Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 306,267. Honorable Ramona L. Emanuel, Judge.
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, By: Peggy J. Sullivan, Counsel for Appellant.
LaQUINN MURRAY, Pro se.
CHARLES R. SCOTT, District Attorney, WILLIAM J. EDWARDS, JOHN AARON CRAWFORD, TOMMY J. JOHNSON, Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for Appellee.
Before WILLIAMS, MOORE & PITMAN, JJ.
[49,418 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] PITMAN, J.
A jury convicted Defendant LaQuinn Murray as charged of second degree murder, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. The jury also convicted him as charged of attempted second degree murder, and he was sentenced to 38 years' imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Defendant now appeals his convictions. For the following reasons, we affirm.
On July 19, 2012, the state filed an indictment in which a grand jury charged Defendant with second degree murder in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1 and attempted second degree murder in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1 and La. R.S. 14:27. The indictment alleged that, on or about May 16, 2012, Defendant committed the second degree murder of Jonathan Simo and the attempted second degree murder of Devin Marshall. A jury trial began on January 13, 2014.
Multiple witnesses of the shooting and the events leading up to the shooting-i.e., Defendant's girlfriend, Jamika Jones; Ashley Barr; Cameron McCrady; Larry Daughtry; and victim, Devin Marshall-testified at trial and offered consistent testimony. McCrady testified that he grew up with Defendant, Simo, Marshall and Daughtry and that they were all friends. Marshall also testified that they were friends, but noted that there was tension leading up to the events of May 16, 2012.
Jones, McCrady and Marshall testified that, on the night before the May 16, 2012 shootings, Defendant drove to the LaTierra Apartments and [49,418 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] shot a gun into the air while standing in the parking lot. Marshall explained that he told Defendant to
quit shooting and said he would call the police.
Jones noted that, the next day, Defendant became upset when his sister, Gabrielle Murray, told him that Marshall called the police and that Defendant then " went on a hunt to find" Marshall. Jones, Daughtry and Marshall testified that Defendant went to Simo's house and confronted Marshall. Marshall testified that Defendant asked him if he called the police on Defendant, and Marshall responded that he did not call the police, but that his sister-in-law did. Marshall stated that Defendant " turned his shoulder and come up with the gun." Marshall explained that this was the same gun, i.e., a black and gray .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, that Defendant shot the night before at the LaTierra Apartments and stated that Defendant carried this gun " all the time." Jones stated that Defendant " went to shoot [Marshall], but [the gun] wouldn't shoot."  She testified that Simo then ran outside and told Defendant " don't do that." Marshall stated that he took off running and Simo " kind of grab [sic] [Defendant], got the gun, took the bullet out of the chamber, took the clip out, and told him, you can't do this in front of my house." Jones and Daughtry also testified that they saw Simo and Defendant wrestle with the gun. Jones, Daughtry and Marshall all testified that Defendant then got back in his SUV and drove away. Jones noted that neither Simo nor Marshall had a gun and that Defendant told Marshall that " it wasn't over."
[49,418 La.App. 2 Cir. 3] Jones testified that she and Defendant then returned to his house, he changed into all black clothing, i.e., black pants, black shoes, black shirt and a black skull cap, and they went to Walmart. She noted that Defendant began getting phone calls from his sister, Gabrielle, who was with Simo. Jones testified that Defendant heard Simo say something like " [t]here ain't no gangsters in your family" to Gabrielle, which made Defendant mad. Jones also stated that Gabrielle sent a text message to Defendant telling him " to get [Marshall and Simo] before they got him because they were plotting against him."  Barr testified that she was at Jaldell Riley's house, which is located across the street from the LaTierra Apartments, with Gabrielle, Simo, Marshall, Riley and Daughtry. She explained that Gabrielle and Simo were in a relationship and that they were arguing. Barr testified that she overheard a comment that " flared everything up," i.e., the " no gangsters in your family" comment that Simo said to Gabrielle. Barr explained that this comment was meant as an insult and that Gabrielle
called someone on the phone after the comment was made. Marshall testified that he heard Simo on the phone with Defendant, and Simo said, " You know what I'm saying with the pistol, I get it. Don't come down here with all that shooting, and [49,418 La.App. 2 Cir. 4] stuff. Come down and fight, if you want to fight." He stated that Gabrielle then approached Simo and stated, " Ain't no gangsters out here, I guess," and that she and Simo " had a little words."
Jones stated that, after she and Defendant left Wal-Mart, they went to the LaTierra Apartments. She added that there were a lot of people standing outside when they arrived-some at the apartments and some at a house across the street. Jones, Barr, McCrady, Daughtry and Marshall all testified about the shootings that occurred when Defendant exited his vehicle at the LaTierra Apartments. Marshall stated that he was at the house across the street and Defendant walked over from the apartments and began firing a gun at him. Marshall testified that he was shot five times-twice on each side in the shoulder and arm area and once in his back-but that Defendant shot the gun more than five times. Marshall stated that he fell to the ground and then saw Defendant shoot Simo seven times. Jones testified that she observed Marshall start running and then saw Defendant run after him. She testified that she heard five or six gunshots and then saw Defendant come back to where Simo was standing in the parking lot. She stated that Defendant then shot Simo, Simo fell and Defendant continued to shoot him. McCrady testified that he saw Defendant, who was wearing all black, shoot Marshall and that he (McCrady) then ran away, so he did not witness Simo being shot. Daughtry stated that his back was to Defendant so he did not see whom Defendant was shooting, but that, when he turned around, he saw that Marshall had been shot. Daughtry testified that Defendant then walked ...