Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 315,842. Honorable Brady O'Callaghan, Judge.
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, By: Douglas Lee Harville, Counsel for Appellant.
DALE G. COX, District Attorney; SARAH M. HOOD, GEORGE WINSTON, III, TOMMY J. JOHNSON, Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for Appellee.
Before BROWN, CARAWAY & PITMAN, JJ.
[49,839 La.App. 2 Cir. 1]
A nonunanimous jury convicted Defendant Andrew Levell Smith of second degree murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Defendant appeals his conviction and sentence. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm Defendant's conviction and sentence.
Defendant was charged with second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1, in the shooting death of Prentiss Tyre Britton, which occurred on the night of May 7, 2013, at the Peach Street Apartments, a.k.a. Cooper Road Plaza Apartments, in Shreveport, Louisiana. A jury trial was held in June 2014 and the following evidence was adduced.
Corporal Kevin Duck of the Shreveport Police Department (" SPD" ) testified that, on May 7, 2013, at approximately 9:45 p.m., he responded to a call regarding a shooting at the Peach Street Apartments. When he arrived at the complex parking lot, he observed a large group of people standing around a black male who was lying behind a car and who appeared to be lifeless.
Detective Sherita Holden, a violent crimes investigator with the SPD, testified that the 911 call reporting shots fired at the Peach Street Apartments was received at 9:47 p.m. Viewing the crime scene from the parking lot at the back of the apartment complex facing the buildings, Building L is to the left, Building K is straight ahead and there is a breezeway between them. Det. Holden contacted the apartment manager to secure the video from surveillance cameras mounted on the top of [49,839 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] Building K. The video, which captured the shooting, was played for the jury at trial.
The video shows several people standing near the cars in the parking lot. A few minutes later, Mr. Britton walked up from the side of Building L, looked toward the breezeway and ran behind an Oldsmobile that the people were standing around. The Oldsmobile is seen at the bottom of the picture and is only partially in the frame, with the passenger's side hidden from view. Mr. Britton is seen crouching down behind that car, and the people walk away. Defendant walked into the scene from the breezeway and circled the car in pursuit of Mr. Britton. Eventually, Defendant jumped onto the hood of the car while Mr. Britton was at the rear of the car. Defendant then walked across the roof of the car and shot into the trunk as Mr. Britton went under the car. Defendant jumped off the trunk onto the ground, crouched down and shot several times directly under the trunk of the car where Mr. Britton was hiding.
The video further shows that Defendant walked toward the breezeway, and Mr. Britton crawled out from under the car. Defendant ran back and shot Mr. Britton at point-blank range, whereupon Mr. Britton stopped moving. As Defendant fled toward the breezeway, a person identified
as Jeremy Bradford, a.k.a., " Swole," is seen on the far end of the parking lot shooting toward the cars. He ran toward Mr. Britton and then toward the breezeway.
Det. Holden identified the people seen in the video standing by the cars before the shooting as Marshasity Crawford, a.k.a. " Big Shea," Brian Hill and Steven Davis. While at the scene, Det. Holden heard people in the [49,839 La.App. 2 Cir. 3] crowd saying, " Andrew didn't have to do that," and " Andrew shot Britton." Det. Holden identified " Andrew" as Defendant Andrew Smith. She also testified that, during her investigation, she learned that later on the same night of the shooting, Defendant's mother purchased a bus ticket for him to Memphis, Tennessee. Defendant was subsequently arrested there and returned to Shreveport.
Marshasity Crawford testified that she has known both Defendant and Mr. Britton for a very long time. She stated that, on the afternoon of the shooting, Mr. Britton was at her home and he told her that Defendant had broken into Swole's house and stolen his television. She further stated that Mr. Britton told her that, when Swole got home from work, they were going to confront Defendant about the theft. She identified Defendant as the person who shot Mr. Britton and stated that Defendant had come through the breezeway with a " MAC" gun in his hand and told her to get out of the way. Ms. Crawford told Defendant not to shoot Mr. Britton and Defendant responded, " F..k that, I gotta kill this bitch ass niggah," and then got on top of the car and began shooting him.
Swole testified that, on the morning of the shooting, while at work in Texas, he received a telephone call from his friend, Mr. Britton, who told him that Defendant had broken into his apartment at the Northside Villa Apartments on North Market in Shreveport, had stolen his flat ...