FROM THE NINETEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT IN AND FOR THE
PARISH OF EAST BATON ROUGE STATE OF LOUISIANA DOCKET NUMBER
05-14-0714, SECTION II HONORABLE RICHARD D. ANDERSON, JUDGE
Gwendolyn K. Brown Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorney for
Appellant Corey Scott
C. Moore, III District Attorney And Allison Miller Rutzen
Assistant District Attorney Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorneys
for State of Louisiana
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McDONALD, AND CHUTZ, JJ.
defendant, Corey Scott, was charged by grand jury indictment
with second degree murder, a violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1.
He pled not guilty and, following a jury trial, was found
guilty as charged. The defendant was sentenced to life
imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence. The defendant now
appeals, designating two assignments of error. We affirm the
conviction and sentence.
February 7, 2014, Marvin Thomas, after being dropped off by
his father who had business at a nearby mechanic shop, walked
to Ragusa's Grocery Store at the corner of 15th Street
and Terrace Avenue in Baton Rouge. Several people were
standing outside of the grocery store, including the
defendant and his friend, Harold Retana, who testified at
trial. When Marvin walked out of the grocery store, Harold
followed him. During Marvin's entry into and exit from
the grocery store, he and Harold never exchanged any words.
Harold approached Marvin and, without warning, punched him.
Marvin staggered, turned, and ran into the street. Harold
chased after Marvin. At this point, according to Harold,
Marvin went for something near his (Marvin's own) hip.
Harold grabbed at Marvin's hand near his hip to prevent
Marvin from pulling what Harold thought might be a gun.
According to Harold, he felt part of a gun tucked inside of
Marvin's underwear. As they struggled, according to
Harold, for control over the gun, they fell to the ground.
The defendant, who was standing nearby watching the fight,
produced a semi-automatic 9mm handgun and fired eight times
at Marvin, striking him seven times and killing him. There
was no gun found at the scene or on Marvin's body. A
video of the attack and shooting was captured by the grocery
store surveillance camera and played for the jury.
defendant did not testify at trial.
OF ERROR NOS. 1 and 2
these related assignments of error, the defendant argues,
respectively, that the trial court erred in imposing an
unconstitutionally excessive sentence; and that defense
counsel's failure to file a motion to reconsider sentence
constituted ineffective assistance of counsel.
record does not contain an oral or written motion to
reconsider sentence. Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure
article 881.1(E) provides that the failure to file or make a
motion to reconsider sentence precludes the defendant from
raising an excessive sentence argument on appeal. Ordinarily,
pursuant to the provisions of this Article and the holding of
State v. Duncan, 94-1563 (La.App. 1st Cir.
12/15/95), 667 So.2d 1141, 1143 (en banc per curiam), we
would not consider an excessive sentence argument. However,
in the interest of judicial economy, we will consider the
defendant's argument that his sentence is excessive, even
in the absence of a motion to reconsider sentence, in order
to address the defendant's claim of ineffective counsel.
See State v. Wilkinson, 99-0803 (La.App. 1st Cir.
2/18/00), 754 So.2d 301, 303, writ denied, 2000-2336
(La. 4/20/01), 790 So.2d 631.
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104
S.Ct. 2052, 2064, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984), the United States
Supreme Court enunciated the test for evaluating the
competence of trial counsel:
First, the defendant must show that counsel's performance
was deficient. This requires showing that counsel made errors
so serious that counsel was not functioning as the
"counsel" guaranteed the defendant by the Sixth
Amendment. Second, the defendant must show that the deficient
performance prejudiced the defense. This requires showing
that counsel's errors were so serious as to deprive the
defendant of a fair trial, a trial whose result is reliable.
Unless a defendant makes both showings, it cannot be said