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State v. Herrington

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

November 19, 2014

STATE OF LOUISIANA, Appellee
v.
DAVID TRAY HERRINGTON, Appellant

Appealed from the Thirty-Seventh Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caldwell, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 88,544; 88,545. Honorable Don C. Burns, Judge.

TERESA CULPEPPER CARROLL, Counsel for Appellant.

W. MARK MCKEE, District Attorney, CHARLES L. COOK, Assistant District Attorney, Counsel for Appellee.

Before BROWN, STEWART, and CARAWAY, JJ.

OPINION

Page 203

[49,323 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] BROWN, CHIEF JUDGE

Defendant, David Tray Herrington, pled guilty to one count of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and one count of aggravated obstruction of a highway. He was sentenced to serve 12 years at hard labor, with 10 of the 12 years to be served without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence for the simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and seven years at hard labor for the aggravated obstruction of a highway, to be served consecutively to one another. Defendant now appeals. As conceded by the state, we amend his sentence for simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling to provide that only the first year of the sentence will be served without benefits and as amended, affirm.

Facts

On June 5, 2013, defendant passed a house that appeared to be unoccupied. He parked in the driveway, knocked on the door, and, when no one answered, he entered the house by kicking the back door open. Unknown to defendant, he entered the home of a deputy clerk of court whose 15-year-old son was inside the residence. The child called 911 to report that someone was breaking into his mother's house. Deputy Tori Hilburn of the Caldwell Parish Sheriff's Office was the first officer to arrive at the home. Chief Clay Bennett of the Columbia Police Department arrived shortly thereafter. Chief Bennett made contact with defendant, David Tray Herrington, while Deputy Hilburn searched the back side of the house. Defendant told Chief Bennett that he was looking for a calendar. When defendant went to his vehicle to get his identification, both Chief Bennett [49,323 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] and Deputy Hilburn noticed a box and some jewelry in the passenger seat of defendant's car. Defendant claimed that the items were his.

Deputy Logan Cooper then arrived at the scene. Shortly after his arrival, Deputy Cooper returned to the end of the driveway of the residence, where an unrelated car accident had occurred. Meanwhile, Chief Bennett and Deputy Hilburn realized that defendant had started his car; the officers asked him to turn it off. Defendant refused, and Chief Bennett grabbed defendant by the shirt and Deputy Hilburn put her hand on the door of the car. While both police officers were still engaged with defendant, he drove off. Deputy Cooper attempted to stop defendant at the end of the driveway, but he got

Page 204

past the deputy and turned onto Louisiana Highway 133 heading north. All three law officers pursued defendant, and the chase progressed from Caldwell Parish into Richland Parish at speeds of up to 100 mph.

The chase ended when defendant lost control of his vehicle and ran into a tractor on the left side of the road. When the officers looked into defendant's car they saw a Ziploc bag containing jewelry and other items. A witness to the chase told the officers that defendant had thrown some items out of his car while driving. Defendant was arrested and later admitted to being inside the home.

In two separate docket numbers, defendant was charged with simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and aggravated obstruction of a highway. Defendant was also charged with resisting an officer, but this charge was dismissed by the state due to defendant's guilty pleas. The state informed the court that there was no agreement as to defendant's sentence. The trial [49,323 ...


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