APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 15-3129, DIVISION
"F" HONORABLE MICHAEL P. MENTZ, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D.
Connick, Jr. Terry M. Boudreaux Thomas J. Butler Angel G.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, OTIS D. WASHINGTON Bruce G.
composed of Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Marc E. Johnson, and
Robert A. Chaisson
E. JOHNSON JUDGE
appeal, Defendant seeks review of his convictions, claiming
there was insufficient evidence to convict him. For the
reasons that follow, we affirm Defendant's convictions.
10, 2015, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney filed a bill
of information charging Defendant, Otis D. Washington, with
two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in
violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1 (counts one and two);
aggravated assault with a firearm in violation of La. R.S.
14:37.4 (count three); and aggravated criminal damage to
property in violation of La. R.S. 14:55 (count four).
Defendant pled not guilty and proceeded to trial on April 25,
2016. After a two-day trial, a 12-person jury found Defendant
guilty as charged on all four counts. Two days later, the
State filed a multiple bill of information as to count four,
alleging Defendant to be a third felony offender based on a
2014 predicate conviction for unauthorized use of a movable
and a 2010 predicate conviction for simple
2, 2016, the trial court sentenced Defendant to 20 years at
hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension
of sentence and a $5, 000 fine each on counts one and two; 10
years at hard labor and a $5, 000 fine on count three; and 15
years at hard labor and a $5, 000 fine on count four. The
trial court ordered the sentences to run concurrently with
initially denied the allegations in the multiple bill, but
subsequently stipulated to his status as a third felony
offender at a multiple bill hearing on May 19, 2016. The
trial court vacated Defendant's original sentence on
count four and imposed an enhanced sentence under the
multiple offender statute of 20 years at hard labor without
benefit of probation or suspension of sentence, to run
concurrently with Defendant's other sentences.
between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on April 28, 2015, the
victim, David Quazel Roberts, and his friend, Cassandra,
went to get breakfast at Duncan's, a corner store which
is located down the street from Defendant's mother's
house on Warren Street in Kenner. As they were leaving the
store, Mr. Roberts heard Defendant's voice. Mr. Roberts could
not clearly see Defendant because he was not wearing his
glasses. When Mr. Roberts asked Cassandra who it was,
Cassandra stated that it was Defendant. According to Mr.
Roberts, Defendant was holding a gun, looked like he was
crying "like somebody had made him mad, " and was
"talking and saying a bunch of yackking [sic] what he
was going to do, " specifically that he was going to
kill Mr. Roberts. Defendant paced back and forth across the
street from the store while Mr. Roberts and Cassandra walked
to Mr. Roberts' car, a 1997 gold Buick LeSabre.
Roberts testified that Cassandra told Defendant not to shoot
since she was in the car. Defendant responded to Cassandra
with profanity. Mr. Roberts exchanged further profanities
with Defendant and led Defendant to believe he was armed,
even though he was not. Once Mr. Roberts and Cassandra were
in the vehicle, Mr. Roberts started to back up and then hit
the accelerator, at which time Defendant started firing. The
first shot hit the door of the vehicle, and the second shot
hit the window, breaking it. Through the rearview window, Mr.
Roberts saw Defendant stop shooting and run towards his
mother's house on Warren Street. Mr. Roberts then called
his mother and asked her to call Defendant's mother to
tell Defendant "to chill."
next day, April 29, 2015, Mr. Roberts was stopped at a red
light on a two-lane road in Jefferson Parish when a red Suburban
pulled alongside of him. Mr. Roberts saw Defendant, who was
armed with a gun, hanging out of the window and waving. Mr.
Roberts also saw several other people in the vehicle, all of
whom were armed with guns. Fearing for his life, Mr. Roberts
ran the red light.
that night, at approximately 11:20 p.m., Mr. Roberts called
9-1-1 from a parking lot near Zephyrs Stadium in Metairie to
report the two incidents. Officer Danny Julian with the
Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office responded to the call
and met with Mr. Roberts and his mother in the Zephyrs
Stadium parking lot. Officer Julian testified that Mr.
Roberts reported that Defendant, along with several males,
drove up on the side of him, while he was sitting in his
vehicle at a red light, and pointed an assault rifle at him.
Mr. Roberts also reported an incident that occurred in Kenner
where shots were fired at him while he was inside his
vehicle. Officer Julian observed that Mr. Roberts'
vehicle had a bullet hole and shattered windows. Officer
Julian described Mr. Roberts' demeanor as very afraid and
nervous. He took Mr. Roberts' statement about the first
reported incident and contacted the Kenner Police Department
regarding the second reported incident since it occurred in
Joseph Scamardo with the Kenner Police Department responded
to the Zephyrs Stadium parking lot on April 30, 2015, at
12:40 a.m. He took Mr. Roberts to the Kenner Police complex
where he took Mr. Roberts' statement and crime scene took
photos of Mr. Roberts' vehicle, which had several bullet
holes and two shattered windows. No projectiles were located
in the vehicle. Officer Scamardo stated that Mr. Roberts, via
his cellphone, provided a photograph of Defendant obtained
from Facebook. Mr. Roberts indicated that the handgun
Defendant was brandishing in the Facebook photograph was the
same handgun he observed Defendant use in the shooting
taking Mr. Roberts' statement, Officer Scamardo went to
Duncan's to search the area in an attempt to locate shell
casings or other stray projectiles. Officer Scamardo
testified that he was unable to find any evidence, there was
no available surveillance footage of the area, and no 9-1-1
calls were placed following the shots. Nonetheless, Officer
Scamardo obtained an arrest warrant for Defendant.
was subsequently arrested on May 7, 2015, at his
girlfriend's apartment in Metairie by the United States
Marshall's Fugitive Task Force. At the time of his
arrest, Defendant did not have any firearms on his person and
no firearms were collected from the apartment in the
arresting officer's presence.
defense, Defendant presented the sole testimony of his
employer, who testified that Defendant worked on both April
28th and 29th from approximately 3:00
p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Defendant's employer did ...