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State v. Lamizana

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

May 31, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
ISSA L. LAMIZANA JR.

         APPEAL FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 514-483, SECTION "J" Honorable Darryl A. Derbigny, Judge.

          Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr. District Attorney, Orleans Parish Kyle C. Daly Assistant District Attorney Parish of Orleans COUNSEL FOR THE STATE OF LOUISIANA.

          Sherry Watters LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT P. O. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.

          Court composed of Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Daniel L. Dysart.

          EDWIN A. LOMBARD JUDGE.

         The defendant, Issa Lamizana, Jr., appeals his convictions and sentences for aggravated rape. After review of the record in light of the applicable law and arguments of the parties, we vacate the defendant's convictions and sentences, remanding the matter back to the trial court for further proceedings.

         Relevant Facts and Procedural History

         The defendant married the victims' mother, Ebone Janelle Thomas, in December 2010. Ms. Thomas had two children, a daughter (E.T. 1) and a son (E.T. 2), [1] from a previous relationship. The relationship between the defendant and Ms. Thomas was rancorous.

         The defendant was charged by bill of information on December 20, 2012, with two counts of aggravated rape in violation of La. Rev. Stat. 14:42(A)(4), [2] one count relating to each of his step-children. The defendant's first trial ended in a mistrial. On January 20, 2016, after a two-day trial, the defendant was convicted on both counts. On February 19, 2016, the district court sentenced him to life imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence, on each conviction.

         The defendant timely appeals his convictions and sentences.

         Discussion

         In his appellate brief, the defendant raises five assignments of error. For the reasons that follow, we pretermit a full discussion of those assignments of error.

         Prior to trial, the defendant sought to subpoena Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigator Monique Hayes, who was apparently the first actor to interview victim E.T. 1 and the defendant's wife, Ms. Thomas. In response, DCFS filed a motion to quash which was granted by the trial court.

         The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 16 of the Louisiana Constitution (1974) both guarantee a criminal defendant the right to compulsory process to present a defense. The defendant's right to compulsory process is the right to demand subpoenas for witnesses and the right to have those subpoenas served. State v. Gordon, 01-734 (La.App. 5 Cir. 11/27/01), 803 So.2d 131, 148. Under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), the State is required to disclose to an accused evidence in its possession that is favorable to the accused and material to his guilt or punishment; for purposes of Brady rule, "no distinction exists between exculpatory and impeachment evidence." State v. Kemp, 00-2228 (La. 10/15/02), 828 So.2d 540 545 (citing U.S. v. Agurs,427 U.S. 97(1976)). Records containing statements pertaining to a juvenile's veracity as a witness may be material to impeach the juvenile's credibility. State v. Ortiz,567 So.2d 81, 82. [3] (La 1990). Thus, where the pertinent statute contemplates some use of those records in judicial proceedings and does not ...


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