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APPEAL FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH. NO. 513-601, SECTION " F" . Honorable Robin D. Pittman, Judge.
Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney, Christopher J. Ponoroff, Assistant District Attorney, Donna Andrieu, Chief of Appeals, Assistant District Attorney, Parish of Orleans, New Orleans, LA, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE/STATE OF LOUISIANA.
Kevin V. Boshea, Attorney at Law, Metairie, LA, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFFS/APPELLANTS.
Court composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Paul A. Bonin, Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins.
SANDRA CABRINA JENKINS,
[2014-0445 La.App. 4 Cir. 1] Jamiron and Bernell Pollard appeal their convictions and sentences for one count of second degree murder and two counts of attempted second degree murder. For the following reasons, we affirm the defendants' convictions and sentences as amended and remand the case to the trial court for correction of the sentencing minutes and the order of commitment.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On September 26, 2010, a shooting occurred at a second line parade in uptown New Orleans, Louisiana. Jeremy Galmon, a two-year old attending the parade, sustained a fatal gunshot wound to the head. Multiple gunshots were fired at a passing vehicle, but its two occupants, Sean Briggs and Sedale Dorsey, escaped injury. Several witnesses identified Jamiron and Bernell Pollard, the defendants, as the shooters. Accordingly, the State obtained an indictment charging the defendants with the second degree murder of Jeremy Galmon and the attempted second degree murders of Sean Briggs and Sedale Dorsey, which the defendants entered not guilty pleas to all three counts. The trial court subsequently denied the defendants' motions to quash and their motions to suppress the evidence and identification.
[2014-0445 La.App. 4 Cir. 2] Trial commenced, and after four days, the jury found the defendants guilty as charged on all three counts. The defendants then filed motions for a new trial, which the trial court denied. Thereafter, the defendants were sentenced on the second degree murder count to life imprisonment without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence and fined $276.50. As to each attempted second degree murder count, the defendants were sentenced to fifty years at hard labor, all to run concurrent with each other. The defendants timely noticed their intent to appeal their convictions and sentences.
The testimony and evidence adduced at trial is as follows.
Joyce Galmon, the grandmother of two-year-old Jeremy Galmon, was attending the second line parade with family members on September 26, 2010. Joyce stated that she was playing with her three grandchildren in the car, parked near First and Dryades Streets, when she heard what sounded like a balloon pop, followed by the sound of several gunshots. Immediately after hearing the gunshots, the back windshield of the car shattered, and she grabbed Jeremy, who was standing on the backseat facing the rear. Joyce stated that she yelled for help when she noticed that Jeremy's face was covered in blood and her son transported Jeremy to the hospital. Joyce recalled that a white or silver car sped by just as the shooting began, but she could not see who was in the car or who was firing the shots.
Delaaronia Galmon, the mother of Jeremy, informed the jury that she participated in the second line with her marching club, the Uptown Swingers Second Line Club. Delaaronia confirmed that her son attended the parade with her mother. Delaaronia stated that when her marching club arrived at Second and Dryades Streets, she heard three to four gunshots and dropped down for cover. When the gunfire stopped, Delaaronia received a phone call from her uncle saying [2014-0445 La.App. 4 Cir.
3] that her son had been shot. Delaaronia testified
that she ran to the location of the shooting where she was told her son was already at the hospital. Delaaronia stated that she immediately went to the hospital, but was not permitted to see her son. Delaaronia testified that she was around the corner when the shooting occurred so she did not see who shot her son.
Ashley Booker testified that she attended the second line parade with, among others, her child and Joyce Galmon. Ms. Booker stated that they parked near the intersection of First and Dryades Streets and caught the parade around Second Street. Ms. Booker testified that her child stayed in the vehicle with Ms. Galmon and Ms. Galmon's grandchildren, Jeremy and Jeniah. Ms. Booker recalled that as she was walking back to the vehicle sometime later, she heard gunshots and then witnessed two black males, one at the front and one at the rear of the vehicle, shooting at each other. According to Ms. Booker, both of the gunmen wore black shirts, she did not recognize either of them, and they both ran away as she got closer. Ms. Booker stated that she gave a statement to the police at their headquarters later that evening.
Dorimekka Nicholas testified that while she and her family were getting back into the vehicle to leave the parade, she heard at least ten gunshots fired and immediately ducked her head. Dorimekka stated that she then saw three men walking up, dressed in all black--one was tall and skinny, had twists in his hair, and was wearing a hat and blue boxers; and another was heavyset. She observed the skinny male fire a silver and black gun at a Chevrolet Impala driving by. Later that evening, Dorimekka went to police headquarters and gave a statement.
Tracy Nicholas testified that as she and her family members got into their car to leave the parade, she heard four gunshots fired before she put the keys into the ignition. Tracy testified that after the gunshots, she looked up and saw two [2014-0445 La.App. 4 Cir. 4] black males--both wearing all black and one holding a silver and black gun. Tracy gave a statement at police headquarters later that evening, and the police came to her office the next day to conduct a photographic line-up.
Ashley Nicholas testified that before she exited the vehicle to watch the parade, she noticed two black males, both dressed in all black, walking towards the second line parade. According to Ashley, one of the males, who wore his hair in " dreads," stopped and gave a hug to a female acquaintance as they walked by. Ashley stated that when she later got into the car after the parade, she heard five or six gunshots; when the firing stopped, Ashley looked up and saw the two black males whom she had observed walk by earlier. Ashley informed the jury that she saw the male with the dreads fire his gun at a white or gray Chevrolet Impala driving on First Street. Ashley stated that the second male was also armed and was shooting as well. Ashley testified that she went to the police station on the evening of the shooting and gave a recorded statement and descriptions of the shooters to help the police compose sketches.
Ursula Nicholas testified that after attending the second line parade, she heard many shots and recalled seeing two black men at the scene--one was tall and had his hair in dreads, and the second was short. Ursula testified that she observed the tall male firing a silver gun at a passing car. Ursula stated that she gave a statement to the police the day after the shooting and selected the picture of the person she saw shooting when presented with a photographic line-up.
Sean Briggs testified that he and Sedale Dorsey were driving around uptown New Orleans in a silver Chevrolet Impala on September 26, 2010. Briggs recounted that as they drove up to the intersection of First and Dryades Streets, he [2014-0445 La.App. 4 Cir. 5] could tell that gunshots were fired by the reaction of the people in the vicinity and the car windows shattering, but could not hear the shots because he had loud music playing in his car. Briggs stated that he attempted to speed from the area, but his vehicle stalled when it reached Baronne Street.
In response to several calls to 911 about the shooting, Officer Robert Barrere and his partner were en route to the crime scene when it was dispatched that the perpetrators fled in a blue Chevrolet Impala. Immediately after hearing that description, the officers noticed the suspects' car approaching them on Jackson Avenue headed toward Claiborne Avenue with three or four black males in the vehicle. Officer Barrere made a U-turn behind the vehicle, and followed it onto First Street. He eventually lost sight of the vehicle, which was traveling at speeds of eighty miles per hour in a residential neighborhood, after it ran two red lights. After the chase, Officer Barrere and his partner relocated to the crime scene to assist in the investigation.
Detective Robert Long, the lead investigator in this case, met the witnesses and family members at the hospital to initiate his portion of the investigation. After his investigation at the hospital, Det. Long asked the witnesses to relocate with him to the Homicide Office so that he could obtain formal statements pertaining to the offenders. Ashley Nicholas, Ashley Booker, Dorimekka Nicholas, Tracy Nicholas, and Ursula Nicholas all relocated to the Homicide Office to give recorded statements wherein they ...