FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
LAFAYETTE, NO. CR 140554 HONORABLE EDWARD D. RUBIN, DISTRICT
A. Stutes, District Attorney Fifteenth Judicial District
Cynthia K. Simon, Assistant District Attorney COUNSEL FOR
APPELLEE: State of Louisiana
M. Ikerd Louisiana Appellate Project COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Corlious C. Dyson
composed of Shannon J. Gremillion, John E. Conery, and David
E. Chatelain, Judges. 
SHANNON J. GREMILLION JUDGE
early morning of August 26, 2012, the victim, Clement Amos,
encountered Defendant, Corlious C. Dyson, standing outside a
neighbor's door. When Mr. Amos questioned Defendant as to
what he was doing, Defendant shot the victim five times. Mr.
Amos died as a result of the gunshot wounds.
was indicted for the August 26, 2012 second degree murder of
Clement Amos. A jury found Defendant guilty of second degree
murder. Defendant filed a "Motion for a New Trial"
and a "Post-Verdict Motion of Acquittal." Defendant
also filed a "Motion to Allow Defendant to Proffer
Testimony Excluded During Trial." The trial court denied
the first two motions in open court. However, the trial court
allowed Defendant to file the proffer into the record. The
trial court sentenced Defendant to life imprisonment without
the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
Thereafter, Defendant filed a "Motion for
Reconsideration of Sentence, " which the trial court
appeals and alleges the evidence was insufficient to
establish that he was the man who shot and killed the victim,
and the trial court erred when it denied his oral motion for
a mistrial and his written motion for a new trial based on
erroneous evidentiary rulings and improper intervention by
the trial court into the case. For the following reasons, we
find there is no merit to either of Defendant's
allegations of error. Accordingly, we affirm Defendant's
conviction and sentence.
accordance with La.Code Crim.P. art. 920, all appeals are
reviewed for errors patent on the face of the record. After
reviewing the record, we find there is one error patent.
Additionally, the court minutes of sentencing require
the record before this court does not indicate that the trial
court advised Defendant of the prescriptive period for filing
post-conviction relief as required by La.Code Crim.P. art.
930.8. Thus, the trial court is directed to inform Defendant
of the provisions of Article 930.8 by sending appropriate
written notice to Defendant within ten days of the rendition
of the opinion and to file written proof in the record that
Defendant received the notice. State v. Roe, 05-116
(La.App. 3 Cir. 6/1/05), 903 So.2d 1265, writ
denied, 05-1762 (La. 2/10/06), 924 So.2d 163.
the court minutes of sentencing do not reflect that the trial
court imposed Defendant's life sentence at hard labor as
indicated in the transcript. "[W]hen the minutes and the
transcript conflict, the transcript prevails." State
v. Wommack, 00-137, p. 4 (La.App. 3 Cir. 6/7/00), 770
So.2d 365, 369, writ denied, 00-2051 (La. 9/21/01),
797 So.2d 62. Accordingly, the trial court is ordered to
correct the sentencing minutes to reflect that
Defendant's sentence is to be served at hard labor.
OF THE EVIDENCE
asserts that the evidence presented to the jury was
insufficient to sustain the verdict of second degree murder.
Specifically, Defendant argues that since there was no
eyewitness to the actual shooting, the evidence that he was
the shooter was circumstantial. Defendant notes that the
witnesses who identified him from a photographic lineup did
not identify him as the shooter in court. Finally, Defendant
argues that the DNA testimony was inconclusive and misleading
in that the DNA analysis did not identify him as one of the
mixed, partial DNA profiles found on evidence from the scene
of the crime.
State v. Fields, 08-1223, pp. 6-7 (La.App. 4 Cir.
4/15/09), 10 So.3d 350, 354, writ denied, 09-1149
(La. 1/29/10), 25 So.3d 829, regarding the sufficiency of the
evidence to identify the perpetrator, the fourth circuit
In evaluating whether evidence is constitutionally sufficient
to support a conviction, an appellate court must determine
whether, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to
the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found
the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Jackson
v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560
(1979); State v. Ragas, 98-0011, p. 13 (La.App. 4
Cir. 7/28/99), 744 So.2d 99, 106. The Jackson
standard applies to all evidence, both direct and
circumstantial, to test whether it is sufficient to prove
guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a rational jury. State
v. Neal, 00-0674, p. 9 (La.6/29/01), 796 So.2d 649, 656,
citing State v. Captville, 448 So.2d 676, 678
(La.1984). The reviewing court, however, is not called upon
to decide whether it believes the witnesses or whether the
conviction is contrary to the weight of the evidence.
