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State v. Hall

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

February 18, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
KENNETH J. HALL

APPEAL FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 513-651, SECTION " C" . Honorable Benedict J. Willard, Judge.

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, Scott G. Vincent, Assistant District Attorney, Parish of Orleans, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE /STATE OF LOUISIANA.

Morris W. Reed, Jr., Attorney at law, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.

(Court composed of Judge Max N. Tobias, Jr., Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano).

OPINION

Page 1061

[2014-0738 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] JOY COSSICH LOBRANO, JUDGE.

The defendant, Kenneth J. Hall, was charged in Count 2 of a bill of information

Page 1062

with possession with intent to distribute heroin, and pled not guilty.[1] Following the denial of his motions to suppress evidence and statements,[2] the defendant amended his plea to guilty as charged. The trial court imposed a sentence of fifteen years at hard labor, to run concurrently with any/all other sentence(s), with a stipulation that a multiple bill would not be filed against the defendant. The trial court also recommended the defendant for any self-help programs while incarcerated and assessed him with fines, fees and costs. This court granted the defendant an out-of-time Crosby appeal.[3] For the reasons that follow, we affirm the defendant's sentence and conviction.

The testimony and evidence from the hearing on the motions to suppress disclose the following.

[2014-0738 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] On August 27, 2012, at about 7:20 p.m., New Orleans Police Officer Rodney Brown and his partner, Officer Ryan Frazier, were in the security tower of the Fischer Housing Development, watching surveillance video of activity throughout the development, when they observed a white Ford F-150 truck drive up and park in the 2000 block of Hendee Street.[4] The truck was occupied by two males, who were later identified as Wells, the driver, and the defendant, the passenger. An unknown male in a white shirt approached the passenger side of the truck, talked to the defendant for a few seconds, and then left.

Shortly thereafter, a male in black clothing approached the passenger side of the truck, spoke to the defendant, and handed him a white object that appeared to be a napkin. The defendant unrolled the napkin which contained an off-white or brownish substance wrapped in clear plastic. He then placed his index finger and thumb into a slit in the plastic wrap, grabbed some of the substance, and raised it to his mouth several times. During the transaction, Wells appeared very nervous and kept looking around in every direction. When the transaction ended, Wells and the defendant drove away in the truck.

The officers left the security tower, entered their patrol vehicle and decided to further investigate the F-150 truck. When they observed Wells driving without a seatbelt, the officers activated their flashing lights and signaled the truck to pull over. The officers exited their patrol vehicle, and Officer Brown approached the driver's side of the truck, while Officer Frazier approached the passenger side. Officer Brown asked Wells for his identification/driver's license, which he produced. When Officer Frazier asked the defendant for his identification, he said [2014-0738 La.App. 4 Cir. 3] that he would have to exit the truck to remove his ...


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