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State v. Delozier

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

November 12, 2014

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
TROY EDWARD DELOZIER

APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 313, 407 HONORABLE JOHN C. DAVIDSON, DISTRICT JUDGE

James C. Downs District Attorney Thomas R. Willson Assistant District Attorney Sheryl L. Laing Assistant District Attorney COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE State of Louisiana

Edward J. Marquet COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT Troy Edward Delozier

Court composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Marc T. Amy, and John E. Conery, Judges.

MARC T. AMY JUDGE

The defendant herein was charged with two counts of aggravated rape and one count of indecent behavior with juveniles. After a trial, he was found guilty on all three counts. For the two counts of aggravated rape, the trial court imposed sentences of life imprisonment at hard labor on each count, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. For the count of indecent behavior with juveniles, the trial court imposed a sentence of ten years at hard labor, with two years to be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. The trial court ordered that the sentences be served consecutively. The defendant appeals. For the following reasons, we affirm.

Factual and Procedural Background

The victim, K.G., [1] who was under the age of 13, reported that the defendant, Troy Edward Delozier, [2] made K.G. perform oral sex on the defendant on more than one occasion and that the defendant touched K.G.'s penis. Thereafter, the defendant was indicted for two counts of aggravated rape, violations of La.R.S. 14:42, and one count of indecent behavior with juveniles, a violation of La.R.S.14:81(H)(2).[3]

After a trial, a jury returned guilty verdicts as to all three counts of the indictment. At the sentencing hearing, for the two counts of aggravated rape, the trial court imposed sentences of life imprisonment at hard labor, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. The trial court imposed a sentence of ten years at hard labor for the count of indecent behavior with juveniles, with two years to be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. The trial court ordered that the sentences be served consecutively and that, should the defendant ever be released, he would have to register as a sex offender.

The defendant appeals, asserting that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because K.G. did not identify him at trial.

Discussion

Errors Patent

Pursuant to La.Code Crim.P. art. 920, this court reviews the record for errors patent on the face of the record. Having performed such a review, we find no errors requiring action by this court.

Sufficiency of the Evidence

The defendant contends that the State failed to introduce testimony by the victim identifying the defendant as the perpetrator. This argument essentially contests the sufficiency of the evidence to support the defendant's conviction. In State v. Lively, 13-883, pp. 8-9 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2/12/14), __ So.3d __, __, a panel of this court reiterated the appellate review of sufficiency of the evidence claims, stating:

The standard of review in a sufficiency of the evidence claim is "whether, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found proof beyond a reasonable doubt of each of the essential elements of the crime charged." State v. Leger, 05-11, p. 91 (La. 7/10/06), 936 So.2d 108, 170, cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1221, 127 S.Ct. 1279, 167 L.Ed.2d 100 (2007) (citing Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979); State v. Captville, 448 So.2d 676 (La.1984)). The Jackson standard of review is now legislatively embodied in La.Code Crim.P. art. 821. It does not allow the appellate court "to substitute its own appreciation of the evidence for that of the fact-finder." State v. Pigford, 05-477, p. 6 (La. 2/22/06), 922 So.2d 517, 521 (citing State v. Robertson, 96-1048 (La. 10/4/96), 680 So.2d 1165; State v. Lubrano, 563 So.2d 847 (La.1990)). The appellate court's function is not to assess the credibility of witnesses or reweigh the evidence. State v. Smith, 94-3116 (La. 10/16/95), 661 So.2d 442.
The factfinder's role is to weigh the credibility of witnesses. State v. Ryan, 07-504 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/7/07), 969 So.2d 1268. Thus, other than insuring the sufficiency evaluation standard of Jackson, "the appellate court should not second-guess the credibility determination of the trier of fact[, ]" but rather, it should defer to the rational credibility and evidentiary determinations of the jury. Id. at 1270 (quoting State v. Lambert, 97-64 (La.App. 3 Cir. 9/30/98), 720 So.2d 724).

Additionally, where the key issue is not whether the crime occurred but whether the defendant is the perpetrator, the State is "required to negate any reasonable probability of misidentification." State v. ...


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