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State v. Prince

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

February 2, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
DANIEL BRANDON PRINCE -AKA- DANIEL B. PRINCE

         APPEAL FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ACADIA, NO. CR 72, 189 I & II HONORABLE KRISTIAN EARLES, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED; SENTENCES VACATED;REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.

          Annette Roach Louisiana Appellate Project, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Daniel Brandon Prince.

          Roger P. Hamilton, Jr. Assistant District Attorney Fifteenth Judicial District, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: State of Louisiana.

          Court composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, John D. Saunders, and Shannon J. Gremillion, Judges.

          JOHN D. SAUNDERS JUDGE.

         On January 15, 2005, the badly-burned bodies of the victims, Angela Matte and Jackie Campbell, were found at the scene of a trailer fire in Acadia Parish. Campbell's remains were found on the floor of the bedroom, and Matte's remains were found on the bed springs. There was wire wrapped around Matte's neck. Neither the cause of the fire nor the victims' deaths were determined. However, evidence indicated that the women were dead before the fire and that Matte was strangled. A jailhouse informant told investigators, and later testified, that Defendant, Daniel B. Prince, confessed to killing the women and burning their bodies. The informant stated Defendant was in a bar in the Rayne area and met the victims. Defendant allegedly left the bar with them and went to a trailer with the victims. The informant stated Defendant told him he had sex with the women in the trailer. According to the informant, Defendant stated he hit one of the women in the throat and then got on top of her and strangled her to death. He then grabbed an extension cord and strangled the other woman. He then placed papers underneath the mattress and started a fire. A witness later stated he saw a man he identified as Defendant talking to the victims on the night of the murders, at the Little Easy, a bar in Rayne.

         Defendant was arrested after being involved in a traffic stop while driving a silver Chevrolet pick-up truck, which had been reported stolen. Defendant confessed to stealing the truck and was arrested at that time. It was this arrest and subsequent incarceration at the Allen Correctional Center that led to the alleged admission to his jailhouse cell mate. Police later discovered a witness who saw a silver truck following the vehicle of one of the victims towards the trailer on the night of the murders.

         An Acadia Parish grand jury indicted Defendant on October 11, 2007, charging him with two counts of first degree murder, violations of La.R.S. 14:30. Defendant entered a plea of not guilty to both charges on November 5, 2007. On that same date, the State declared its intent to seek the death penalty. The parties selected a jury on January 17-28, 2013, and the jury began hearing evidence on the latter date. On January 30, a unanimous jury found Defendant guilty as charged on both counts. In the penalty phase, the jury was deadlocked. On February 8, 2013, the district court sentenced Defendant to serve life in prison.

         On September 30, 2013, Defendant submitted a Motion for Out of Time Appeal. That motion was denied without a hearing. Defendant sought review of the trial court's denial of his Motion for Out of Time Appeal, and on February 10, 2014, this court remanded the matter to the trial court for a hearing in accordance with State v. Counterman, 475 So.2d 336 (La.1985). State v. Prince, 13-1349 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2/10/14) (unpublished opinion). Upon remand, defense counsel submitted a "Motion for Out of Time Appeal Order (Or in Alternative - Hearing on Out of Time Appeal Order)" with an affidavit by Defendant's attorney stating Defendant did not waive his right to appeal. On July 3, 2014, the trial court signed an "Order on Motion for Out of Time Appeal, " granting Defendant an out-of-time appeal.

         On July 31, 2014, the State filed a writ application in this court, seeking review of the trial court's grant of the motion for out-of-time appeal. On August 12, 2014, this court granted the State's writ application, finding the trial court erred in granting the motion for out-of-time appeal on July 3, 2014, without conducting a Counterman hearing. State v. Prince, 14-789 (La.App. 3 Cir. 8/12/14) (unpublished opinion). This court reversed the trial court's grant of the out-of-time appeal and remanded for the evidentiary hearing. Defendant sought review in the supreme court and was denied relief on April 2, 2015. State v. Prince, 14-1817 (La. 4/2/15), 163 So.3d 791.

