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State v. Edwards

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit

February 26, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA, Appellee
v.
DERRICK EDWARDS, Appellant

Page 513

Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 297,401. Honorable Brady D. O'Callaghan, Judge.

WASHINGTON & WELLS, By: Alex J. Washington, Counsel for Appellant.

CHARLES REX SCOTT II, District Attorney, DALE G. COX, TOMMY JAN JOHNSON, GEORGE WINSTON III, Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for Apelle.

Before STEWART, DREW and GARRETT, JJ.

OPINION

Page 514

[49,635 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] DREW, J.

Derrick Edwards was convicted of second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1. He was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. He appeals, urging two assignments of error. We affirm.

FACTS

Derrick Edwards and Patricia Cathron are the parents of Shanderricka Edwards. When Shanderricka was three years old, her father abandoned her and had little to do with her for the next 14 years.

On June 4, 2011, Shanderricka was 17 years of age. She lived in Shreveport in a duplex with her mother.

Tomika Adams, age 30, resided in the upstairs apartment of the duplex. In the preceding few months, both Tomika and Shanderricka had been involved with 27-year-old Tyrone Miles, a point of contention between the two women.

Katrina Brown lived two houses from the duplex. Diane Priest lived in a house next to Katrina, three houses from the duplex. Tomika's mother, Everlerna Adams, lived across the street diagonally. The defendant was a very personal friend with Lavonne Bell, who resided nearby.

I. The Initial Argument

In the early afternoon of June 4, 2011, Shanderricka and Tomika argued about:

o a DVD player that Everlerna had loaned to Shanderricka; and

o Shanderricka's belief that Miles had gone back with Tomika.

Diane observed the argument from her front porch, testifying that its [49,635 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] duration was about a half hour. Lavonne testified that Tomika refused to fight Shanderricka. The police were called and both women were handcuffed, but not arrested. Lavonne called the defendant to tell him that his daughter had been involved in an argument and was in handcuffs.

The defendant arrived and spoke with the officers. He and Shanderricka discussed the argument, but were not angry with each other at that time.

II. The Argument Between Shanderricka's Parents

The defendant and Patricia argued about his disapproval of the relationship between Shanderricka and Miles. Patricia and Shanderricka returned to the duplex. Miles later joined them. The defendant remained in the street, still angry. He asked Lavonne and Tomika to take his truck and go purchase beer. They did so.

After they left, the defendant was in the street in front of the Browns' house, talking to a crowd of people, including Diane. Lavonne testified that when she left, the defendant was not angry or upset.

III. The Father-Daughter Fight

Shanderricka and her young sister walked by the group of people, when she heard her father saying that he was going to have Lavonne fight Patricia.[1] Shanderricka told him that he couldn't " do that" but that he could " whoop" her. Shanderricka asked her father why he was talking about their family business in public. Shanderricka later said that he must have thought she was disrespectful.

[49,635 La.App. 2 Cir. 3] Shanderricka was holding her two-or three-year-old sister when the argument began. She put the child down and Katrina picked up the child. Shanderricka and

Page 515

her father began physically fighting. The defendant, age 37, grabbed his daughter, age 17, by her throat and began hitting her in the face with his fists. Shanderricka fought back, but the defendant pulled her to the ground by her hairpiece.

Patricia swung her crutch at the defendant, but missed. After the fight, Miles helped Shanderricka and Patricia up, and walked them back to the duplex.

Shanderricka identified photographs showing scratches on her neck and bruises on her face.

Everlerna testified that she saw the defendant hit his daughter, but said the marks on Shanderricka's face and neck ...


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