FROM THE TWENTY-SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST.
LANDRY, NO. 14-K-0508-D HONORABLE D. JASON MECHE, DISTRICT
C. Marx Louisiana Appellate Project COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Nathaniel McCoy, Jr.
B. Taylor 27th JDC District Attorney Jennifer M. Ardoin
Assistant District Attorney COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE:
State of Louisiana.
composed of D. Kent Savoie, Van H. Kyzar, and David E.
E. CHATELAIN [*] JUDGE
defendant, Nathaniel McCoy, Jr., appeals his manslaughter
conviction. For the following reasons, we affirm the
defendant's conviction and sentence.
April 30, 2014, a St. Landry Parish grand jury returned a
true bill, charging the defendant with the second degree
murder of Robbie White (White), a violation of La.R.S.
14:30.1. The defendant was arraigned on June 26, 2014, where
he entered a plea of not guilty. Jury selection occurred on
May 3, 2016. Trial was continued until May 23, 2016. The
trial took place over May 23 - 25, 2016. By a vote of ten to
two, the jury found the defendant guilty of the lesser
responsive verdict of manslaughter, a violation of La.R.S.
defendant timely appealed his conviction and asserts two
assignments of error. First, the defendant asserts that the
trial court erred in allowing the introduction of "other
crimes" evidence that was not timely provided to him;
his contention is twofold: it violated the trial court's
scheduling order and did not comply with the rules of
discovery in criminal matters. Second, the defendant asserts
that the State failed to prove that he killed White and
challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support a
accordance with La.Code Crim.P. art. 920, this court reviews
all appeals for errors patent on the face of the record.
After reviewing the record, we find one error patent.
court minutes show that the trial court failed to delay
sentencing for twenty-four hours after it denied the
defendant's "Motion for Judgment of Acquittal or in
the Alternative Motion for New Trial."
Code of Criminal Procedure Article 873 provides:
If a defendant is convicted of a felony, at least three days
shall elapse between conviction and sentence. If a motion for
a new trial, or in arrest of judgment, is filed, sentence
shall not be imposed until at least twenty-four hours after
the motion is overruled. If the defendant expressly waives a
delay provided for in this article or pleads guilty, sentence
may be imposed immediately.
was no express waiver of the delay in this case; however, any
error is harmless because the defendant does not argue
excessiveness of his sentence on appeal and does not claim he
was prejudiced by the lack of the delay. State v.
Frank, 15-893 (La.App. 3 Cir. 5/25/16), 192 So.3d
888; State v. Cortes, 11-794 (La.App. 3 Cir.
2/1/12), 84 So.3d 733.
OF THE EVIDENCE
defendant asserts the State failed to prove beyond a
reasonable doubt that he was the person who killed White.
Thus, the defendant contends the evidence was insufficient to
support the responsive verdict of manslaughter.
issues are raised on appeal both as to the sufficiency of the
evidence and as to one or more trial errors, the reviewing
court should first determine the sufficiency of the
evidence." State v. Hearold, 603 So.2d 731, 734
(La. 1992). The rationale is that "[w]hen the entirety
of the evidence . . . is insufficient to support the
conviction, the accused must be discharged as to that crime,
and any discussion by the court of the trial error issues as
to that crime would be pure dicta since those issues are
analysis for insufficiency of the evidence claims is
When the issue of sufficiency of evidence is raised on
appeal, the critical inquiry of the reviewing court is
whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most
favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact
could have found the essential elements of the crime proven
beyond a reasonable doubt. Jackson v. Virginia, 443
U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560, rehearing
denied, 444 U.S. 890, 100 S.Ct. 195, 62 L.Ed.2d 126
(1979); State ex rel. Graffagnino v. King, 436 So.2d
559 (La. 1983); State v. Duncan, 420 So.2d 1105
(La.1982); State v. Moody, 393 So.2d 1212 (La.1981).
It is the role of the fact finder to weigh the respective
credibility of the witnesses, and therefore, the appellate
court should not second guess the credibility determinations
of the triers of fact beyond the sufficiency evaluations
under the Jackson standard of review. See State
ex rel. Graffagnino, 436 So.2d 559 (citing State v.
Richardson, 425 So.2d 1228 (La.1983)). In order for this
Court to affirm a conviction, however, the record must
reflect that the state has satisfied its burden of proving
the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
State v. Kennerson, 96-1518, p. 5 (La.App. 3 Cir.
5/7/97), 695 So.2d 1367, 1371.
the defendant's assertions that the State failed to prove
beyond a reasonable doubt that he killed White, the supreme
court in State v. Hughes, 05-992, pp. 5-6 (La.
11/29/06), 943 So.2d 1047, 1051, held:
[W]hen the key issue is the defendant's identity as the
perpetrator, rather than whether the crime was committed, the
State is required to negate any reasonable probability of
misidentification. State v. Weary, 03-3067
(La.4/24/06), 931 So.2d 297; State v. Neal, 00-0674
(La.6/29/01), 796 So.2d 649. Positive identification by only
one witness is sufficient to support a conviction.
Weary, 03-3067 at p. 18, 931 So.2d at 311;
Neal, 00-0674 at p. 11, 796 So.2d at 658; State
v. Mussall, 523 So.2d 1305, 1311 (La.1988). It is the
factfinder who weighs the respective credibilities of the
witnesses, and this court will generally not second-guess
those determinations. State v. Bright, 98-0398, p.
22 (La.4/11/00), 776 So.2d 1134, 1147.
in discharging our review function, we consider "all
of the evidence" before the actual fact-finder.
Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319, 99 S.Ct.
2781, 2789 (1979). The United States Supreme Court has
explained that the standard of review for sufficiency of
evidence is highly deferential to the fact-finder because it
"gives full play to the responsibility of the trier of
fact fairly to resolve conflicts in the testimony, to weigh
the evidence, and to draw reasonable inferences from basic
facts to ultimate facts." Id. "The
criterion thus impinges upon 'jury' discretion only
to the extent necessary to guarantee the fundamental
protection of due process of law." Id.
"[a] reviewing court may impinge on the factfinding
function of the jury only to the extent necessary to assure
the Jackson standard of review." State v.
Macon, 06-481, p. 8 (La. 6/1/07), 957 So.2d 1280, 1285.
"It is not the function of an appellate court to assess
credibility or re-weigh the evidence." Id. at
1286. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the
source of the Jackson standard, does not
countenance, much less require, that we re-weigh testimony
and witness credibility. And "[i]n criminal ...