         Despite this court's August 12, 2014 dismissal of Defendant's out-of-time appeal and the pendency of Defendant's writ in the supreme court, an appeal was lodged in this court on January 30, 2015. While the appeal was pending in this court, defense counsel filed a "Motion for Hearing on Out of Time Appeal Order" in the trial court on April 15, 2015. The trial court held a hearing on May 21, 2015, but Defendant's trial counsel was not present. The trial court granted the out-of-time appeal.

         On June 1, 2015, appellate counsel informed this court of the May 21, 2015 Counterman hearing and the trial court's grant of the out-of-time appeal. A few days later, this court issued a per curiam opinion dismissing Defendant's appeal. State v. Prince, 15-85 (La.App. 3 Cir. 6/3/15), 173 So.3d 906. It appears this court was not aware of appellate counsel's June 1, 2015 letter, because this court stated that the trial court had not yet held the Counterman hearing and had not granted a new out-of-time-appeal. Appellate counsel filed an application for rehearing on June 17, 2015, asking this court to reconsider its per curiam opinion in light of the trial court's May 21, 2015 grant of the out-of-time appeal. On July 29, 2015, this court denied the request for a rehearing.

         Thereafter, on August 12, 2015, the State sought review of the trial court's May 21, 2015 grant of Defendant's out-of-time appeal by filing a writ application in this court. The State argued that it was denied its right to cross-examination. This court granted the State's writ application, stating the following:

WRIT GRANTED AND MADE PEREMPTORY: The State should have had an opportunity to cross-examine trial counsel at the hearing conducted on May 21, 2015. The district court's ruling of that date is vacated, and the case is remanded for a hearing with live testimony, including the opportunity for cross-examination of any witnesses and presentation of evidence by both parties, if deemed appropriate.

State v. Prince, 15-763 (La.App. 3 Cir. 11/20/15) (unpublished opinion).

         On January 11, 2016, the trial court held a hearing, at which the State was able to cross-examine Defendant's trial counsel, Thomas Alonzo. The trial court granted the out-of-time appeal, and the appeal was lodged in this court on April 11, 2016.

         Defendant has filed a brief alleging four assignments of error. For the reasons that follow, we affirm Defendant's convictions, vacate Defendant's sentences, and remand Defendant's sentences to the trial court for imposition of a separate sentence on each count of first degree murder in accordance with La.R.S. 14:30.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR NO. 1:

         In his first assignment of error, Defendant argues the trial evidence was insufficient to support his convictions. We find the trial evidence was sufficient to convict Defendant of both counts of first degree murder.

         I. State's Evidence.

         Firefighter Dwayne Thevis responded to a fire on January 15, 2005, around 5:15 in the morning. Foy Credeur, Chief of the Branch Volunteer Fire Department in 2005, testified that the bodies of two women were found in the trailer that was on fire. Both victims were located in the south bedroom of the trailer, which suffered the heaviest damage. Monte Briggs of the Acadia Parish Coroner's Office testified that Campbell's body was on the floor. Matte's body was removed from the bed springs, at which point Briggs noticed a wire around her neck. Briggs noted that the wire looked like standard copper wire used in most electrical cords. Zeb Johnson of the Calcasieu Parish Coroner's Office testified that the cord around Matte's neck appeared to be a lamp cord.

         Dr. Terry Welke, accepted as an expert in the field of forensic pathology, was unable to determine the cause of the victims' deaths. Due to the low level of carbon monoxide in the victims' bodies, Dr. Welke opined that they were likely dead before the fire. When asked if the wire around Matte's neck could have been a necklace, Dr. Welke testified he did not think so but could not completely dismiss that possibility.

         Several hours before the fire, John Babineaux saw the victims at a bar, the "Little Easy." Babineaux saw a guy on his cell phone talking with the victims. Babineaux described the guy as Caucasian, wearing a white-buttoned up shirt, and having a tattoo on his arm. When shown a photo line-up, Bandeaux identified Defendant as the man he saw socializing with the victims. When Babineaux left the bar at 1:30, the victims and Defendant were still there. On re-direct, Babineaux stated that Defendant was shooting pool at the bar that night.

