FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 511-729,
SECTION "B" Honorable Tracey Flemings-Davillier,
A. CANNIZZARO, JR., DISTRICT ATTORNEY KYLE DALY, ASSISTANT
DISTRICT ATTORNEY PARISH OF ORLEANS, COUNSEL FOR APELLEE,
STATE OF LOUISIANA
HERRLE-CASTILLO LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, COUNSEL FOR
composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay, III, Judge Rosemary
Ledet, and Judge Sandra Cabrina Jenkins
CABRINA JENKINS, JUDGE
17, 2012, defendant Rayne Williams was charged by bill of
information with one count of attempted second degree murder.
On January 24, 2013, the State amended the bill to also
charge Williams with one count of discharging a firearm
during a crime of violence. A bench trial was held, and
Williams was found guilty of attempted murder only. Williams
was sentenced to ten years at hard labor without benefit of
parole, probation, or suspension of sentence, with credit for
time served. Williams appeals his conviction and sentence and
assigns as error: (1) the absence of evidence of his knowing
and voluntary waiver of his right to a jury trial; and (2)
the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction.
there is no evidence in the record showing that Williams
knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to a jury trial.
Accordingly, we remand this matter for an evidentiary hearing
to determine whether Williams knowingly and voluntarily
waived this right. If either party wishes to raise any issues
as a result of the evidentiary hearing and the trial
court's ruling, the parties may do so. Because this
matter is remanded for an evidentiary hearing on the jury
waiver issue, we pretermit discussion of Williams's
remaining assignment of error. Williams's right to appeal
his conviction and sentence are preserved.
17, 2012, the State charged Williams and two co-defendants
with the December 19, 2011 attempted second degree murder of
Winfield Brazile, in violation of La. R.S. 14:27(30.1).
Williams was also charged with one count of discharging a
firearm during a crime of violence, in violation of La. R.S.
14:98(F). On July 9, 2012, Williams entered into a plea of
not guilty and was advised of his right to trial by judge or
jury. After the trial court's finding of no probable
cause, Williams appeared with counsel in court on June 17,
2013 and proceeded to a bench trial. The bench trial recessed
and resumed on February 21, 2014. On that date, the trial
court found Williams guilty of attempted second degree
murder. On June 3, 2014, the trial court sentenced Williams
to ten years at hard labor, without benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence and with credit for time
served. The State filed a multiple bill of information
against Williams. On June 2, 2016, a motion for new trial was
denied, and a motion for appeal was granted.
asserts in his first assignment of error that the trial court
erred when it allowed a bench trial in this matter without
requiring a written motion, conducting a colloquy, or
determining whether there was a valid waiver of the right to
a jury trial on the record. We agree, finding the error
requires the case be remanded for an evidentiary hearing.
Accordingly, we pretermit discussion of the post-trial error
patent, and turn our attention to the jury trial waiver
the United States Constitution and the Louisiana Constitution
guarantee an accused the right to a jury trial. U.S. Const.
Amend. VI; La. Const. art. I, § 17. If the punishment
that may be imposed on a defendant exceeds six months
confinement, the Louisiana Constitution provides that the
defendant shall be tried by a jury. In non-capital cases, a
defendant may knowingly and intelligently waive his right to
a trial by jury. La. Const. art. I, § 17(A); State
v. Biddy, 13-0356, p. 20 (La.App. 4 Cir. 11/20/13), 129
So.3d 768, 780.
was charged with attempted second degree murder, a
non-capital felony. Consequently, he was entitled to a jury
trial unless he knowingly and intelligently waived this
waiver of the right to a jury trial cannot be presumed.
State v. McCarroll, 337 So.2d 475, 480 (La. 1976);
State v. Santee, 02-0693, p. 3 (La.App. 4 Cir.
12/4/02), 834 So.2d 533, 534. A waiver of the right to trial
by jury is valid only if the defendant acted knowingly and
voluntarily. S ...