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State v. Rosado

Supreme Court of Rhode Island

June 16, 2016

Christian Rosado.

         Providence County Superior Court P2/13-3694AG Associate Justice Robert D. Krause

          For State: Jane M. McSoley Department of Attorney General

          For Defendant: Matthew S. Dawson, Esq.

          Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ.


          Chief Justice Suttell

         The defendant, Christian Rosado, appeals from a judgment of conviction on two separate counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, to wit, a firearm. The defendant maintains that the hearing justice erred in denying his motion for a mistrial based on what he perceived to have been the state's discovery violation. This case 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 considering the parties' written and oral submissions and reviewing the record, we conclude that cause has not been shown and that this case may be decided without further briefing or argument. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.


         Facts and Procedural History

         This case involves a shooting that occurred in the City of Woonsocket, which left Ikey Wilson with severe injury to his stomach and required the amputation of his right leg. Three witnesses-Wilson, Jalisa Collins, and Travis Reeves-identified defendant as one of the three perpetrators of the March 30, 2013, shooting. On December 11, 2013, a criminal information was filed, charging defendant with assaulting Wilson with a dangerous weapon, to wit, a firearm, in violation of G.L. 1956 § 11-5-2[1] (count 1), assaulting Collins with a dangerous weapon, to wit, a firearm, in violation of § 11-5-2 (count 2), and using a firearm while in the commission of a crime of violence, resulting in injury to Wilson, in violation of G.L. 1956 § 11-47-3.2(a) (count 3).[2]

         On September 15, 2014, the case proceeded to trial. At trial, Wilson was the first witness to testify for the state. He testified that, on the evening of March 30, 2013, Reeves, whom he considered a friend, entered Wilson's residence wanting Wilson "to go to the liquor store[] because [Reeves] didn't have [an] ID." Wilson testified that at that time he resided on Arnold Street in Woonsocket with his fiancée, Collins, and two of his children. Wilson testified that although Collins "was actually going to go to the liquor store, " he decided that he did not want her "going out at that time of night by herself, " because he "[had] got[ten] into a couple of incidents with [defendant]." He testified that he had known defendant for "probably a little longer" than six to seven months at that time. Wilson further testified that they had had a friendly relationship, but that he had a falling out with defendant about "a month or two" prior to March 30, 2013, when defendant, along with about five other individuals, approached Wilson as he was walking his son to school. Wilson confirmed that he had also had other confrontations with defendant prior to that day.

         Returning to the events of March 30, Wilson testified that he walked to the liquor store with Collins and Reeves and that Collins entered the store to purchase alcohol while he and Reeves waited outside. Wilson said that, on their walk back to his apartment, he saw defendant and approached him in an attempt to end their ongoing dispute. According to Wilson, defendant then "took off" while holding a phone to his ear. Wilson testified that the three then continued to walk home, having to cross a bridge on their way. Once they were at the bridge, he saw defendant "pull [a gun], cock it, and * * * fire[] [it]." Wilson further testified that he saw a total of three individuals that night involved in the shooting-one who stood next to defendant and another who stood nearby. Wilson identified the two individuals accompanying defendant as Smoke and City.[3] Wilson also testified that, although he had not personally known Smoke and City, he had seen them with defendant during the previous "incident when [he] was walking [his] son from school." Wilson testified that he recognized Smoke and City because defendant was "always with them."

         Wilson further testified that, on the night of the shooting, before hearing the gun cock and attempting to flee in response, he was asked by City, "did you rob my boy[?]"-and Wilson responded that he had not. Wilson testified that at that time both City and defendant had a gun in their hands. Wilson testified that he "ran straight * * * to go toward [his] house over th[e] bridge * * * and then * * * when [he] turned around" the gun fired. Although he could not be certain, Wilson believed he had made it to the end of the bridge before being shot. He testified that he then observed defendant, Smoke, and City "just run off" and that he remembered "[waking] up in the hospital." Wilson described his injuries, which included the loss of his right leg and injury to his stomach, and he testified that he spent roughly four months in the hospital and two months in rehabilitation.

         On cross-examination, Wilson conceded that, in his initial interview on May 30, 2013 with Lieutenant Mark Cabral of the Woonsocket Police Department, he had not disclosed the prior school incident, but believed that he likely did not remember the incident at that time because he had just recovered from a coma. On redirect, Wilson clarified that he had, however, disclosed the prior school incident in an April 2014 meeting with Lt. Cabral and the prosecutor in this case. Wilson maintained that, in the April 2014 meeting, he had also disclosed that, during this previous incident, defendant had been accompanied by five or six individuals.[4]

         On the following morning of trial, defendant moved for a mistrial "based upon * * * Wilson's answers to certain questions" on the previous day. The defendant explained to the trial justice that he had been notified by the state shortly before the trial began that "Wilson would testify that when [defendant] confronted [Wilson] at the school where [Wilson's] son was, that [defendant] had five to six people with him as part of a group to confront * * * Wilson * * *." However, defendant pointed out that at trial Wilson went a step further and testified that he could identify Smoke and City as the two involved in the shooting with defendant because they had been together at the previous school incident. The defendant maintained that he had not been informed by the state as to any testimony regarding Smoke and City's presence at the previous incident. The defendant argued to the trial justice that this evidence was prejudicial because "it indicate[d] [he] had contact with [Smoke and City], and that they had some hard feelings as well toward * * * Wilson." The defendant argued that, had this information been disclosed to him prior to trial, "there would have been more efforts to locate and try to talk to Smoke, or to find the identity of City, or to follow through with this information to try to either rebut it or uncover further details for [the defense] to use on cross-examination." He claimed that ...

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