TaupierEdward AttyMotionWD 011916 .pdf

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DOCKET NOS. CR14-0675616-T
CR13-0200821-T
STATE OF CONNECTICUT
V.
EDWARD F. TAUPIER

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SUPERIOR COURT
JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF MIDDLESEX
AT MIDDLETOWN
JANUARY 19, 2016

MOTION BY ATTORNEY RACHEL M. BAIRD TO WITHDRAW APPEARANCES
Attorney Rachel M. Baird, the undersigned and counsel for the above-referenced Edward
F. Taupier (“Taupier”), hereby moves pursuant to Practice Book § 3-101 to withdraw her
appearances as good cause exists for such withdrawals.
I. RELEVANT FACTS
A. Pretrial, Trial, and Sentencing in State v. Taupier, Docket No. CR14-0675616-T
Prior to the commencement of trial in State v. Taupier, Docket No. CR14-0675616-T, the
undersigned filed a written motion and memorandum, dated March 4, 2015, to suppress evidence
of firearms and ammunition seized on August 29, 2014, from Taupier’s Cromwell residence
pursuant to one warrant and later seized from the Connecticut State Police (CSP) pursuant to a
another warrant. The undersigned’s motion relied upon the fourth and fourteenth amendments to
the United States Constitution and article 1, section 7, of the Connecticut Constitution in asserting
that both seizures were unconstitutional.

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The undersigned has not complied with certain requirements of Practice Book § 3-10 that apply when a party will
be left without representation if a motion to withdraw is granted. In this case, Attorney Norm Pattis has filed
appearances in both of the above-captioned matters and in fact his office represented Taupier at a bond hearing held
on January 15, 2016, in State v. Taupier, Docket No. CR14-0675616-T.

ORAL ARGUMENT NOT REQUESTED
TESTIMONY NOT REQUIRED

The court heard testimony on March 9, 2015, from five sworn officers assigned to the CSP
Central District Major Crime Squad relevant to Taupier’s motion to suppress: Trooper Daniel
DeJesus, Sergeant Rafael Medina III (currently Lieutenant Medina), Trooper Andrew Katrenya,
Sergeant Ralph Soda, and Trooper Jennilee Fratellenico. (Ex. A, March 9, 2015, Hearing
Transcript)2 During the course of cross-examination on March 9, 2015, the defense questioned
each of the prosecution’s witnesses about the search warrant executed on August 29, 2014, at
Taupier’s residence. Trooper DeJesus testified that Lieutenant Medina had changed the warrant
after it was signed by a judge and executed at Taupier’s residence:
THE COURT:
TROOPER DEJESUS:

I’ll allow the question to be answered, if you can. The question is,
where is the copy of the warrant you showed Judge Mullarkey?
The copy as it was originally presented to Judge Mullarkey -- well,
it doesn't exist as it originally was presented to Judge Mullarkey
because the -- as I explained earlier the -- after he did sign we
redacted, and by “we” I mean Sergeant Medina specifically,
redacted the name that was on it. So I don't, I don’t believe there’s a
-- there is a copy at all that -- I don’t know if I’m answering your
question. I don’t believe there’s a copy that exists at all that has what
was originally presented to Judge Mullarkey because that’s what
was actually redacted.

(Ex. A, March 9, 2015, Hearing Transcript at 72:2-16) The undersigned had previously on March
4, 2015, submitted a Request for Criminal Investigation to the CSP Deputy Commissioner, Colonel
Brian F. Meraviglia, stating and alleging:
This is a request for a criminal investigation upon allegations that a
warrant, issued pursuant to General Statutes § 29-38c, was redacted
and altered without affirmation or oath subsequent to its issuance
and execution and prior to its return to the court. Specifically,
Connecticut State Police (CSP) Sergeant Medina tampered with a
2

Exhibit A, the March 9, 2015, hearing transcript, is 197 pages and may be found in its entirety at
http://amnewsnetwork.com/420-2/. A copy of the entire transcript has been provided to the parties as a courtesy.

