FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 516-466,
SECTION "C" Honorable Benedict J. Willard, Judge
A. Cannizzaro, Jr. District Attorney, Orleans Parish Scott G.
Vincent Assistant District Attorney COUNSEL FOR
APPELLEE/STATE OF LOUISIANA.
Michael H. Idoyaga COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.
composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Daniel L. Dysart,
Judge Rosemary Ledet.
L. BELSOME JUDGE.
defendant, Octavia Gary, was convicted of second degree
murder and obstruction of justice. For the reasons that
follow, we affirm the convictions.
defendant, Octavia Gary, and Anderson Soco dated and lived
together off and on for five years. At the time of the
incident, the couple resided at 8531 Green Street in New
April 7, 2013, a 911 dispatcher received a call from the
defendant at 5:04 am. During that call, the defendant told
the dispatcher that her boyfriend had been stabbed and that
someone had "dropped him off from the club, " but
she did not know the person or persons. When asked to
identify the nightclub, the defendant responded that she did
not know. The dispatcher asked how many times the victim had
been stabbed, and the defendant can then be heard asking the
victim to show her; then, the defendant responded that the
victim had been stabbed once. In the background of the
recording, the defendant can be heard telling the victim to
apply pressure to his wound, asking him where his pants were
and if he wanted his clothes changed. Then the defendant can
be heard telling the victim that help was on the way and then
telling herself, "I need to clean, I need to change, I
need to get my purse…" The recording was
terminated several seconds later.
the defendant was arrested for the murder of Mr. Soco. She
was charged with second degree murder and obstruction of
justice. After trial and deliberations, the jury returned
verdicts of guilty on both counts. Thereafter, the defendant
filed a motion for a new trial and a motion for post-verdict
judgment of acquittal, both of which were denied by the trial
court. The trial court imposed the mandatory sentence of life
imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence on the count of second
degree murder, and 20 years imprisonment at hard labor on the
count of obstruction of justice, to run concurrently. This
appeal the defendant challenges the sufficiency of the
evidence to sustain her conviction of second degree murder,
and she also maintains that the trial court erroneously
allowed questioning on inadmissible evidence.
of the Evidence
defendant was convicted of violating La. R.S. 14:30.1, second
degree murder. The statute provides that second degree murder
applies to the killing of a human being by an offender who
"has a specific intent to kill or to inflict great
bodily harm." Specific intent is the state of mind which
exists when circumstances indicate the offender actively
desires prescribed criminal consequences to follow his
Specific intent need not be proven as fact, but may be
inferred from the circumstances of the transaction ...