         Gary Daigle testified he was with Babineaux at the "Little Easy" on January 14, 2005. Daigle remembered seeing the victims at the bar that night. Daigle also remembered that one of the victims, Campbell, "took interest in" a guy playing pool. Daigle described the guy as slim, kind of tall, wearing a white muscle shirt, having a goatee, and having tattoos on his arm. On cross-examination, Daigle testified that he thought the guy Campbell was interested in was named "Dustin." Daigle also read from a previously made statement wherein he stated he saw another guy at the bar and that guy was interested in the other victim, Matte.

         Cordtney Otten testified that during the early morning hours of January 15, 2005, she saw the victims being followed by a truck. The victims lived a few houses down from Otten. Later, when Otten woke up to use the bathroom, she saw a truck going really fast out of the victims' driveway. Otten described the truck as silver and thought the truck was a Chevrolet. On cross-examination, Otten stated she did not remember seeing anything in the back of the truck. Although Otten testified she thought the truck's windows were tinted, she also stated she did not remember. Otten admitted, however, that in a statement she gave on September 7, 2005, she said there was a toolbox in the back of the truck, and she stated the windows of the truck were tinted.

         Approximately two weeks after the victims were found dead, Defendant was apprehended in Lafayette Parish while driving a silver Chevy truck that had been stolen on December 29, 2004. Sergeant Kim Verrett of the Vermillion Parish Sheriff's Department testified that on December 29, 2004, she investigated the theft of a silver 2005 Chevy truck. The truck was recovered when it was stopped while being driven by Defendant. According to Sergeant Verrett, Defendant admitted to taking the truck. On cross-examination, Sergeant Verrett testified that she could not see a toolbox in the photograph of the truck. As for the tint of the windows, Sergeant Verrett testified the windows appeared to be either rolled down or not tinted.

         Deputy Kip Judice testified he took Defendant into custody after pulling him over and determining he was driving a stolen truck. According to Deputy Judice, the truck did not have a toolbox. Deputy Judice also testified the truck's windows were not tinted.

         A brown leather jacket, a black leather jacket, two muscle shirts, blue jeans, and boxers were collected from the stolen truck Defendant was driving. No DNA from either victim was detected on the items recovered from the truck.

         Although Defendant was ultimately determined to be the main suspect in the murders, Detective Phyllis LeJeune of the Acadia Parish Sheriff's Office testified that Jason Fruge was considered a suspect early in the investigation. Fruge was dating Matte's daughter. Fruge was already at the scene of the fire when the fire truck arrived, and, according to one of the deputies, was dressed in his fire gear. Another person saw Fruge at the scene "standing and observing."

         Detective LeJeune testified that one of the officers at the scene told her that Fruge was acting strangely. According to another witness, Fruge had been a suspect in other fires in the Branch area. Detective LeJeune testified that Fruge was a suspect in a subsequent fire that occurred on June 13, 2005 in a nearby area.

         When Detective LeJeune took Fruge's statement on January 15, 2005, she noticed that he had bruises on his face and hands. According to the detective, she later learned that Fruge had the bruises a week to two weeks before the date in question.

         Jeremy Matte contacted the police and stated he was told by Jason Fruge that he had started the fire. The police chose to disregard Jeremy Matte's statement, because he was related to Angela Matte.

         Detective LeJeune developed Defendant as the main suspect because she received information that he was inside the bar, and she received a letter and voluntary statement from Michael Hayes stating Defendant confessed to the murders. Defendant was identified by John Babineaux in a photographic line-up as a person he saw talking to Campbell in the Little Easy.

