State v. Ross

In State v. Ross, 18 Conn. App. 423, 558 A.2d 1015 (1989), the defendant was charged with manslaughter in the first degree in violation of General Statutes 53a-55 (a) (3). The defendant sought, in pertinent part, to comment in closing argument on the weakness of the state's case on the basis of the absence of testimony from the sole eyewitness to the charged crime. The Court reversed the judgment of the trial court and, on remand, permitted the defendant to refer to the absence of the eyewitness' testimony in closing argument. The lack of the eyewitness' testimony in Ross clearly exposed a weakness in the state's case. In fact, the defendant in Ross attempted to call several other witnesses whose testimony would have implicated the missing witness with the commission of the crime.