State v. Smith, 600 So.2d 1319, 1324 (La.1992).
Within the bounds of rationality, the trier of fact may
accept or reject, in whole or in part, the testimony of any
witness. State v. Casey, 99-0023, p. 14
(La.1/26/00), 775 So.2d 1022, 1034. The fact finder's
discretion will be impinged upon only to the extent necessary
to guarantee the fundamental protection of due process of
law. Id., citing State v. Mussall, 523
So.2d 1305 (La.1988).
When a conviction is based upon circumstantial evidence, La.
R.S. 15:438 provides that such evidence must exclude every
reasonable hypothesis of innocence. This is not a separate
test from Jackson v. Virginia, but rather is an
evidentiary guideline to facilitate appellate review of
whether a rational juror could have found a defendant guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Wright 445 So.2d
1198, 1201 (La.1984).
"When identity is disputed, the State must negate any
reasonable probability of misidentification in order to
satisfy its burden to establish every element of the crime
charged beyond a reasonable doubt." State v.
Weber, 02-0618, p. 11 (La.App. 4 Cir. 12/4/02), 834
So.2d 540, 549. See also State v. Edwards, 97-1797,
pp. 12-14 (La.7/2/99), 750 So.2d 893, 902.
current case, Defendant was convicted of second degree
murder, which is defined in pertinent part as "the
killing of a human being: 1) When the offender has a specific
intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm[.]" La. R.S.
14:30.1(A)(1). Specific intent is that state of mind which
exists when the circumstances indicate that the offender
actively desired the prescribed criminal consequences to
follow his act or failure to act. La. R.S. 14:10(1).
Furthermore, the supreme court has established that positive
identification by one witness only is sufficient to support a
conviction. State v. Weary, 03-3067, (La. 4/24/06),
931 So.2d 297, cert denied, 549 U.S. 1062, 127 S.Ct.
682 (2006). It is the finder of fact who weighs the
respective credibilities of the witnesses, and an appellate
court will generally not second-guess those determinations.
State v. Bright, 98-398, p. 22 (La. 4/11/00), 776
trial, the following testimonies and evidence were submitted
to the jury:
Amos, the victim's wife, testified that they lived at 129
Hummingbird Lane in Lafayette, Louisiana. On August 26, 2012,
Ms. Amos testified that she, her husband, and their three
children arrived home from visiting Mr. Amos's parents at
about 1:15 a.m. They found Jayde Lange, Sandra Harris, Carlos
Omos, and Calisa Desselle sitting outside Ms. Harris's
two story, four-plex apartment building. The Amoses'
apartment was in a building across the street. They were told
about someone snooping around the apartment buildings. They
exchanged phone numbers. The Amoses stayed outside for about
twenty minutes then went to their apartment and went to bed.
At about 4:00 a.m., Ms. Lange called Ms. Amos and said there
was someone at her door. The Amoses went outside, but they
could not see anyone at Ms. Lange's second-floor
apartment door. Mr. Amos went across the street and started
up the stairs as Ms. Lange came out her door. Pointing to Ms.
Desselle's door, which was across the second-floor
walkway, Ms. Lange cried, "Look, there he is." Mr.
Amos asked the man, "Hey, can I help you with
anything?" The man replied, "No." Ms. Lange
then started screaming, "You had been there for thirty
minutes. I've seen you standing there." Ms. Amos
stated that the man stepped out into the light and pointed a
gun at her husband. She ran into the apartment to call the
police and to get a gun that was in the apartment. While she
was searching for the gun, she heard gunshots. She ran out of
the house and found her husband lying on the ground. She
testified she was not able to clearly see the man's face
but said he was wearing a white tee shirt and red shorts.