         Michael Hayes testified that he and Defendant were in the same dorm at Allen Correctional Center. During one of their conversations, Defendant asked Hayes if a fire would destroy DNA evidence. Defendant eventually told Hayes that he killed two women. According to Hayes, Defendant told him the following:

A. He said he was in a bar in Rayne and they had a party going on. A girl had a birthday. And he was up there drinking and everything. And he said that they had come up and asked him to dance, and he said he didn't dance but he ended up playing pool with them. And he said they bought him some drinks, and when they pulled out to pay for the drinks there was some - he noticed a large sum of money and everything. He said that, you know, that went on for a while and then he left and he went back to a place he was staying.
Q. And what happened?
A. He returned back to the bar, went in there again and went to talking to them. If I remember right, he said he had a friend of his that called him about some other business they had going on. And then he said they had called for the last alcohol, the last drink, and he had went outside before they did. And then when they came out he said, "Luck would have it, that I just happened to park right next to them." He said, "We started talking, and they asked me did I want to go with them?" And he said, "Yeah, but y'all leave first." And so they left first. He said there was another person in the parking lot with a girl leaning over the door, over talking to him, he said, but he didn't think they'd seen him. And he said, well, they left and so he pulled out a little bit later so people wouldn't see him following. And he noticed that they had pulled over on the side of the road so he kind of slowed down behind them, flashed the lights and they went on. He said they came to Branch, Louisiana and went down like a dirt road to a trailer house.
Q. And what happened?
A. He said that he went to the back with the one lady, and said that they had had intercourse. And the other girl stayed up front. And he said they eventually had a conversation about her coming back there, too, and they had hollered for her. The other girl had hollered for her but she wouldn't come back there, so he went up to get her. He said that they had smoked a joint and went to talking. And then he went on back to the back and eventually she came back there, and he said he had intercourse with both of them. He then said that one girl was kind of getting jealous of the other one, because the one he was originally back there with was showing him more attention. And I'm going to say, the heavy set girl started getting upset and wanted him to leave, and telling him to leave, that she was going to call the law and have him throwed out. And he said he hit her in her throat with his fist and she fell down beside the bed, like gasping for air. And he got down on top of her and strangled her. He made a big deal out of the fact that the other girl never made - she was emotionless. She never screamed, never nothing. He said he thought that she thought they were going to be an item or something. And he said after he strangled her, you know, he knew he couldn't leave a witness so he grabbed an extension cord from an electric heater and he strangled the other girl with it. He said then he took the money they had. He said it was about Twenty-five Hundred Dollars ($2, 500.00). Then he said he had a lot of trouble getting the heavy girl back up on the bed, and he thought about trying to make - start a fire with the electric heater but he had pulled the extension cord out and he didn't know how long it would take for that to catch up on fire. So he piled a bunch of paper underneath the mattress and started it on fire. And he said it went quicker than he thought it would go. And so he got out of the house and he got in the vehicle. He said he started to take their car, but then he said they could link it to him, so he got in the truck. And he went up the road and he realized he was going to [sic] the wrong way. He said there was a woods [sic] between that trailer then another trailer. And so when he turned around and come back it was completely engulfed in flames, and he realized he had left the extension cord around that one girl's neck. He wanted to make it look like the house just caught on fire. And he said he left.

         One of the points defense counsel attempted to make at trial was that Hayes could have learned about the wire found around Matte's neck from someone other than Defendant. Chief Credeur testified that although they were instructed not to say anything about the wire, everyone at the scene knew that something was wrapped around Matte's neck. When asked if the wire around Matte's neck was common knowledge in the Branch community, Chief Credeur replied, "Probably so." According to Detective Phyllis LeJeune, the fact that wire was found around Matte's neck was not released to the public. However, Detective LeJeune acknowledged she could not keep the information from getting out, but believed the information did not get out since there were not many people at the scene when the wire was discovered. Detective LeJeune did state when she questioned Jeremy Matte, he knew about the wire. Detective LeJeune did not know how Jeremy found out about the wire. Jeremy testified he heard a rumor that a cord was found around Matte's neck. Hayes testified he did not know any of these facts prior to his conversation with Defendant.

         When asked if he was given any benefit or promised anything for his testimony, Hayes replied, "No." Hayes also testified he had no grudge against Defendant and testified because it was the right thing to do.

