APPEAL FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF LAFAYETTE, NO. CR 136485. HONORABLE GLENNON P. EVERETT, DISTRICT JUDGE.
Roger P. Hamilton, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Lafayette, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana.
Edward K. Bauman, Louisiana Appellate Project, Lake Charles, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Glyndale Arceneaux.
Glyndale Arceneaux, St. Gabriel, Louisiana, APPELLANT: Glyndale Arceneaux.
Court composed of Marc T. Amy, James T. Genovese, and John E. Conery, Judges.
[14-1181 La.App. 3 Cir. 1]
JOHN E. CONERY, Judge.
On April 12, 2012, Defendant, Glyndale Arceneaux, was charged by bill of information with one count of armed robbery, in violation of La.R.S. 14:64 and one count of attempted armed robbery, in violation of La.R.S. 14:27 and La.R.S. 14:64. On May 9, 2012, Defendant entered a written plea of not guilty.
On March 18, 2014, the morning of trial, the State filed an amended bill of information, changing the second charge from attempted armed robbery to armed robbery, in violation of La.R.S. 14:64. The State also severed the two charges, proceeding to trial only on armed robbery, the second count of the bill. Defendant entered a verbal plea of not guilty.
On March 19, 2014, the jury returned a verdict of guilty as charged. On June 26, 2014, Defendant was sentenced to fifteen years at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. On July 7, 2014, Defendant filed a motion to reconsider sentence alleging that the sentence was excessive, which was denied. Defendant has timely appealed, alleging errors in jury selection, insufficiency of the evidence, and excessive sentence. We find no errors in jury selection. The evidence was sufficient to prove Defendant's identity as the perpetrator of the robbery, and the sentence imposed was not excessive. We affirm Defendant's conviction and sentence.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On the first day of trial, Defendant plead not guilty to the amended bill of information. During voir dire, Defendant's attorney asked if anyone believed that an innocent defendant should be required to take the stand to declare their innocence. Potential jurors Marcus Richard, Mary Miley, and Deborah Gooch all stated that they felt someone who was innocent should testify.
[14-1181 La.App. 3 Cir. 2] The trial court subsequently attempted to rehabilitate the potential jurors by making it clear that a defendant has the right not to take the stand, asking whether or not anyone would hold a decision not to testify against Defendant, and instructing the potential jurors that they would not be allowed to take Defendant's decision not to
testify into consideration. Defense counsel subsequently challenged Mr. Richard, Ms. Miley, and Mrs. Gooch for cause, claiming that neither Mr. Richard nor Ms. Miley answered the trial court's questions.
The trial court denied the challenges for cause, stating that " [n]o one indicated that they would not follow the law as presented to them." Defense counsel subsequently used peremptory challenges to remove Mrs. Gooch and Mr. Richard. After a second panel of jurors was questioned, the State chose to backstrike Ms. Miley.
Thereafter, the State called its first witness, Ms. Danielle Foreman, who testified that she was the teller manager of the Capital One bank on September 17, 2009. She testified that she was approached by a woman wearing a mask, sunglasses, and a baseball cap. Ms. Foreman testified as to what dye-packs and bait lists are, and how they are part of the bank's protocol during a robbery. She also testified that the bank most commonly uses red and blue dye packs.
Ms. Foreman stated that while there was a gun in her face, she loaded all of the money that was in her top drawer into a bag for the robber, along with her dye-pack. [14-1181 La.App. 3 Cir. 3] She also testified that once she gave the bag back to the robber, the individual moved to the next teller, Ms. Patty Allemond, and stuck the gun in Ms. Allemond's face. Ms. Foreman noted that the gun was a small black handgun. On cross-examination, Ms. Foreman stated that she could not determine the caliber of the gun, nor could she identify Defendant as the individual who robbed her.