Desselle lived at 126 Hummingbird Lane on the second-floor of
the apartment building in Apartment D. She testified that at
about 10:00 p.m. on August 25, 2012, she was standing in her
living room when she heard someone open the screen door of
her apartment. Not knowing who it might be, she did not go to
the door. Shortly thereafter, she heard the door close and
steps walking away from her apartment door and going down the
stairs. Ms. Desselle testified that she looked out her window
and saw a man wearing a white tee shirt and red shorts. After
the man left, she saw neighbors, Ms. Harris and her
boyfriend, Mr. Omos, standing outside. She went out and asked
them if they knew the man, but they did not. Ms. Desselle
stayed outside talking to her neighbors. She said she also
saw Ms. Amos and the victim arrive at their apartment across
the street. At about midnight, Ms. Desselle said that she
went back to her apartment and went to bed. She stated that
at about 4:00 a.m., she was awakened by gunshots. She went
outside and saw Ms. Amos crying over the body of her husband
at the bottom of the stairs.
Harris resided on the ground floor of the same apartment
building as Ms. Desselle. Ms. Harris testified that on August
25, 2012, she and her boyfriend had gone outside that evening
and were sitting in chairs below the second-floor walkway.
She heard a screen door close upstairs and watched a man
dressed in a white tee shirt and red shorts walk down the
stairs. She greeted him, and the man responded,
"What's up?" She stated she got a good look at
his face. Ms. Harris said that he was a black male, tall,
medium build, with short hair and gold front teeth. Ms.
Harris stated that afterwards she spoke with both her
neighbors, Ms. Desselle and Ms. Lange, about the man. She
said that Ms. Lange had already spoken with her about a man
hanging around the neighborhood in the early morning. Ms.
Harris testified that she, Mr. Omos, and Ms. Lange and her
boyfriend, Craig George, made a quick perusal around the
apartment building, then sat outside talking until about 3:00
a.m. During this time, Ms. Amos and the victim arrived. Ms.
Harris testified she and Mr. Omos went to bed around 3:45
a.m. Shortly thereafter, they heard shots. When they went
outside, the victim was lying on the ground at the bottom of
October 17, 2012, Ms. Harris identified Defendant from a
photographic lineup. While Ms. Harris agreed that on the
photographic lineup statement form, she wrote that the man
she identified "looks the most like the person seen that
day, " she testified that the person she identified,
number two of the photographic lineup of six, was the person
she saw walking down the stairs the morning of August 25,
Lange testified that she lived at 126 Hummingbird Lane,
Apartment C. She said that in the early morning of August 25,
2012, at approximately 4:00 a.m., she was sleeping in a
recliner in her living room. Her boyfriend, Mr. George, and
his two children were also sleeping in the apartment. She
stated she was awakened by the squeak of her screen door
being opened. She said she could tell someone was listening
at the door. Then she heard a knock. Mr. George answered the
door. Ms. Lange testified that she heard a man say that his
car needed a boost. She said that Mr. George dressed and left
the apartment with the man. Later, she heard someone on the
porch outside her apartment and called the police. Later in
the day, Ms. Lange stated that she saw a car with two people
sitting in it. She was suspicious of the vehicle so she noted
the license plate number on her phone. After the shooting,
she told the police she thought the passenger in the car was
the shooter and gave them the license plate number.
Lange testified that on August 25, 2012, Ms. Harris knocked
at her door and told her about seeing the strange man. Ms.
Lange went outside and spoke with Ms. Harris, Mr. Omos, the
Amoses, Ms. Desselle, and another neighbor about a person
prowling around the apartments. They exchanged phone numbers
and agreed to keep in touch. Ms. Lange stated that she stayed
outside until approximately 2:30 to 3:00 a.m. talking with
the neighbors and then went back into her apartment. She said
that about 4:00 a.m., she heard someone walk up the stairs.
She looked out her window and saw someone standing at Ms.
