact that the defendant was charged with murder, this court concluded that "it is unlikely that the evidence of the defendant's prior involvement with drugs could have shocked or influenced the jury to the extent that the defendant was deprived of a fair trial . . . and rejected the defendant's claim that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting the challenged evidence." Id.