ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA. NO. 13-2090, DIVISION " A" . HONORABLE RAYMOND S. STEIB, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING.
PAUL D. CONNICK, JR., DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Twenty-Fourth Judicial District, Parish of Jefferson, TERRY M. BOUDREAUX, GAIL D. SCHLOSSER, JENNIFER Z. ROSENBACH, SHANNON K. SWAIM, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, Gretna, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE.
LIEU T. VO CLARK, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Louisiana Appellate Project, Mandeville, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.
Panel composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Robert A. Chaisson, and Robert M. Murphy.
FREDERICKA HOMBERG WICKER,
[2014-302 La.App. 5 Cir 2] Appellant, Joe Gillum, was tried and convicted for failing to register as a sex offender by possessing an altered identification card with the intent to defraud, a violation of La. R.S. 15:542.1.4. Mr. Gillum was sentenced to two years at hard labor without the benefit of parole. He appeals his conviction on the basis of the State's alleged failure to present sufficient evidence to support his conviction. For the following reasons, we affirm his conviction and sentence.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On August 18, 1999, Mr. Gillum was convicted of indecent behavior with a juvenile. On the morning of August 25, 2012, two Harahan police officers performed a traffic stop on Mr. Gillum after observing that his license plate was expired. After Mr. Gillum gave the police officers his driver's license and identification cards, he was issued a citation for altering a driver's license. At a [2014-302 La.App. 5 Cir 3] later date, Mr. Gillum was arrested pursuant to a warrant for failing to register as a sex offender by possessing an altered identification card with the intent to defraud, a violation of La. R.S. 15:542.1.4.
On January 22, 2013, Mr. Gillum's case proceeded to trial. Officer David Mitchell testified that he and another police officer, Officer David Schneider, stopped Mr. Gillum on Jefferson Highway after noticing that his vehicle had an expired license plate. Officer Mitchell testified that Mr. Gillum was driving the vehicle and that there was another occupant seated in the front passenger side of the vehicle. Officer Mitchell testified that he approached the passenger side of the vehicle while Officer Schneider approached the driver's side. According to Officer Mitchell, Officer Schneider subsequently asked Officer Mitchell to approach the driver's side of the vehicle and handed him a driver's license which appeared to have white-out painted onto the lower right corner. According to Officer Mitchell's testimony, he asked Mr. Gillum why a portion of his driver's license had been whited-out. Mr. Gillum told Officer Mitchell that his grandchild enjoyed playing with his driver's license and white-out. Thereafter, Mr. Gillum presented two additional forms of identification to the officers, both of which had white-out on the bottom right corner. Mr. Gillum was ultimately cited for altering his driver's license and for driving with an expired license plate. Mr. Gillum signed the citations and the police kept the altered driver's license and identification cards. Officer Mitchell testified that after giving Mr. Gillum the citation, Mr. Gillum asked, " Oh, I'm not going to jail?" Officer Mitchell testified that he advised Mr. Gillum that he was not going to jail, and would instead receive a citation for altering his driver's license and identification cards.
Officer Mitchell testified that he subsequently placed the license, identification cards, and related citations in a " citation box" located within a secure [2014-302 La.App. 5 Cir 4] location inside of the Harahan Police Station. Officer Mitchell further testified that he had not previously written a ticket for an altered driver's license and, at the time, did not know that it could be a felony if a sex offender altered his driver's license. Officer
Mitchell testified that Detective Joe Lorenzo reviewed the confiscated I.D. cards and assisted in obtaining an arrest warrant for Mr. Gillum for violating La. R.S. 15:542.1.4. Mr. Gillum ...