Desselle's apartment door. Ms. Lange called Ms. Amos and
told her the man was back on the porch. She also called the
police again. Ms. Lange then saw the victim approach from
across the street. The man was knocking on Ms. Desselle's
door. Ms. Lange said that the victim walked up the stairs and
asked the man if he could help him. The man said that his car
needed a boost. Ms. Lange opened her door and told the victim
that he was the same man who came to her door the evening
before asking for a boost. She stated that the man asked who
owned the gold car parked downstairs. She said she asked him
'"[D]o you need a boost or you need the person that
drives that car' and he was like 'who lives
here?'" The man then pointed a gun at her. She ran
inside her apartment and called the police. Within a minute,
she heard several gunshots. She stated that the man who
pointed the gun at her wore clearish, white gloves. He was
dark skinned, had gold teeth, wore a white tee shirt and red
shorts, and was of medium build. On October 17, 2012, Ms.
Lange identified Defendant as the shooter from a photographic
Sullivan, a detective with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's
Office, led the investigation. He arrived on the scene at
5:08 a.m. He was first briefed by the witnesses. He was told
by Ms. Harris that Ms. Lange had seen a vehicle, parked close
to the apartment building, the morning before. Detective
Sullivan was shown two plastic gloves that were located on
the fourteenth and ninth steps leading down from the second
floor of the apartment building. The gloves were collected as
evidence. There was a similar plastic glove also collected as
possible evidence found on a shrub a short distance away from
the apartment. Detective Sullivan was given a description of
the man seen on the building's second-floor walkway:
slender black male, over six feet tall, dark complected,
short hair, and gold front teeth.
Sullivan testified that he followed up on Ms. Lange's
observation that the shooter may have been in a vehicle she
saw in the vicinity; he determined that the owner of the
vehicle lived in Abbeville. The owner's daughter, who
lived in Morse, had possession of the car. The daughter and
her boyfriend, Cody Boudreaux, were picked up and interviewed
in Lafayette. Detective Sullivan stated that he received
search warrants for the vehicle and their residence. It was
determined that on the morning of the shooting, she and Mr.
Boudreaux were riding around Abbeville and returned home
around 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. Shortly thereafter, a friend called
and asked for a ride to work. A surveillance camera installed
at the friend's employment showed the vehicle dropping
the friend off around 5:00 a.m. However, on August 26, 2012,
Detective Sullivan had a photographic lineup prepared which
included a picture of Mr. Boudreaux. Ms. Harris was shown the
photographic lineup, but she did not identify any person in
Sullivan testified that various potential suspects were
looked at but eliminated. Then in October 2012, Detective
Sullivan received a call from Claire Guidry with the Acadiana
Criminalistics Laboratory (ACL) who informed him that the DNA
profiles obtained from the gloves found on the apartment
building's steps were entered in the "CODIS"
system and a "hit" indicated Defendant as a
potential contributor. Based on this information, Detective
Sullivan prepared a photographic lineup which included
Defendant. The lineup was shown to both Ms. Harris and Ms.
Lange. Both women identified Defendant as the shooter.
Christopher Tape, who worked for the Louisiana Forensic
Center, performed the autopsy on the victim's body. He
testified there were a total of five gunshot wounds to the
victim's head and body. One gunshot entered the back top
of the victim's head. The bullet from this wound was
recovered from the victim's jaw. A second gunshot entered
the victim's chin and exited the other side toward the
back of the chin. A third gunshot entered the right, upper
back. A fourth gunshot wound entered the right side of the
victim's chest, and the fifth gunshot wound entered the
upper right area of the victim's abdomen. Dr. Tape stated
that the placement of the entry wounds indicated that either
the gun was moving or the victim was moving, or both, at the
time the shots were fired. Moreover, the gun was discharged
from a distance of more than three feet from the victim.
Guidry was qualified as an expert in the field of forensic
DNA analysis. She worked for ACL and conducted the analysis
of the DNA found in the three gloves recovered at the crime
scene. Ms. Guidry testified that the analysis of the two
gloves found on the apartment building's steps showed a
mixed, partial DNA profile. She explained that there was more
than one contributor to the DNA profile and only a partial
DNA of each was revealed. The profiles from the three gloves
were submitted to CODIS. Of the gloves found on the ninth and
the fourteenth steps, Ms. Guidry testified that CODIS made
"hits" to Defendant. She explained that CODIS, a
DNA data repository with the Federal Bureau of
Investigations, contained a profile that had similarities or
"association" with the two profiles ACL had
Guidry contacted the police with this information on October
15, 2012. She received a reference DNA sample from Defendant.