         On cross, defense counsel accused Hayes of being a liar because of his previous convictions of forgery and identity theft. At the time of his testimony, Hayes was still on parole. When asked if he was a paid snitch, Hayes replied, "Absolutely not." Defense counsel showed Hayes a DOC document that said in July 2009, Hayes had $16, 521.00 in his prison account. Hayes explained that he worked there for almost two years. When asked about his prior convictions, Hayes stated that his first conviction was in 2005 and was for identity theft. Subsequently, when asked why he told the trial court in March 2011, that he had only one felony conviction in 2006 instead of two felony convictions (forgery and identity theft), Hayes replied:

A. Well, I think it's probably a misunderstanding. And let me tell you why I think that.
Q. Okay. All right.
A. You're counting felony arrests. I'm counting as a first offender.

         Everything was run concurrent. I was put in prison over one (1) sentence. Later, when Hayes was further questioned about telling the court he was a first felony offender even though he was actually a second felony offender, Hayes continued to explain that he believed he was a first offender since the sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

         When questioned about the fact that his sentences were eventually "reduced" to eight years, Hayes agreed that in 2006 he received a notice from the Department of Corrections that he was serving a thirteen-year sentence. Hayes explained that before he went to Phelps Correctional, his prison "rap" sheet indicated that his sentence was eight years. When he arrived at Phelps, the "rap" sheet indicated his sentence was thirteen years. At that time, Hayes asked the trial court in Sabine Parish to clarify how it intended the sentences to be served. According to Hayes, the trial court stated that it intended the sentences to be served concurrently. When defense counsel asked Hayes if he had his sentence reduced after becoming a snitch, the following colloquy took place:

         Q. Excuse me. It was clarified for you - - (interrupted)

BY ALONZO - CONTINUED:
Q. So, the clarification in your sentence from thirteen (13) years to eight (8) years occurred after you became a rat, right?
BY THE WITNESS:
A. Okay. Will you allow me to explain something?
Q. Sure. Yes, sir.
A. Okay. When I went to prison I got eight (8) years. I voluntarily revoked myself on the first charge, the five (5) years. There's no use - I did it. There was no use to continue to fight anything; do it, get over it and move on in my life. I voluntarily got with them, I revoked myself. The Judge - it's in your minutes, also, sir. You can read. Before I ever wrote a statement on him - that it's eight (8) years. But every prison you go to has a computation department. And each one of them people, they read something differently. At every prison I went to except the last one, it was always eight (8) years.
Q. Okay. Fair enough. I'm sorry. Were you finished?
A. And when I got to Phelps they did compute (sic) it, read the five (5) and the eight (8) and made it a thirteen (13). I argued it out saying it was to be ran concurrently together, and so it would be the five (5) is ate up by the eight (8), it would be eight (8) years. I didn't have any of my paperwork. And I had noone [sic] that could get it, so all I could do was to write a motion and have the Judge reclarify it. I did that. They changed it back to the original eight (8) that it was before I ever, what you want to call, snitched on him.

         Hayes testified that he did not know his lawyer sent a letter to the District Attorney asking for Hayes to be paroled in exchange for his testimony against Defendant. Defense counsel introduced a letter written by Hayes' attorney to District Attorney Mike Harson. In the letter, Hayes' attorney stated that he wanted the District Attorney's assistance in getting Hayes paroled in exchange for his testimony against Defendant. Although he testified he did not know about the letter, Hayes said he did tell his attorney to "get this parole fixed for me." When asked if he had some charges dismissed in December 2007, after he became a snitch, Hayes responded, "Yes, sir." Hayes explained that the charges were for "bank fraud" and were dismissed because "the statute of limitations run out on them."

         Detective LeJeune testified that Hayes never asked for a reduction in his jail time. The detective testified that she would be surprised to hear Hayes hired a lawyer to seek a reduction in his sentence in exchange for his testimony. Detective LeJeune stated that she believed Hayes.

         II. Defense Witnesses.

         Kami Richard, a barmaid at the Little Easy in Rayne, testified that on January 14, 2005, she saw two women at the bar, and she remembered it was one of the women's birthday. Richard remembered seeing one of the women trying to flirt with a man having tattoos and wearing a leather jacket. According to Richard, the man did not seem interested in the woman. Richard thought the man left before the women left, but she was not sure. After being shown her previous statement, Richard testified that the man with the leather jacket left before the women left. Richard thought the women left with another man.

