FROM THE THIRTY-THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
ALLEN, NO. CR-2015-2058 HONORABLE ERROL DAVID DESHOTELS, JR.,
Herbert Todd Nesom District Attorney - 33rd
Judicial District Court Steven Sumbler Assistant District
Attorney - 33rd Judicial District Court Joe Green
Assistant District Attorney - 33rd Judicial
District Court COUNSEL FOR: Plaintiff/Appellee - State of
Kelly Bauman Louisiana Appellate Project COUNSEL FOR:
Defendant/Appellant - Kennon Richard a/k/a Kennan Richard
composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Marc T.
Amy, and Phyllis M. Keaty, Judges.
ULYSSES GENE THIBODEAUX CHIEF JUDGE
Kennon Richard was a passenger in a vehicle driven by
co-defendant Christopher James. The vehicle was stopped for a
traffic violation and Mr. James was placed under arrest.
While Mr. James was being placed in handcuffs, he tossed a
plastic bag of cocaine onto the car seat, whereupon Mr.
Richard grabbed the bag and attempted to hide it in the car.
Kennon Richard was found guilty by a jury of obstruction of
justice pursuant to La.R.S. 14:130.1. Mr. Richard timely
appeals his conviction, his adjudication, and the trial
court's ruling on his Batson challenges. For the
following reasons, we affirm.
1. whether the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to
find Kennon Richard guilty of obstruction of justice;
2. whether the trial court erred in denying defense
counsel's Batson challenges;
3. whether the trial court erred in finding Kennon Richard to
be a third felony offender; and
4. whether the trial court erred in denying Kennon
Richard's Motion in Arrest of Judgment.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Richard was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Christopher
James when it was stopped for a traffic violation. While
being placed in handcuffs, Mr. James removed several items
from his pocket, including a clear plastic bag of cocaine,
which he threw onto the driver's seat. The arresting
officer then observed Mr. Richard take the bag of cocaine and
stuff it between the passenger seat and the center console.
The bag remained in plain view at all times. Mr. Richard was
also placed under arrest.
Richard was charged with possession of cocaine with the
intent to distribute in violation of La.R.S. 40:967(A)(1),
and obstruction of justice in violation of La.R.S. 14:130.1.
A jury unanimously found Mr. Richard not guilty of possession
of cocaine with the intent to distribute, but guilty of
obstruction of justice. Mr. Richard was charged as a habitual
offender, and the trial ...