APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 14-2891, DIVISION
"B" HONORABLE CORNELIUS E. REGAN, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D.
Connick, Jr. Terry M. Boudreaux Darren A. Allemand
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, DANNY D. SAULNY Bruce G.
composed of Susan M. Chehardy, Robert A. Chaisson, and Robert
AND SENTENCES AFFIRMED; REMANDED FOR CORRECTION OF THE
UNIFORM COMMITMENT ORDERS
M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE
appeal, defendant challenges his convictions for attempted
second degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm, and
home invasion. For the following reasons, we affirm
defendant's convictions and sentences but remand for
correction of the uniform commitment orders.
5, 2014, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney filed a bill
of information charging defendant, Danny D. Saulny, with the
attempted second degree murder of Erica Poret, in violation
of La. R.S. 14:30.1 and La. R.S. 14:27. On March 2, 2015, the
State filed a superseding bill of information charging
defendant with the attempted second degree murder of Erica
Poret, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1 and La. R.S. 14:27;
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of
La. R.S. 14:95.1; and home invasion, in violation of La. R.S.
21, 22, and 23, 2016, the case was tried before a
twelve-person jury, which found defendant guilty as charged.
On July 18, 2016, the trial judge sentenced defendant, for
attempted second degree murder, to fifty years at hard labor
without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of
sentence; for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,
twenty years at hard labor without benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence; and, for home invasion,
twenty-five years at hard labor, to all run concurrently.
September 16, 2016, the State filed a bill of information
alleging that defendant was a second felony offender. After a
hearing that day, the trial judge found that the State had
presented sufficient proof that defendant was a second felony
offender. The trial judge vacated the original sentence for
attempted second degree murder and imposed an enhanced
sentence of seventy-five years at hard labor, without benefit
of probation or suspension of sentence, to run concurrently
with the sentences on counts two and three. Defendant
verbally moved to appeal.
trial, Erica Poret testified that, in January of 2014, she
was living with her cousin's family at 117 Madeira Drive
in Avondale. On the night of January 13, 2014, she was
cooking dinner in the kitchen when two armed African-American
men kicked in the locked front door and entered the
apartment. Ms. Poret recognized one of the men as
"Noonie, " who she had known for many years, since
they were in grade school together. Noonie was later
identified as defendant-herein.
Poret recalled that, after the men entered, defendant said,
"b*tch, come here and give me everything you got."
When she reached defendant, he threw her onto the ground then
dragged her by her hair toward the kitchen as the other man
kicked her. After more physical abuse, the intruders dragged
her down the hallway into a bedroom. Defendant again demanded
"everything she had, " so Ms. Poret gave him a
wallet she found in the dresser drawer. Defendant told his
accomplice to shoot Ms. Poret then defendant himself shot Ms.
Poret in her right cheek.
Poret recalled that, defendant and the other man kept
shooting her. Ms. Poret tried to fight but had sustained
several gunshot wounds. She heard defendant pull the trigger
again, but nothing came out. Ms. Poret testified that she
could not move and that she heard defendant say, "I
think she is dead let's go." After she heard them
leave, she stood up, stumbled, and ran as best as she could
to her neighbor's house. Ms. Poret recalled walking into
her neighbor's house then collapsing. When the neighbors
asked her to name the shooter, she told them
"Noonie" several times. At trial, Ms. Poret
testified that she was "a million percent certain"
that defendant was one of the two individuals that shot her
on January 13, 2014.
Poche, who was a deputy with the Jefferson Parish
Sheriff's Office ("JPSO") on January 13, 2014,
responded to a call for service at 133 Madeira Drive. Deputy
Poche testified that he was advised there was a female
bleeding from the mouth and dying there. When he approached
the front door, he noticed there was a blood trail from the
front door leading through the house to the victim in the
hallway. Deputy Poche testified that the victim had multiple
gunshot wounds and blood all over her, and she was in and out
of consciousness. Once the medical personnel arrived and
stabilized the victim, he was able to talk to her. While in
the ambulance, he asked Ms. Poret who shot her and she
mumbled the name "Noonie, " which he heard clearly.
While on the scene, he learned that the shooting had occurred
at 117 Madeira, which was about four houses down on the same
side of the street.
Alan Marr, a trauma surgeon at University Hospital, was
qualified as an expert in the field of trauma, surgical, and
critical care. Dr. Marr testified that he treated Ms. Poret
when she came into the emergency room at University Hospital.
He recalled that she had sustained multiple ballistic wounds
to multiple areas of her body, including her face, neck,
chest, and extremities. He explained that she had internal
injuries from the gunshot wounds, including injuries to her
hypopharynx where the esophagus started and to her carotid
artery, the main artery bringing blood to the brain. Dr. Marr
asserted that the victim underwent multiple surgeries by him,
a vascular surgeon, and a specialist in facial
reconstruction. He testified that initially she was not able
to walk, talk, or eat on her own, and, during that long
period of recovery, he saw her daily while she was at the
hospital. He described her wounds as "horrible and life
threatening" and thought she was a "severely
January of 2014, Deputy Gerald Favaloro of JPSO was assigned
to the "shoot squad, " which investigates
non-homicide shootings. On January 13, 2014, he responded to
a call for service at 133 Madeira Drive involving a shooting
and assumed responsibility for the investigation as a
detective of the "shoot squad." Deputy Favaloro
learned that the shooting occurred at 117 Madeira so he
instructed Crime Scene to collect evidence and photograph the
scenes at both addresses. Deputy Favaloro's team found
casings and a projectile in a bedroom.
Favaloro learned that the suspect had the nickname of
"Noonie" and, through investigation, learned that
an individual with that nickname lived in the Avondale area.
A photographic lineup with that individual's picture was
compiled. On January 30, 2014, Deputy Favaloro showed the
lineup to the victim, and she positively identified defendant
as the perpetrator. He also collected a letter that the
victim wrote describing the incident and identifying
"Noonie" as the shooter. Afterward, Deputy Favaloro
obtained an arrest warrant for defendant. In April of 2014,
defendant was arrested in Texas and extradited to Jefferson
Rauch, the Supervisor of the Firearm and Tool Mark Section of
the Jefferson Parish Crime Lab, was qualified as an expert in
the field of firearm examination and identification. Ms.
Rauch reviewed eight 9-mm caliber fired cartridge casings and
two projectiles connected with this incident. Ms. Rauch
testified that, based on the markings, all of the casings
were fired from the same weapon. Further, both
copper-jacketed projectiles were fired from the same weapon.
Moreover, both projectiles were consistent with .38-class
ammunition, and were marked with six lands and grooves with a
right twist. No firearm was recovered in this case.
hearing the testimony and reviewing the evidence, the
twelve-person jury found that defendant was guilty of
attempted second degree murder, being a ...