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State v. Payton

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

November 15, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
DEMARCUS S. PAYTON Appellant

         Appealed from the Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of Claiborne, Louisiana Trial Court No. 30, 270 Honorable Jennifer Ward Clason, Judge.

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Peggy J. Sullivan Counsel for Appellant.

          DANIEL W. NEWELL District Attorney Counsel for Appellee.

          CARY T. BROWN TERESA CULPEPPER CARROLL Assistant District Attorneys.

          Before MOORE, PITMAN, and DREW (Ad Hoc), JJ.

          PITMAN, J.

         Defendant Demarcus S. Payton was convicted of aggravated rape, unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and simple escape. The trial court sentenced him to life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence for the conviction of aggravated rape; six years at hard labor for the conviction of unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling; and five years at hard labor for the conviction of simple escape. The trial court ordered that the sentences for aggravated rape and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling be served concurrently with each other and that the sentence for simple escape be served consecutively. For the following reasons, we affirm Defendant's convictions and sentences, but order the minute entry amended and remand for compliance with La. R.S. 15:543.

         FACTS

         On July 17, 2014, Defendant was indicted for aggravated rape, in violation of La. R.S. 14:42; unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, in violation of La. R.S. 14:62.3; and simple escape, in violation of La. R.S. 14:110(A)(1). The indictment alleged that on or about June 16, 2014, Defendant committed the rape of C.C., made entry without authorization into the inhabited dwelling and home of C.C. and intentionally departed from a place of legal confinement and lawful custody of a law enforcement officer. On August 5, 2014, Defendant entered pleas of not guilty to the charges.

         A jury trial commenced on February 29, 2016. During jury selection, the trial court denied four challenges for cause asserted by Defendant.

         C.C. testified that in the early morning of June 16, 2014, a man approached her while she was sitting on her front porch. She stated that she had never seen this man before and identified him in open court as Defendant. She further stated that he made inappropriate sexual comments to her, which frightened her. She went inside her house, locked the exterior doors, grabbed a knife and called the Claiborne Parish Sheriff's Office. Chief Anthony Smith of the Haynesville Police Department responded to her home. After Chief Smith left in search of Defendant, C.C.'s ex-boyfriend came to her house. She stated that they observed Defendant standing in the street in front of her house; and, at 2:22 a.m., she informed Chief Smith by text. She noted that her ex-boyfriend left her house at approximately 5:00 a.m. and then she went to sleep on her couch.

         C.C. testified that she was awakened by a man with his hand over her mouth and a knife to her throat. She feared for her life and the lives of her children, who were home and asleep at the time. She stated that the man forced her to perform oral sex on him, that he performed oral sex on her and that he raped her vaginally and anally. The man brandished a knife at her, struck her in the forehead and threatened to kill her and her children. She testified that the man stopped raping her and left her home when one of her children woke up at approximately 7:00 a.m.

         C.C. further testified that she went to the hospital and underwent an examination. Morgan Matlock, a forensic nurse examiner and certified sexual assault nurse examiner, testified that she examined C.C. and collected swabs from her body and genitalia. Candace Jones, a forensic DNA analyst with the North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory, testified that DNA recovered on swabs from C.C. was consistent with a reference sample from Defendant or a male in his paternal lineage.

         Officer Trent Crook of the Haynesville Police Department testified that he obtained a warrant for the arrest of Defendant on June 17, 2014. He stated that at 1:00 a.m. on June 18, 2014, he located Defendant, placed him under arrest, advised him of his rights and secured him in handcuffs. He then transported Defendant to the Haynesville Police Department. As he walked Defendant to another patrol unit to transfer him to the Claiborne Parish Detention Center, Defendant ran away. Officer Crook stated that he chased ...


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