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warrant after it was signed by a judge and executed by the CSP when
he altered the warrant by redaction and the addition of language.1
Sergeant Medina then deliberately omitted the date of his redactions
and alterations to conceal that a warrant issued by a judge upon oath
and affirmation by Trooper Katrenya and Trooper DeJesus was
redacted and altered after it was executed and prior to its return to
the court. Sergeant Medina acted in concert at and subsequent to the
tampering to further the scheme with the following individuals, so
far known to the undersigned: Trooper DeJesus, Trooper Katrenya,
Assistant State’s Attorney Vicki Melchiorre, Assistant State’s
Attorney Brenda Hans, The Honorable Edward J. Mullarkey.
(Ex. C, March 4, 2015, Letter to Colonel Meraviglia from Attorney Baird) Colonel Meraviglia
never responded to the request for a criminal investigation, the court sustained a motion to quash
a subpoena for Colonel Meraviglia to testify at the hearing on the motion to suppress, and the
status of the request for a criminal investigation remains unknown to the complainant. The court
commented in a ruling from the bench on March 10, 2015:
At this point I needn't reiterate all of the flaws identified by the
defendant, and properly so, that were present in the warrant itself, in
the process that the police used in executing that warrant, the
changes that were subsequently made to it, the fact a copy wasn't
left with the defendant nor was a return made properly. I’m going
to cover those things shortly in my remarks.
(Ex. B, March 10, 2015, Hearing Transcript at 72:13-20) 3 The court subsequently addressed the
“flaws identified by the defendant” in more detail:
In the next part of my remarks I want to discuss the deficiencies.
Let me say at the outset that I am not entirely unsympathetic to the
defendant's claim here that the flaws in this warrant and in its
manner of execution, particularly when viewed under the totality of
the circumstances, presents a wholly unflattering portrait of the
efforts of police to secure and execute this warrant. The mistakes
3

Exhibit B, the March 10, 2015, hearing transcript, is 125 pages and may be found in its entirety at
http://amnewsnetwork.com/423-2/. A copy of the entire transcript has been provided to the parties as a courtesy.

3

that have been identified during the hearing should not have been
made in the first place and some, if not many of them, should have
been caught by someone before they impacted on the process itself.
The police who prepared the risk warrant, while not to be criticized
for using a prior warrant as a template, need to be hyper vigilant in
today’s cut and paste world to ensure that their final product is
correct. The police should have caught the error on the warrant page
and seen that the name that had appeared on the warrant page was
not that of Mr. Taupier. That should have been caught and if not by
the affiants themselves then certainly by their supervisor who
apparently, according to the testimony, proofread it. Now, I realize
that, as I said, with cutting and pasting, these things happen and
these are warrants that are being prepared not by robots but by
human beings and mistakes are to be made and will be made. I
realize also that the warrant page, Page 4 of the application affidavit
and warrant package, is the only page that the police don't sign. The
police don’t sign Page 4. They sign the application for the warrant
on Page 1. They swear to their affidavit on Pages 2 and 3 usually.
They don't sign Page 4. So maybe one could say that, well, they
don’t sign that page so it’s more understandable that there could be
a mistake there that the judge is going to have to catch, if anyone
will. But the police are the ones who prepare the language on the
warrant itself for the judge to consider. So at least in the first
instance, it’s the police themselves that must bear the responsibility
for the accuracy of the information. But there's plenty of -- I don’t
mean to highlight just the police errors here because there’s plenty
of people who should have caught this. In addition to their
supervisor within the Connecticut State Police, the warrant was
then, according to the testimony, reviewed by a prosecutor. While a
risk warrant need not be signed by a prosecutor, it’s my
understanding that this warrant, and it is consistent with a general
practice I think, which I have some knowledge of a general practice
that prosecutors review all search warrants or risk warrants. And a
prosecutor, Attorney Melchiorre at the State’s Attorney’s Office in
Hartford, apparently was tasked with reviewing the proposed risk
warrant before it was presented to a judge. She did so, at least one
can assume she did based on the testimony I heard from the
witnesses who did testify. She should have caught the mistake and
seen that the language on the warrant page didn’t square with the
language on the application or the affidavit. And just to make sure I
identify all that should have caught this, the judge himself should

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have caught this mistake when he signed the warrant. The judge
should not have misdated the warrant, either. There was testimony
about the judge putting the date down of August 28th rather than
August 29th, that should not have happened.
(Ex. B, March 10, 2015, Hearing Transcript at 74:12-76:26) The court denied Taupier’s motion to
suppress in all substantial respects. Taupier was convicted on all counts and appeared for
sentencing on January 12, 2016.
B. Post-Sentencing Search and Seizure Warrant
The court sentenced Taupier to 18 months incarceration at sentencing on January 12, 2016,
set a $90,000 cash appeal bond, and ordered that bond post at the courthouse instead of the jail
facility to allow the defense and prosecution to be heard on conditions. A hearing on conditions
was scheduled for 2 PM on January 15, 2016, after the court was notified on January 14, 2016, of
Taupier’s intent to post bond. Upon information and belief, a prosecution inspector, Mark Miele
(“Inspector Miele”), then sent an email to Dr. Marina Golli (“Dr. Golli”) at 3:39 PM on January
14, 2016, asking Dr. Golli to contact Inspector Miele because the CSP wished to speak to her. (Ex.
D, Email from Inspector Miele to Dr. Golli)4 The CSP then obtained a warrant at 1:16 PM on
January 15, 2016, to seize all computers and computer-related devices and media from Taupier’s
residence. The bond hearing proceeded at 2 PM on January 15, 2016. During the hearing the
defense was unaware that a search and seizure warrant had been signed.
At the conclusion of the hearing the undersigned and legal investigator Edward A. Peruta
(“Peruta”) were seated in a conference room on the third floor of the courthouse discussing a

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The undersigned understands from representations that Marina Golli is a medical doctor.

