WRIT FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
CALCASIEU, NO. 29622-10 HONORABLE GUY E. BRADBERRY, DISTRICT
F. DeRosier 14th Judicial District Court District Attorney
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RESPONDENT: State of Louisiana
Quinton Ceasar Louisiana State Penitentiary PRO SE: Coby
composed of John D. Saunders, Elizabeth A. Pickett, and
Shannon J. Gremillion, Judges.
D. SAUNDERS, JUDGE
Coby Quinton Ceasar, was convicted of second degree murder in
the July 28, 2010 shooting death of his stepfather, Patrick
Myles, Sr. This court affirmed Relator's conviction
finding the state presented sufficient evidence to meet its
burden of showing Relator did not act in self-defense.
State v. Ceasar, 14-141 (La.App. 3 Cir. 10/1/14),
149 So.3d 301, writ denied, 14-2228 (La. 8/28/15),
175 So.3d 961. Relator filed an application for
post-conviction relief in the trial court which the trial
court denied on September 19, 2016. Relator contends the
trial court erred in its treatment of the issues raised
OF ERROR NO. 1:
contends that the trial court erred in failing to address his
claim regarding prosecutorial misconduct because it was
outside the purview of La.Code Crim.P. art. 930.3 which sets
forth the grounds for post-conviction relief. Relator raises
numerous examples of what he alleges was prosecutorial
misconduct at his trial. First, Relator claims that during
his opening statement, the prosecutor told the jury that the
victim was a good man and that his vouching for the
victim's character prejudiced Relator. Additionally,
Relator contends the prosecutor misrepresented the facts of
the case to the jury in his opening statement. Next, Relator
claims the prosecutor failed to correct false testimony of a
witness, testimony known by the prosecutor to be false.
Relator also claims the trial court erred in allowing the
prosecutor to question Relator's mother as a hostile
witness. Essentially, Relator claims the prosecutor
misrepresented facts at trial to present a false-positive
image of the victim and a negative image of Relator to the
jury in order to incite their prejudice against Relator.
trial court denied Relator's claims of prosecutorial
misconduct as not falling within the purview of La.Code
Crim.P. art. 930.3. Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure
Article 930.3 provides, in pertinent part:
If the petitioner is in custody after sentence for conviction
for an offense, relief shall be granted only on the following
(1) The conviction was obtained in violation of the
constitution of the United States or the state of
State v. Ortiz, 11-2799, p. 7 (La. 1/29/13), 110
So.3d 1029, 1034, cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 134
S.Ct. 174 (2013), the supreme court stated:
Grounds for post-conviction relief in Louisiana are primarily
restricted to constitutional or jurisdictional violations,
La.C.Cr.P. art. 930.3, and "the touchstone of due
process analysis in cases of alleged prosecutorial misconduct
is the fairness of the trial, not the culpability of the
prosecutor . . . the aim of due process 'is not
punishment of society for the misdeeds of the prosecutor but
avoidance of an unfair trial to the accused.'"
Smith v. Phillips, 455 U.S. 209, 219, 102 S.Ct. 940,
947, 71 L.Ed.2d 78 (1982) (quoting Brady v.
Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 1196, 10
L.Ed.2d 215 (1963)).
this court has stated, "the . . . assignment, involving
prosecutorial misconduct, should properly be raised in an
application for post-conviction relief." State v.
Kendrick, 96-1636, p. 18 (La.App. 3 Cir. 6/25/97), 699
So.2d 424, 434, writ denied, 98-2159 (La. 12/18/98),
731 So.2d 280.
we find that the trial court erred in failing to consider
Relator's claims regarding prosecutorial misconduct
raised in his application for post-conviction relief. As
such, Relator's writ application as to this claim is
granted, and the case is remanded to the trial court for
consideration and ruling thereon.
OF ERROR NO. 2:
claims the trial court erred in denying his claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel that resulted when his
attorney prevented him from testifying at trial after hearing
the prosecutor's threat to introduce investigative
reports about sexual abuse allegations against Relator.
Relator claims his attorney made the decision that Relator
would not testify, a decision that Relator alone had the
authority to make.
support of his claim, Relator points to a transcript excerpt
from an objection raised at trial during the testimony of the
victim's estranged wife, Linda Myles. When defense
counsel asked Ms. Myles whether she knew of the victim's
criminal record, the prosecutor objected. During the course
of the ensuing colloquy about the victim's prior bad
acts/crimes, defense counsel mentioned his desire to present
evidence of a child protection investigation stemming from
the victim hitting Relator in the face with a belt. The
prosecutor responded that the State could then present
information that Relator sexually abused people living in the
house with him and that it could provide reports, opening up
the "whole can of worms." To this, defense counsel
responded, "Not if my client doesn't testify."
trial court found that counsel's suggestion that Relator
not testify falls within the scope of trial strategy.
Further, the trial court found that Relator did not show that
his counsel's actions were unreasonable or that he was
prejudiced by thereby. Accordingly, the trial court found
that Relator failed to meet the ...