After analyzing the reference sample, Ms. Guidry concluded
that she could not make an identification. She testified,
however, that she could not exclude Defendant as a
contributor. She explained:
[I]n calculations, we use a statistical program called
"pop stats" which is created and developed by the
FBI and uses a population database created by the FBI to
generate statistics. With regards to item 1, approximately
99.999998% of the African Americans population would be
excluded, or approximately one in fifty-nine million African
Americans would be included as potential contributors. And
what that means is that a random person - - a random
unrelated person selected out of the population has a one in
fifty-nine million chance of having their DNA profile not
being excluded, or a 99.999998% of being excluded as a
potential contributor. In addition, approximately
99.999994[%] of the Caucasian population would be excluded,
or one - - approximately one in one hundred seventy-five
million Caucasian would be included as potential
Guidry explained that when making a comparison between the
evidence profile and the reference profile, she tests
"the DNA at sixteen different locations which each
individually is called a "locus" and collectively
called "loci", which one can think of in terms of a
street address along a highway. A locus is a specific
location on the DNA." Ms. Guidry went on to explain:
[T]he individual had alleles in common. An allele is
basically a variant form of a gene similar to cars on [ ] the
lot of a dealership where you have the same make and model of
a car parked next to each other - one painted red, one
painted blue. It's the same car, but you have a red
version and a blue version. Same thing with alleles. It's
different versions of the same gene. So, when comparing a
reference sample - - an evidence sample and a reference
sample, I look for similarities and difference among the
alleles that are called at each of those locations in the
DNA, the sixteen locations. So, for Item 2, there were eleven
location where Corlious Dyson was completely observed in the
mixed DNA profile.
further testified that for the other glove, item 1, there
were fifteen locations where [Defendant's] alleles were
completely observed in the mixture. However, Defendant was
excluded from the mixed, partial DNA profile found in the
glove located in the shrubbery.
Ronald Acton, a microbiologist and immunologist, who was also
qualified as a forensic DNA expert, testified on behalf of
Defendant. Generally, Dr. Acton agreed with Ms. Guidry that
Defendant could not be excluded as a contributor to the
mixed, partial DNA profile found in one of the gloves found
on the steps. However, he did testify that in a case when
there are other individuals contributing DNA, the genetic
markers or alleles presented in the results should be
categorized either as an exclusion or as inconclusive for the
reason that other individuals' DNA could leave alleles,
which when mixed with DNA profiles of other subjects could
provide the same results. While Dr. Acton found nothing wrong
with the testing protocol of ACL, he noted that highest
position Ms. Guidry could achieve with her Master of Science
degree in any of his former laboratories would be supervisor.
He also noted that ACL's director did not hold a Ph.D,
who generally would be required to sign off on any testing
results. However, he did not disagree with the results of
ACL's testing which produced the profile of the mixed,
partial DNA found in the two gloves or the results of the
testing procedures which produced Defendant's DNA profile
from the reference sample.
argues in brief that the lack of an eyewitness to the
shooting and the DNA testimony, which did not positively
identify Defendant as a contributor to the mixed, partial DNA
profile, were circumstantial evidence at best and were
insufficient to sustain the verdict of second degree murder.
no one saw Defendant pull the trigger of the gun that killed
the victim, Ms. Harris identified Defendant as the man she
saw in the early evening of the shooting and Ms. Lange
identified him as the man she saw just minutes before the
shooting. Both witnesses identified Defendant from the
photographic lineup as the man they saw then.
to consider in assessing the reliability of an identification
include: 1) the witness's opportunity to view the
perpetrator at the time of the crime, 2) the witness's
degree of attention, 3) the accuracy of his or her prior
description of the criminal, 4) the level of certainty
demonstrated at the confrontation, and 5) the time between
the crime and the confrontation. Manson v.
Brathwaite, 432 U.S. 98, 97 S.Ct. 2243(1977). Ms.