         The owner of the Little Easy Bar, Charmaine Gallet Billings, testified there were about twenty-five to thirty people in the bar the night the victims were there. Billings remembered escorting the victims out of the bar at about 1:45, closing time. Billings acknowledged that in her statement, she said the victims left with "a little grey haired man."

         Jason Domingue testified that after the fire, he found a duffel bag in a field about a mile and a half to two miles from the fire. The duffel bag had a ski mask in it. Defendant was excluded as a contributor of DNA found on the mask.

         Brian Fontenot, the arson and fire investigator for the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office in January 2005, testified that Jason Fruge was initially a suspect in the fire. Fontenot testified that although he could not confirm that Fruge was a suspect in other fires, he knew that Fruge was involved in other fires. Additionally, Fontenot testified that Fruge may have been part owner of a property that caught fire after the fire in question. On cross-examination, Fontenot acknowledged that he has never arrested Fruge for arson.

         David Clark, who lived near the scene of the fire, testified he smelled smoke when letting his dog out at dawn. He walked towards the fire, and stated when the sheriff shined his spotlight at the smoking trailer, Jason Fruge appeared in the smoke. Clark testified that Fruge was not in his fireman clothes. Accordig to Clark, no other policemen or firemen were at the scene at that point. Clark stated that Jason Fruge was the first person he saw come out of the vicinity of the fire.

         Jessica Trahan, Matte's daughter, testified that three days before she died, Matte expressed displeasure with her other daughter, Dana, for dating Jason Fruge and for "doing drugs." According to Trahan, her mom was trying to get Dana to quit dating Fruge. Two weeks earlier, Trahan had a conversation with her mom regarding the fact that Fruge knew her mom did not want him dating Dana. Trahan could not remember the specifics of the conversation, so defense counsel had her read her previous statement:

A. (Witness examines document.) "We were sitting down talking and she was telling me how she was going to have to find a new place to live and a new job because she just seen trouble coming there and stuff. Then I asked her, you know, what was the problem and stuff about her not being around - - Then I asked her, you know, what the problems and stuff about her not being around Jason because he wasn't a good influence on her, and Dana must have told Jason or something because Jason found out. And at work he had cornered my mom when she was throwing out trash out the back door, and she, whenever she was going to go back in the corner, her, and he put his hand on the screen door or on the door and he told her, 'Look, you need to keep your f---ing nose out of me and Dana's business or you're going to find yourself in a roaring fire and I'm the f---ing person to do it.' My mom . . ." (Crying by witness.)

         When asked why she was suspicious of Fruge after her mom was murdered, Trahan responded:

A. Because he ended up saying that. I mean, naturally you would think that. As soon as we found out, you know, she was murdered, we were looking for answers.
Q. But also, he had some marks on his face, remember?
A. He had a scratch under his eye and nose, but my sister - my sister said - Dana told me that it was whenever he fell out of the truck. She was with him when it happened before my mom had passed away. She was in the truck with him.

         On cross-examination, Trahan stated now she did not think either Dana or Fruge had anything to do with her mom's death.

         Lavence Matte, the ex-husband of Angela Matte, testified he spoke with Matte the day before her death. When asked if Matte expressed concern about Jason Fruge, Matte responded:

A. Yes, sir.
Q. Tell me specifically what she told you.
A. We got back to her house, and, of course, she got out. She says, "I need to tell you something."
Q. Would you speak into the speaker phone just - - (interrupted)
A. When I got there - of course, she got out the car. She says, "I need to tell you something." I said, "What do you want to tell me." My little girl, Shelby, was with me, which we made Shelby get out the car and walk to see her little brothers, her little half-brothers. She started to cry and she says, "Baby, I was threatened." I said, "What you mean you was threatened?". She said, "Jason threatened me. He said if I didn't stay out of him and Dana's relationship he was going to kill me and burn me in the trailer and get away with it because he was a volunteer fireman." And she cried. I said, "Do you want me to talk to him?", I said, "There's no danger with that little worm. He ain't going to do nothing." She said, "No, don't talk to him. I'm scared." That's about all she had to say on that.

