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State v. McDonald

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

August 9, 2017


         Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No. 15-F0236 Honorable Daniel J. Ellender, Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Carey J. Ellis, III Counsel for Appellant.

          ROBERT S. TEW District Attorney Counsel for Appellee.

          GEARY S. AYCOCK FRED R. McGAHA Assistant District Attorneys.

          Before BROWN, DREW, and PITMAN, JJ.

          PITMAN, J.

         Defendant Leon McDonald was convicted of aggravated battery, in violation of La. R.S. 14:34, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1. He was sentenced to 10 years' at hard labor and 17 years at hard labor, without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence, respectively. His probation from a previous conviction was revoked, and the instant sentences, which are currently under review, were ordered to be served concurrently with each other, but consecutively to Count 1 in the earlier conviction and concurrently with Count 2 in that conviction. For the following reasons, Defendant's convictions and sentences are affirmed.


         On the evening of January 16, 2015, Frozenia McGee and her daughter, Tracy McGee, were sitting on the front porch of their residence at 109 South Nineteenth Street in Monroe, Louisiana. Joseph Wright, Frozenia's former boyfriend, joined them, and they were drinking and listening to music.

         A next-door neighbor, Dwight Amphy, came home from work at approximately 4:00 p.m. and saw Wright on, or near, the porch of the McGee resident. Approximately one half-hour later, Amphy was outside on his own porch when he saw a gray Chevrolet arrive at the McGee residence. Amphy and Wright did not know the driver of the vehicle, but Frozenia and Tracy identified him as Defendant. The passenger was originally identified only by the street name of Peanut; however, he was later identified by his given name of Walter Fuller. Amphy recognized both men as having been at the McGee residence on prior occasions. The two men joined Frozenia, Tracy and Wright on the porch.

         Amphy went back inside his home after the arrival of Defendant and Peanut, but a short time later, heard arguing next door and looked outside. Amphy observed Peanut and Wright arguing near the street. Wright tried to leave the property, but Peanut began striking him with a stick. Wright fell to the ground and Peanut continued to strike him. Defendant returned to the vehicle and retrieved a gun, stood over Wright and shot him in the ankle as he attempted to crawl away. Peanut and Defendant left the scene in the gray Chevrolet when Amphy yelled that he was calling the police.

         Cpl. Colette Major was the first Monroe Police Department officer to arrive at the scene. She observed Wright lying partially on the grass and partially in the roadway. His ankle was bloody, his foot looked twisted and he was moaning. Wright told Cpl. Major that he did not know the man who shot him, but that he knew the other man by his street name of Peanut. After ensuring that Wright received medical attention, Cpl. Major began taking statements from witnesses. Amphy's statement was taken and then she attempted to interview Frozenia, who was not cooperative and smelled strongly of alcohol.

         Det. Dwayne Crowder of the Monroe Police Department responded to the hospital where Wright was transported, and the investigation was turned over to him. While Wright received medical care, Det. Crowder returned to the scene to speak with witnesses. Frozenia provided Defendant's name to him. Wright later identified Defendant as the shooter from a photo lineup. An arrest warrant for Defendant was obtained and executed.

         Defendant was charged by bill of information with aggravated second degree battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The bill of information indicates that, as to Count 2, Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, in violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1, Defendant had previously pled guilty on December 14, 2010, in Docket No. 10-F2121, Fourth Judicial District Court, Ouachita Parish, to the crime of distribution of Phencyclidine ("PCP"), a Schedule II drug.

         A motion to revoke Defendant's probation in Docket No. 10-F2121 was filed, and a hearing was held on April 27, 2016. His probation officer, identified in the record only as Mr. Turnbull, appeared and testified that Defendant's conviction in December 2010 had been for two counts of distribution of PCP and illegal carrying of a weapon. He recited Defendant's various violations of his probation, which included a failure to report for many months and failure to pay agreed-to fees in his conditions of probation. ...

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