County Superior Court Associate Justice Daniel A. Procaccini
ATTORNEYS ON APPEAL: For State: Jane M. McSoley Department of
Defendant: Jodi M. Gladstone, Esq.
Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and
William P. Robinson III Associate Justice.
defendant, Karen A. Connery, appeals from two judgments of
conviction rendered after a jury-waived trial held in
Providence County Superior Court. As to the first case, Ms.
Connery was found guilty of one count of simple assault. As
to the second case, although Ms. Connery had initially been
charged with breaking and entering a dwelling, the trial
justice (after a colloquy with counsel) found her guilty of
willful trespass as being a lesser-included offense. On
appeal to this Court, with respect to the conviction of
simple assault, the defendant contends that her
constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated. With
respect to the willful trespass conviction, the defendant
contends that willful trespass is not a lesser-included
offense of breaking and entering and that the trial justice
erred in denying her motion to dismiss the original charge of
breaking and entering a dwelling. These cases came before the
Supreme Court pursuant to an order directing the parties to
appear and show cause why the issues raised in this appeal
should not be summarily decided. After a close review of the
record and careful consideration of the parties'
arguments (both written and oral), we are satisfied that
cause has not been shown and that this appeal may be decided
at this time.
reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm the judgments of
the Superior Court.
11, 2012, a criminal complaint charging defendant with one
count of simple assault in violation of G.L. 1956 §
11-5-3 was filed in the Sixth Division District Court. Ms.
Connery was accused of assaulting another woman on June 24,
2012 in Pawtucket. Subsequently, having waived her right to a
jury trial in the first instance, that case was transferred
to the Superior Court. On February 15, 2013, a separate
criminal information was filed charging defendant with
"break[ing] and enter[ing] the dwelling of
[defendant's sister] without the consent of the owner,
" in violation of G.L. 1956 § 11-8-2 and G.L. 1956
16 and 17, 2014, both charges were tried on a jury-waived
basis, at the conclusion of which, defendant moved to dismiss
the breaking and entering charge "based on the fact that
[the state had] not presented evidence to establish the crime
of breaking and entering * * *." After a brief recess,
both parties were provided with an additional opportunity to
address the court before a decision was rendered. In
addressing the court, counsel for defendant stated:
"[W]hat I'm suggesting is that you apply the
statutory language for * * * willful trespass. That is what
my client is most likely guilty of * * *."
the trial justice rendered a bench decision. With respect to
the simple assault charge, he found defendant guilty thereof.
And with respect to the breaking and entering charge, he
concluded that it had been established beyond a reasonable
doubt that defendant was guilty of the misdemeanor offense of
willful trespass. As to each charge of which defendant had
been found guilty, the trial justice sentenced her to a
one-year suspended sentence with one year of probation on
each count; the sentences were to run consecutively. He also
issued a no-contact order running in favor of the victim of
the simple assault and a no-contact order running in favor of
the victim of the willful trespass (viz.,
defendant's sister). Thereafter, defendant filed a timely
notice of appeal.