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State v. Vessel

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

January 10, 2014

STATE of Louisiana
v.
Eugene T. VESSEL.

Rehearing Denied Feb. 4, 2014.

Page 524

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, Scott G. Vincent, Assistant District Attorney, New Orleans, LA, for Appellee/State of Louisiana.

Katherine M. Franks, Louisiana Appellate Project, Abita Springs, LA, for Defendant/Appellant.

(Court composed of Judge DENNIS R. BAGNERIS, SR., Judge ROLAND L. BELSOME, Judge SANDRA CABRINA JENKINS).

ROLAND L. BELSOME, Judge.

[2012-1543 La.App. 4 Cir. 1]PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The defendant was charged by bill of information with possession of heroin with intent to distribute. He pled not guilty at arraignment. After a hearing, the trial court denied his motions to suppress the evidence and found probable cause.[1]

Page 525

At his first trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict. A second jury trial was held, and the defendant was found guilty as charged. After the denial of post-verdict motions, the defendant was sentenced to twenty-five years at hard labor. He then admitted to the allegations contained in the multiple bill of information filed by the State, and was adjudicated a second felony offender. The trial court vacated the original sentence and sentenced defendant to twenty-five years at hard labor. This timely appeal follows.

STATEMENT OF FACT

While driving on the night of October 17, 2010, the defendant was pulled over at the intersection of North Broad and Iberville Streets, in New Orleans, [2012-1543 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] pursuant to a seat belt violation. The defendant was arrested after heroin was seized from his person.

ERRORS PATENT

A review of the record for errors patent reveals none.

DISCUSSION

In this appeal, the defendant asserts two counseled assignments of error, and three pro se assignments of error, one of which incorporates an assignment of error addressed by counsel. In his first counseled assignment of error, the defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for possession with the intent to distribute heroin.

When reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence to support a conviction, this court is controlled by the standard set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979), which dictates that to affirm a conviction " the appellate court must determine that the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution, was sufficient to convince a rational trier of fact that all of the ...


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