FROM JUVENILE COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2016-131-02-DQ-C,
SECTION "C" Honorable Candice Bates Anderson,
A. Cannizzaro, Jr. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ORLEANS PARISH J.
Taylor Gray ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, COUNSEL FOR
APPELLEE/STATE OF LOUISIANA.
Felix LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S RIGHTS, COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge Sandra Cabrina
Jenkins, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods.
BARTHOLOMEW WOODS JUDGE.
a juvenile delinquency case. The juvenile, K.L., appeals his
delinquency adjudication for possession of
marijuana. For the following reasons, we affirm.
approximately 3:20 p.m. on December 5, 2014, Mr. Tyrell
Gaddies, a behavior mentor and math teacher at Crescent
Leadership Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana, was assigned to
bus detail, which involved supervising students as they
boarded the school bus. During bus detail that day, Mr.
Gaddies observed an apparent hand-to-hand transaction between
K.L. and another student who was known to have issues with
marijuana. Mr. Gaddies testified that he knew K.L. because he
was his behavior mentor. For these reasons, Mr. Gaddies
boarded the bus and asked K.L. to remove what he had placed
into his pocket. K.L. removed only his left hand from his
pocket. Mr. Gaddies then asked K.L. to remove his right hand
from his pocket. K.L. produced an empty right hand. Mr.
Gaddies further testified that he asked K.L. to empty both
pockets. K.L., however, emptied only his left pocket. Mr.
Gaddies then reached into K.L.'s right pocket and
retrieved a plastic bag that contained marijuana. After he
retrieved the marijuana, Mr. Gaddies notified the New Orleans
Police Department ("NOPD"); NOPD School Resource
Officer Abram Pedesclaux responded. Officer Pedesclaux
testified that he was given custody of the bag of marijuana.
He prepared a police report and placed the marijuana into
Central Evidence and Property. He identified the marijuana at
the adjudication hearing.
10, 2016, K.L. was charged by delinquency petition with
possession of marijuana in violation of La. R.S.
40:966(E)(1). On May 24, 2016, K.L. appeared in juvenile
court for arraignment and pled not guilty.
7, 2016, K.L. filed a motion to suppress evidence. At
K.L.'s request, the suppression hearing was conducted in
conjunction with the adjudication hearing, which was held on
September 20, 2016. Utimately, the juvenile court denied
K.L.'s motion to suppress and adjudicated K.L. delinquent
of possession of marijuana in violation of La. R.S.
40:966(E)(1). On that same date, the juvenile court committed
K.L. to secure care custody for six months, but suspended the
execution of the sentence and placed K.L. on active probation
for eighteen months. It is from this adjudication of
delinquency that K.L. appeals.
this court adopted a practice of conducting an error patent
review in juvenile delinquency cases. State in Interest
of W.B., 16-0642, p. 4 (La.App. 4 Cir. 12/7/16), 206
So.3d 974, 978; See State in the Interest of S.J.,
13-1025, p. 4 (La.App. 4 Cir. 11/6/13), 129 So.3d 676, 679
(citing State in the Interest of A.H., 10-1673, p. 9
(La.App. 4 Cir. 4/20/11), 65 So.3d 679, 685). A review of the
record in this case revealed no errors patent.
defense counsel did not designate it as an assignment of
error, counsel raised sufficiency of the evidence in her
brief. In a juvenile adjudication proceeding, the state must
prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the child committed a
delinquent act alleged in the petition. La. Ch.C art. 883;
State in the Interest of D.M., 97-0628, p. 4
(La.App. 1 Cir. 11/07/97), 704 So.2d 786, 789. On appeal, the
standard of review for the sufficiency of evidence,
enunciated in Jackson v. Virginia,443 U.S. 307, 99
S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979), is whether, viewing the
evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any
rational trier of fact could have found the state proved the
essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt;
this standard is applicable to delinquency cases. La. C.Cr.P.
art. 821. Interest of D.M., 97-0628 at p. 5, 704
So.2d at 789. Further, in a juvenile delinquency proceeding,
an appellate court is constitutionally mandated to review the
law and facts. La. Const. art. 5, § 10(B). Accordingly,
an appellate court must review the record to determine if the
trial court was clearly wrong in its factual findings.