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State v. Bell

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit

January 15, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
JACOB McCALISTER BELL

On Appeal from The 16th Judicial District Court, In and for the Parish of St. Mary, State of Louisiana. Trial Court No. 2012-187773. The Honorable Lori A. Landry, Judge Presiding.

Page 418

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 419

J. Phil Haney, District Attorney, Walter J. Senette, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Franklin, Louisiana, Attorneys for Plaintiff/Appellee, State of Louisiana.

Gwendolyn K. Brown, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Attorney for Defendant/Appellant, Jacob McCalister Bell.

BEFORE: McDONALD, CRAIN, AND HOLDRIDGE,[1] JJ. McDonald, J. concurs.

OPINION

Page 420

[2014 1046 La.App. 1 Cir 2] CRAIN, J.

The defendant, Jacob McCalister Bell, was charged by bill of information with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, fourth offense, a violation of Louisiana Revised Statute 14:98. He pled not guilty and filed a motion to suppress. At the conclusion of a hearing on the matter, the trial court denied the motion. The defendant waived his right to a jury trial and, following a bench trial, was adjudged guilty as charged. He was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. The defendant now appeals, designating two counseled assignments of error and two pro se assignments of error. We affirm the conviction and sentence.

FACTS

On the night of December 8, 2011, the defendant was in the drive-through lane of a Burger King in Franklin, Louisiana, when he became upset and caused a disturbance. After initially refusing to take his food and leave, the defendant eventually left and went across the street to a McDonald's restaurant. In response to a report of the incident, Officer Seth Dantin of the Franklin Police Department arrived at the Burger King about five minutes after the defendant had left the premises. A restaurant employee told Officer Dantin that the defendant caused a disturbance by " hollering" and cursing before finally going to the McDonald's across the street, where he was in the drive-through lane in a maroon pickup truck. The Burger King personnel wanted Officer Dantin to tell the defendant that he was not allowed back on the premises that night.

Officer Dantin drove his patrol car to a parking lot next to the McDonald's, where he parked and waited for the defendant to leave. When the defendant left the McDonald's parking lot, Officer Dantin activated his vehicle's lights and pulled the defendant over. Officer Dantin approached the truck's window and, as he spoke with the defendant, smelled a strong odor of alcohol inside the truck and [2014 1046 La.App. 1 Cir 3] on the defendant's breath. He then asked the defendant to step out of his vehicle and walk to the front of the officer's vehicle. As the defendant walked, the officer observed him swaying from side to side. He also noticed that the defendant's speech was slurred.

After being advised of his Miranda [2] rights, the defendant submitted to a field sobriety test, which revealed nystagmus in

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both eyes. According to Officer Dantin, the defendant did not perform well on the walk-and-tum test, and when the officer attempted to administer the one-leg-stand test, the defendant advised that he could not raise his leg as directed. In response to Officer Dantin's instruction to recite the alphabet from A to U, the defendant recited it from A to V. Officer Dantin found the defendant to be under the influence and placed him under arrest. At the police station, an attempt to measure the defendant's blood-alcohol content with an Intoxilyzer 5000 was unsuccessful because the defendant refused to blow into the ...


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