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scheduled 4 PM meeting at Connecticut Valley Hospital when prosecution investigator, Kenneth
McNamara, told Peruta and the undersigned that Inspector Miele requested a meeting on the first
floor in the state’s attorney’s offices. Within this time frame a male greeted the undersigned and
when the undersigned did not recognize him he conveyed his identity as Lieutenant Medina. Peruta
and the undersigned proceeded to meet Inspector Miele on the first floor of the courthouse but
instead were met by two male officers and one female officer in the waiting area of the state’s
attorney’s offices. The officers asked to speak to Peruta and the undersigned whereupon all
relocated to a nearby conference room. The officers informed Peruta and the undersigned of the
warrant that had been signed earlier that day at 1:16 PM to seize computers and computer-related
devices and media from Taupier’s Cromwell residence.
Peruta left the courthouse and in consideration of the presence of the officers and their
expressed desire to speak with Taupier upon his release the undersigned remained. The officers
approached the undersigned after Peruta left between two and four times during the next hour. One
of the officers stated that the undersigned may have issues representing Taupier as the undersigned
could be a witness. Based on experience and training and the fact that the officer had approached
the undersigned to convey this information only after the undersigned’s legal investigator had left
the courthouse, the undersigned considered this vague statement from the officer to be an attempt
to entice the undersigned to breach the attorney-client privilege by creating a concern on the part
of the undersigned about what the officer was referencing. The undersigned was free to leave, not
overborne by the show of authority, and so declined to speak with the officers although as a
courtesy the undersigned provided Peruta’s cell phone number in response to a request for contact

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information. When Taupier was released the officers approached Taupier and on behalf of Taupier
the undersigned declined a meeting.
C. The January 15, 2016, Search and Seizure at Taupier’s Residence
The undersigned transported Taupier to his residence where the undersigned, in cautious
estimation, viewed between 12 and 20 officers upon arrival. The undersigned remained at the
residence parked in the driveway until the officers left approximately three hours later. During this
time Peruta, in his media capacity as representative of American News and Information Services,
Inc., arrived at the scene to record the police activity. Lieutenant Medina, without prompting or
any reference by Peruta to Lieutenant Medina’s involvement in redacting and altering the search
warrant executed on August 29, 2014, gloated, according to Peruta, that even after Peruta had sued
Lieutenant Medina the CSP still promoted him from Sergeant to Lieutenant. Peruta responded that
neither he nor the undersigned’s office had sued Lieutenant Medina to which Lieutenant Medina
responded that it did not matter anyway because it was dismissed. (Ex. E, Docket and Ruling in
Taupier v. Katrenya, dated June 29, 2015)
II. CONCLUSION
The chain of events after the conclusion of the January 15, 2016, bond hearing including
but not limited to the ruse employed by the state’s attorney’s office to draw the undersigned and
Peruta from the third to the first floor of the courthouse where three officers, not Inspector Miele,
clearly had intended to meet with the undersigned, a later reference by one of the officers to the
undersigned’s status as a witness when the undersigned was unaccompanied by her legal
investigator as a witness to any discussion with the officer, the animus emanating from Lieutenant

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Medina’s comments and demeanor toward Peruta at the scene of the search and seizure on January
15, 2016, preceded by Lieutenant Medina’s uninvited and intrusive efforts to make the undersigned
aware of his presence in the courthouse on January 15, 2016, provide good cause to believe that
the CSP, the Cromwell Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies unknown to the
undersigned, have retaliatory animus arising from the undersigned’s representation of Taupier and
such animus toward his counsel cannot benefit Taupier at this time.
For all the foregoing reasons good cause regretfully exists for this court to grant the
undersigned’s motion to withdraw the appearances as Taupier’s counsel.
DEFENDANT
EDWARD F. TAUPIER

BY:

_________________________________________
Rachel M. Baird, Attorney
Rachel M. Baird & Associate (JURIS 434409)
15 Burlington Road
Harwinton, CT 06791
Tel: 860-605-9340
Fax: 860-605-9343
Email: rbaird@rachelbairdlaw.com
His Attorney

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ORDER
The Court, upon due consideration hereby Orders the Defendant’s Motion
Granted / Denied.
___________________________________
Judge / Clerk of the Superior Court

CERTIFICATION OF SERVICE
Pursuant to Practice Book § 10-14, I hereby certify that a copy of the above was served by
electronic transmission on January 19, 2016:
Attorney Norm Pattis
Pattis Law Firm
Email: norm@normpattis.com
Attorney Brenda Hans
Email: Brenda.hans@ct.gov
Edward F. Taupier

___________________________________
Rachel M. Baird, Attorney
Commissioner of the Superior Court

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