Desselle saw a man dressed the same as the man later
identified as Defendant, in the late evening of August 25,
2012, as did Ms. Amos on the morning of August 26, 2012. Ms.
Desselle stated that the man who stood at her door wore a
white tee shirt and red shorts, and the man seen and
described by Ms. Harris a minute later coming down the steps
from the second-floor walkway on the evening of August 25,
2012, wore red shorts and a white tee shirt and had gold
teeth. Ms. Harris testified she and Mr. Omos were sitting in
chairs at the bottom of the steps. The steps ended right at
her front door and her porch light was on. Ms. Lange saw
Defendant with a gun as he stood on the second-floor walkway
just minutes before Mr. Amos was shot. She testified that her
front door light was on when she observed Defendant. She
spoke with Defendant before he raised the gun. She observed
that he was wearing a plastic glove like the ones found on
the steps immediately after the shooting. After she ran back
into her apartment, she heard pounding on the stairs, like
someone running down the steps, then gunshots. Ms. Lange
further testified that the man who pointed a gun at her wore
a white tee shirt and red shorts and described him as having
short hair and gold teeth. Furthermore, while Ms. Lange did
not see the man who knocked at her door in the early morning
of August 25, 2012, whose excuse for being at her door was
that his car needed a boost, the man in the white tee shirt
and red shorts on the walkway on the morning of August 26,
2012, made the same statement to the victim.
photographic lineup form it was noted that Ms. Harris stated
that Defendant "looks the most like the person seen that
day." Defendant argues in brief that "[h]er
testimony and statement written on the lineup form were not
an identification of [Defendant] as the person she saw,
rather she only indicated that [Defendant's] picture
looked the most similar to the suspect, out of the six people
in the lineup." When questioned about what the statement
meant, Ms. Harris stated that it meant "[t]hat
that's the person that I identified." Ms. Harris
said that she did not guess when she made the identification
because she was told not to guess by the detective.
also argues that the two witnesses never identified Defendant
in open court as the man seen on the second-floor walkway.
Defendant argues that in State v. Ware, 06-1703, pp.
7-9 (La. 6/29/07), 959 So.2d 459, 463-64, n.1, the supreme
court stated that when identification of a defendant is an
issue, the test to negate misidentification presupposes that
the defendant was identified at trial by the witnesses. In
Ware, the supreme court noted that the witness did
not give an in-court identification of the defendant as her
assailant. However, she had testified that her former
father-in-law was the assailant. The supreme court noted that
the jury had the benefit of observing the witnesses and the
defendant and could judge for themselves. The supreme court
referred to State v. Stewart, 00-2960, p. 7 (La.
3/15/02), 815 So.2d 14, 17, which "cit[ed] 4 J. Wigmore,
Evidence, § 1157 (Chadborne rev.1972) for the
principle of autoptic preference, or things proved by the
self-perception of the tribunal)." Ware, 959
So.2d at 463. We have not found any jurisprudence requiring
an in-court identification of the defendant is a necessary
element to negate an allegation of misidentification. In the
current case, the jury had the benefit of seeing the
photographic lineup which included Defendant's picture
and Defendant sitting in the courtroom and observing Ms.
Harris and Ms. Lange testify that they identified Defendant
from his picture in the lineup.
brief, Defendant points out that neither Ms. Harris nor Ms.
Lange testified they saw that Defendant had tattoos, which
"[Defendant] clearly had in the photo[s.]"
Detective Sullivan admitted that of all the persons he
interviewed who saw the shooter during that time period, none
indicated they noticed tattoos. Despite Defendant's
assertion that tattoos were clearly discernible in the
photographic lineup, the lineup photograph does not clearly
show tattoos on Defendant's face or neck. The jury had
the benefit of sitting in the courtroom for several days with
Defendant. They could see whether Defendant had tattoos that
could clearly distinguish him from someone with the same
complexion but without tattoos.
Finally, Defendant argues that concerning the DNA analysis:
The only absolute conclusion that can be reached in DNA
analysis is that someone is "excluded" as a source,
never that the person is "included." (R. at 367,
377, 380). Therefore, when a sample does not reveal the full
DNA profile of a suspect, the evidence may not prove