APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF ST. CHARLES, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 15, 184, DIVISION
"D" HONORABLE M. LAUREN LEMMON, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Joel T.
Chaisson, II Louis G. Authement.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, SIDNEY KRISTOPHER SMITH
Bruce G. Whittaker.
composed of Judges Marc E. Johnson, Robert M. Murphy, and
Hans J. Liljeberg.
J. LILJEBERG JUDGE.
Sidney Kristopher Smith, appeals his conviction for
manslaughter. For the following reasons, we affirm
defendant's conviction and sentence.
19, 2015, a St. Charles Parish Grand Jury indicted defendant
with the second degree murder of Warren Sanders, a violation
of La. R.S. 14:30.1. Defendant pleaded not guilty on July 8,
to the start of voir dire on October 17, 2016, the parties
informed the trial judge that approximately thirty to forty
members of the jury venire were in the courtroom when
deputies escorted defendant into the courtroom secured in
handcuffs and shackles. The record indicates defendant was
immediately removed from the courtroom. Defendant moved for a
mistrial asserting that his presence in restraints in front
of the venire was likely to have a prejudicial effect on his
case and his presumption of innocence. The trial court denied
defendant's motion for a mistrial after questioning the
attorneys regarding the number of prospective jurors present,
how long defendant was in the courtroom, and how far into the
courtroom defendant walked before he was removed from the
October 17-19, 2016, the case was tried before a
twelve-person jury that found defendant guilty of the
responsive verdict of manslaughter. The trial court sentenced
defendant on December 20, 2016, to thirty-two years in the
Department of Corrections. Immediately following sentencing,
defendant filed a motion for appeal which was granted by the
trial court on the same day.
evening of April 18, 2015, Detective Jason Tiliakos of the
St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office responded to a call
regarding a shooting on the Eastbank of St. Charles Parish.
Upon arrival, Detective Tiliakos observed a distraught woman
pacing on East Terrace Street and a male, later identified as
the victim, Warren Sanders, lying in a nearby ditch.
Detective Tiliakos further observed that the man sustained
multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the back of his
head. He also observed a tan hat on the shoulder of the
roadway near the victim's unresponsive body.
distraught woman was identified as Lacie Gloud. According to
Ms. Gloud, she was in an on-and-off relationship with Mr.
Sanders for the past eight and a half years. Approximately
one year prior to the shooting, Ms. Gloud met defendant and
became romantically involved with him, while still dating Mr.
Sanders. According to Ms. Gloud, Mr. Sanders was unaware of
her relationship with defendant, but defendant knew of her
relationship with Mr. Sanders and never indicated his
disapproval. It appeared to her that the men remained
friendly with one another.
April 18, 2015, Ms. Gloud and her children were at
defendant's house. They had been there for a week lending
support to defendant as he grieved the loss of his aunt.
During that time, Ms. Gloud stated that defendant was
"sad" and recalled that he told her that "he
would catch a body, " meaning, "someone was going
to get hurt." Later that evening, Mr. Sanders telephoned
Ms. Gloud and told her he was at her house. Mr. Sanders asked
Ms. Gloud to leave defendant's house and come home. When
Ms. Gloud advised defendant that she was going home with her
children to meet Mr. Sanders, defendant suggested that she
tell him to pick her up from his house instead. Ms. Gloud
rejected defendant's suggestion as disrespectful, causing
defendant to become upset. Ms. Gloud then proceeded to pack
her belongings in preparation to leave.
Ms. Gloud finished packing, defendant left his house wearing
a tan and green-colored hat. Ms. Gloud followed defendant and
observed him reach into his car and then walk down the
street. Ms. Gloud walked out into the street and saw Mr.
Sanders' vehicle down the street and defendant walking
quickly towards it. As defendant was approaching, Mr. Sanders
called Ms. Gloud, but before she was able to warn him that
defendant was approaching his car, the phone disconnected.
Ms. Gloud then began walking down the street with her
children and yelling at defendant to stop. Despite her pleas,
defendant continued to approach Mr. Sanders' vehicle and
she heard defendant tell Mr. Sanders to get out his
neighborhood. Mr. Sanders replied that he did not want any
trouble, and defendant responded by saying, "you would
say that, when I got a gun in your face."
this exchange, Mr. Sanders was in his vehicle, while
defendant stood outside. Moments later, Mr. Sanders exited
his vehicle, at which time Ms. Gloud heard the first gunshot.
Ms. Gloud explained that defendant was standing in front of
the car door and that when Mr. Sanders opened it, the door
pushed defendant backwards. Ms. Gloud stated Mr. Sanders and
defendant were within inches of one another when she heard
the first gunshot, followed by several more gunshots a few
seconds later. Defendant then walked back up the street
towards Ms. Gloud, attempted to kiss her, and remarked
"I guess you don't love me anymore, " before
proceeding back to his house. Ms. Gloud noticed that when
defendant approached her, he was no longer wearing his
Gloud then walked down the street to Mr. Sanders' vehicle
and called his name. She could not find Mr. Sanders and
thought he ran to her house; so she put her children in his
car and drove them back to her house. At her house she found
defendant's friend, Kenny King, and told him defendant
and Mr. Sanders argued and defendant "shot behind"
Mr. Sanders. Ms. Gloud and Mr. King then walked back to the
scene of the shooting, stopping first to look for defendant
at his mother's house. Defendant was not there and Ms.
Gloud told defendant's mother about the shooting. Ms.
Gloud and Mr. King then ...