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State v. Woods

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

August 9, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
THEDIOUS DEWAYNE WOODS Appellant

         Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No. 15F2359 Honorable Benjamin Jones, Supernumerary Judge Pro Tempore

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT Douglas Lee Harville Counsel for Appellant

          ROBERT S. TEW District Attorney Counsel for Appellee

          MICHAEL J. FONTENOT Assistant District Attorney

          Before DREW, STONE, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.

          DREW, J.

         Thedious Dewayne Woods[1] was charged with two counts of attempted second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:27 and La. R.S. 14:30.1. After a jury trial, he was convicted of the responsive verdict of aggravated battery as to Count One and not guilty as to Count Two. The defendant was sentenced to nine years at hard labor. He filed a motion to reconsider sentence, which was denied. On appeal, he challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. We affirm in all respects.

         FACTS

         The defendant was charged with attempting to murder Johnny Edwards and Cortez Sheridan. At trial, the state called three witnesses. Monroe Police Department Corporal Maynard Gray testified:

• on September 20, 2015, he was dispatched to an empty lot south of the Valero gas station off Highway 565/165 around midnight;
• there, he observed Edwards leaning on the front of a red truck, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest;
• he called for an ambulance, and briefly questioned Edwards, who identified the defendant as the man who shot him;[2]
• he secured the scene and fruitfully checked for spent shell casings;
• he noted that another "SUV-type" vehicle was parked next to the red truck;
• no guns were found at the dark scene, and flashlights were used;
• the police found no drugs or drug paraphernalia, but cash money and beer bottles and cans were found;
• he went to the defendant's home, several blocks away;
• only the defendant's mother was there, and she was unaware of his location;
• his involvement in the investigation ended the night of the shooting, and • he turned the case over to Detective Jeremy Kent.

         Cortez Sheridan testified:

• he knew Edwards for seven to eight years prior to the trial;
• Edwards died approximately a week before the trial;
• he had never seen Woods prior to the night of September 20, 2015;
• on that night, he met Edwards at the empty lot around 9:00 p.m.;
• Edwards arrived before Sheridan, who parked his vehicle next to his red truck;
• they sat in the lot for several hours prior to the shooting;
• about 20 people were gathered in small clusters on the lot, including the defendant, who arrived at the lot around 10:00 p.m.;
• the defendant was sitting under a tree with others, ...

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