Next, the State called Ms. Patty Allemond, who testified that at 3:00 p.m., while waiting on a customer, she noticed that Ms. Foreman had a customer, and upon noticing that the customer had her face hidden, Ms. Allemond hit the panic button. She further testified that the robber pushed her customer, Mr. Joe Daphine, out of the way and pointed a black gun at her, and that she placed bait money and her dye-pack in the bag before giving it back to the robber.
On cross-examination, Ms. Allemond testified that she could not identify the caliber of the weapon used. When asked if she could identify Defendant as the person who robbed her, or whether Defendant was the person who held the gun on her, she responded " I'm pretty sure it is." Ms. Allemond testified that the robber's mask dropped some, and she remembered waiting on Defendant from a prior encounter. Ms. Allemond testified that she was unable to identify Defendant by name to the police on the day of the robbery. Likewise, she was unable to identify any features which might have led law enforcement to the Defendant, as Defendant was just a regular customer at the bank. She was clear, however, that when Defendant's mask dropped, she recognized Defendant as a prior customer, and she was able to identify Defendant at trial as the robber.
The State then called Ms. Cheryl Anthony, another Capital One employee, who testified that while returning to her station shortly before the robbery, she saw a customer approaching Ms. Foreman's station,
while Mr. Joe Daphine was at Ms. [14-1181 La.App. 3 Cir. 4] Allemond's station. Thereafter, the customer that had been at Ms. Foreman's station went over to Ms. Allemond's station. That customer left, and Mr. Daphine was still standing near Ms. Allemond's station. Soon thereafter, Ms. Anthony was informed that the bank had been robbed by the customer she had observed.
The State then called Mr. Joseph Daphine, who testified that while he was at Ms. Allemond's station, the robber pushed him out of the way. He saw a weapon that " [he] just kind of knew it was a gun."
The State's final witness on the first day of trial was Mr. Kevin Hudson, the branch manager at the time of the robbery. Although he was not at the bank during the robbery, Mr. Hudson testified that he returned to the bank immediately after the robbery, was in charge of securing the bank during the investigation, and oversaw the preparation of Capital One's post-robbery security report.
Mr. Hudson then testified that Capital One had video surveillance and that he obtained from their corporate office the video from the time of the robbery and subsequently gave a copy of the video to Detective Landry. The video surveillance footage was shown to the jury, and then court was recessed for the day.
Trial resumed on March 19, 2014. The State called Corporal Jeff Suire with the Lafayette Police Department. Corporal Suire testified that he responded to an armed robbery in progress call, that he took pictures inside the bank, and that he processed the note that had been left behind by Defendant. Corporal Suire stated that he was not able to obtain any finger prints off of the note.
The State next called Sergeant Terrance Olivier of the Lafayette Police Department. Sergeant Olivier testified that at the time of the robbery, he was a crime scene technician and that upon his arrival, he met with the detective in charge, viewed the security footage and processed the crime scene. He identified [14-1181 La.App. 3 Cir. 5] State's Exhibit Number Three as the note he recovered from the crime scene that was given to one of the tellers by the robber, which read " All money in bag or die." Sergeant Olivier also testified that he was unable to obtain any prints from the note.
On cross-examination, Sergeant Olivier confirmed there were no identifying forensics which connected the note to Defendant. On re-direct however, Sergeant Olivier noted that you would not expect to find any fingerprints when someone is wearing gloves.
The State next called Chris Cogburn of the Lafayette Sheriff's Office, who was a metro crime scene detective at the time of the robbery. Mr. Cogburn testified that he obtained a search warrant for and processed a vehicle as part of the investigation and that he copied the original surveillance DVD for Detective Landry.
Mr. Cogburn further testified that pursuant to said search warrant, he recovered a paper towel and a $100 bill which appeared to have dye stains on them from Defendant's car. The items were found between the driver's seat and the car's center console. He also identified State's Exhibit Number Five, a pair of sunglasses recovered from the glove compartment of Defendant's vehicle. He noted that Detective Landry had requested they collect the glasses as possibly being worn during the robbery. On cross-examination, Mr. Cogburn testified that he turned ...