         The next witness for the defense, Kayla Comeaux, testified that Jason Fruge dated her cousin, Tessa. A few months after the fire, Comeaux heard Fruge say that he started the fire because he was mad at Tessa. Comeaux further explained: "They were fighting. I guess he said it to scare her, but he said he put a gallon of gas over some candles and that's how he did it."

         The final witness to testify was Dr. Dean Foster, who was accepted as an expert in corrections and sentencing. According to Dr. Foster, Michael Hayes was in Allen Correctional Center in December 2006, for twenty-three days-a time during which Defendant was also there. After about a week of being in the same dorm as Defendant, Hayes contacted the Fire Marshal's Office. Dr. Foster testified that he was asked to look at Hayes' file for any unusual occurrences after Hayes came forward as an informant. According to Dr. Foster, some really good things began happening to Hayes right after he became an informant. Hayes was transferred to a better prison and was ultimately placed in the lowest security state prison. Second, he was quickly promoted to inmate counsel substitute. Third, Dr. Foster mentioned the fact that Hayes' sentences were amended from consecutive to concurrent. Dr. Foster explained how the modification occurred as follows:

A. I mean, there is a sentencing history there. He got the five (5) year sentence initially, and then the next year he came back on additional charges and got an eight (8) year sentence. And as he explained in Court yesterday afternoon, he had his probation revoked at that time, although not exactly under the circumstances that he described, but had his probation revoked and the Judge at that time, at the probation revocation the Judge imposed a five (5) year sentence on him and did not specify in the minutes whether it was to be concurrent or consecutive. And the rule is under the Code of Criminal Procedure 883, that if it's not specified concurrent, then it becomes consecutive. So, the DOC officials were just following their rules, which says if the Judge doesn't say concurrent, it's consecutive. So, as far as they were concerned, he was serving an eight (8) year sentence and a five (5) year sentence. So, you have to serve one (1), or half (1/2) of one under his Good Time rules before you get into serving the other half (1/2), the other sentence.
Q. And just to be clear, that became - excuse me - that changed after he became a snitch?
A. After he became a snitch he went back to Sabine and the two (2) sentences were rolled back into one (1) eight (8) year concurrent sentence.

         When asked what happened when Hayes went to work for the work release program in Lake Charles, Dr. Foster explained:

A. I've read through the reports, yes. He was supposed to be working at one address, but he was being delivered each day to a different address, which was a house, according to the reports, that were [sic] owned by either him or his girlfriend, and spending time there during the day instead of being on the job site where he was supposed to be working.
Q. Was he committing any kind of fraud upon the State by doing that?
A. He was violating the terms of work release, so he was subject to any charges that would result from that.
Q. I'm trying to determine, was he double-dipping, working somewhere else and getting paid somewhere else, too; do you know?
A. I have no idea about his finances. What appears in the record is how much money he had in his account at the halfway house when he was sent back into State custody for violating the terms of work release, which was Sixteen Thousand Five Hundred and Twenty-one Dollars ($16, 521.00) that he had accumulated in the fifteen (15) months that he was working at the work release facility.
Q. Did you find that unusual?
A. It's a good sum of money. It depends upon that job that he has, you know, how much he's working and other things. It's more than ordinary. I was involved with halfway house facilities in Lafayette, and somebody who was working offshore at a good job that really couldn't spend much money out of their account would sometimes accumulate, you know, One Thousand Dollars ($1, 000.00) a month or more. So, not obviously fraudulent or anything incorrect about it.
Q. Okay, that's fair.
A. But unusual. I mean, it was more money than most inmates would earn; yes.
Q. And did anything else happen that was unusual after he gets charged with the escape? He goes up -- What happens next?
A. Well, he's returned to State custody. He's put in jail in Calcasieu then he's transferred back into Hunt, which is the Adult Reception Diagnostic Center at St. Gabriel. He goes back to Hunt for a few weeks. He has his disciplinary hearing there, in which -- Well, it's postponed twice, and then when he goes to the hearing he's found not guilty of escape, where there's another charge which is just kind of general prohibited ...

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