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State v. Williams

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

November 12, 2014

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
ADRIAN F. WILLIAMS

Page 905

Editorial Note:

This Decision is not final until expiration of the fourteen day rehearing period.

ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA. NO. 10-6247, DIVISION " O" . HONORABLE ROSS P. LADART, JUDGE PRESIDING.

PAUL D. CONNICK, JR., DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Twenty-Fourth Judicial District, Parish of Jefferson, TERRY M. BOUDREAUX, MATTHEW CAPLAN, SETH W. SHUTE, JOSHUA VANDERHOOFT, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE.

KEVIN V. BOSHEA, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Metairie, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.

ADRIAN WILLIAMS, Louisiana State Prison, Angola, Louisiana, APPELLANT/IN PROPER PERSON.

Panel composed of Judges Marc E. Johnson, Robert M. Murphy and Stephen J. Windhorst.

OPINION

STEPHEN J. WINDHORST, J.

Page 906

[13-818 La.App. 5 Cir. 3] On February 27, 2013, defendant, Adrian Williams, was convicted of second degree murder of Carl Grant, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1.[1] Defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. For the reasons that follow, we affirm defendant's conviction and sentence and remand for correction of the commitment.

In the late hours of December 4, 2010, Grayland Mitchell accompanied the victim, Carl Grant, to the Cozy Kit bar in Gretna where the victim was emceeing a party. Shortly before midnight, the victim was involved in an altercation with other individuals inside the bar. Mr. Mitchell tried

Page 907

to help the victim, and as the altercation moved outside, he and the victim tried to leave the scene. Mr. Mitchell heard two gunshots and realized that the victim was not behind him. While looking for his friend, an individual pointed a gun at his head and said, " You're not the one," and ran back toward the bar. Within seconds of the individual leaving, Mr. Mitchell heard seven or eight more gunshots, followed by somebody saying [13-818 La.App. 5 Cir. 4] that the victim had been shot. Subsequently, Mr. Mitchell identified defendant from a photographic lineup as the person who pointed a gun at his head the night of the victim's murder.

Shortly after midnight on December 5, 2010, Officer Roland Kindell of the Gretna Police Department responded to a report of gunfire at the Cozy Kit. Upon his arrival, he heard five to seven gunshots, but could not discern their origin as his view was obstructed by approximately 75 to 100 people gathered outside the bar. After speaking with several witnesses, Officer Kindell developed the defendant and Jason Elliot as suspects in the murder of the victim.

Sergeant Tris Lear was working a detail at a location near the Cozy Kit and heard " two distinct gunshots ring out in the air" and heard one of his police units responding to the Cozy Kit. Sergeant Lear responded to the scene to assist and speak with witnesses. Detective James Compton was also working a detail at a location near the Cozy Kit and responded to the scene when he heard a transmission that a homicide occurred at the Cozy Kit. Both officers interviewed individuals on the scene and relocated to headquarters to continue with some of the interviews.

Within hours of the murder, Nedra Berry identified defendant from a photographic lineup as the person who fired shots into the air and who was present at the time of the victim's murder. Arrest warrants were issued for Jason Elliot and defendant.

The next day, Nelson Duplessis and Jason Elliot, who had both been arrested in connection with the victim's murder, were being held in the same cell at the police station. Detective Shaun Vinson testified that this holding cell is monitored by audio and video surveillance for safety purposes. While monitoring this cell, Detective Vinson overheard Mr. Duplessis say, " Don't worry, I gave them the [13-818 La.App. 5 Cir. 5] wrong name." Mr. Duplessis acknowledged being in the holding cell with Mr. Elliot, but denied ever making such a remark.[2]

As the investigation continued, on or about December 13, 2010, Aisha Wilford contacted the police and identified defendant by name as the gunman. Sergeant Lear met with Ms. Wilford and presented her with a photograph of defendant and another photograph of Mark Williams. On the photograph of defendant, Ms. Wilford inscribed: " This is the young man I saw shooting Carl Grant 7 times." On the photograph of Mark Williams, Ms. Wilford inscribed: " This is the person that was fighting Carl Grant on 12-04-2010. He is also (A.I.'s) brother." [3] Detective Louis Alvarez, who was present during ...


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