from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Caddo, Louisiana Lower Court Case No. 305, 897 Honorable Roy
L. Brun, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Douglas Lee Harville Counsel
TIMOTHY THOMAS Pro Se
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
S. OWEN REBECCA ARMAND EDWARDS Assistant District Attorneys
WILLIAMS, PITMAN, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.
Timothy Cardell Thomas was charged with one count of second
degree murder in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1. After a bench
trial, he was found guilty as charged and sentenced to life
imprisonment without the benefit of probation, parole or
suspension of sentence. No motion to reconsider sentence was
filed. On appeal, Defendant challenges the trial court's
denial of his motion for continuance, filed on July 13, 2016.
Defendant also challenges the timeliness of his prosecution.
For the following reasons, we affirm Defendant's
conviction and sentence.
September 2009, Waco Collins traveled from Shreveport,
Louisiana, to Dallas, Texas, to purchase several kilograms of
cocaine from a drug dealer. A dispute about the price arose
during the transaction, with the dealer demanding several
thousand dollars more than the originally agreed-upon price.
Instead of paying the higher price, Collins had two of his
associates, Gerald Needham and Shannon Golston, rob the
dealer and abscond with the drugs. Upon returning to
Shreveport, Collins got into a disagreement with Golston over
the drugs, and Golston threatened to kidnap and kill Collins.
At some point after the disagreement, Collins borrowed a
Glock pistol from Defendant.
September 14, 2009, Collins went to Defendant's home
between 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and asked him for a ride.
Defendant agreed and drove Collins to a store in his black
truck. At the store, Collins and Defendant switched from the
truck to a Mustang and, with Defendant still driving, went to
Golston's apartment complex. Upon arriving, Collins
placed a plastic trash bag over his head, walked into
Golston's apartment and, using the gun he had borrowed
from Defendant, shot Golston from behind in his right
shoulder and in the head, killing him. Defendant remained in
the vehicle during the shooting, but waited for Collins to
return before he drove away. After they left the scene of the
shooting, Defendant drove Collins to Champion Lake, where
Collins threw the gun and the gun magazine into the lake. The
police were called to Golston's apartment complex, but no
arrests were made at the time.
case remained unsolved until 2012, when a suspect in a
different homicide informed the police that Defendant and
Collins were involved in Golston's death. Defendant was
subsequently arrested and questioned by police. He waived his
Miranda rights and confessed his involvement in
Golston's death. Defendant and the police drove to
Champion Lake where police divers retrieved the gun.
Defendant admitted to owning the gun and stated that he had
given it to Collins about a week prior to the shooting. When
asked why he helped Collins, he stated that Collins was a
childhood friend. Defendant also admitted to knowing that
"this day, " i.e., his arrest, would come.
7, 2012, Defendant filed a motion for discovery, bond
reduction, preliminary examination and a premature motion for
a bill of particulars. On June 11, 2012, Defendant was
charged by grand jury indictment with the second degree
murder of Golston. The defense did not file a motion to
dismiss the earlier premature motion for bill of particulars.
On June 19, 2012, after waiving formal arraignment, Defendant
pled not guilty. On November 12, 2012, Defendant's
counsel waived any time delays. On May 22, 2014, the state
filed an answer to the request for discovery, bill of
particulars and notice under La.C.Cr.P. art. 768.
the course of the prosecution, numerous delays occurred and
requests for continuances were filed, including three joint
motions for continuance filed on December 22, 2014, February
2, 2015, and February 25, 2016. The trial date was finally
set for July 25, 2016. On March 22, 2016, Defendant filed a
pro se motion to quash and claimed that the two-year time
limit to prosecute had expired.
hearing was held on June 27, 2016, at which Defendant invoked
his right to self-representation and waived his right to a
jury trial. The trial court appointed the attorney who had
been representing him, David McClatchy, as standby ...