FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 526-770,
SECTION "A" Honorable Laurie A. White, Judge
A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney Scott G. Vincent,
Assistant District Attorney ORLEANS PARISH COUNSEL FOR STATE
J. Barker Martin Edward Regan, Jr. Graham daPonte REGAN LAW,
PLC COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT
composed of Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano, Judge Sandra Cabrina
Jenkins, and Judge Paula A. Brown
CABRINA JENKINS, JUDGE
defendant appeals his conviction and sentence for aggravated
assault with a firearm. Defendant's conviction and
sentence are affirmed.
of Case and Facts
jury trial, the defendant was found guilty as charged of
aggravated assault with a firearm, La. R.S. 14: 37.4. He was
sentenced on May 3, 2016, to five years at hard labor and
fined $10, 000.00.
Collie, the victim in this case, was hired by the defendant
as a subcontractor to clear, clean and haul away debris. Mr.
Collie has been the owner of a construction and demolition
company since 1995. It was his practice to subcontract with
other companies to perform various jobs. Mr. Collie began
working with the defendant after Hurricane Katrina. In August
2015, the defendant obtained a contract with Covenant House
to clear and haul away debris in the Ninth Ward. The
defendant subcontracted some of the work to Mr. Collie. The
agreement was to haul the debris for $10, 000.00 which
equated to approximately seven days worth of work.
one week after completion of the work, the defendant tendered
a $2, 500.00 check to Mr. Collie which, when he attempted to
cash, was declined for non-sufficient funds. The very next
day, Mr. Collie saw the defendant driving on Gentilly
Boulevard and followed him to obtain an explanation for the
bad check. The defendant turned onto a side street and
stopped. Mr. Collie pulled up behind the defendant's
vehicle. The defendant exited his truck and approached Mr.
Collie's vehicle. As the defendant approached, Mr. Collie
activated the record function on his cell phone. The
defendant opened Mr. Collie's door and placed a gun in
his side. An argument ensued and the defendant cocked his
weapon twice during the verbal exchange.
Mr. Collie went to the police station to file a report of the
incident. While Mr. Collie was at the police station, he
learned that the defendant had called 911 earlier and
reported him as the armed assailant. Mr. Collie and the
defendant were actually at the police station at the same
time filing complaints against one another. The police
officers placed Mr. Collie and defendant in separate rooms.
After listening to the cellphone recording made by Mr.
Collie, the officers arrested the defendant.
defendant testified at trial. He explained that he was a
contractor and had done work for Covenant House in
August/September 2015, primarily clearing and removing debris
from blighted property in the Ninth Ward. The defendant
acknowledged subcontracting some of the work to Mr. Collie
for $10, 000.00. The defendant billed Covenant House
approximately $17, 000.00 for the work to be performed. The
defendant acknowledged that Mr. Collie performed the work he
had been subcontracted to do, and the defendant gave him a
$2, 500.00 check on September 11, 2015, with the express
instruction that the victim was not to negotiate the check
until the defendant notified him there were sufficient funds
in his account to cover the check. He explained that Mr.
Collie attempted to cash the check the following morning,
despite instructions not to do so. The bank refused the check
due to non-sufficient funds.
defendant admitted that he had a verbal confrontation on
Sunday, September 13, 2015, over non-payment. He admitted
"going off" on Mr. Collie and getting into his
face, telling him, "I done killed two or three
people" but characterized that as "just talk
defendant denied brandishing a gun during the confrontation.
He verified that he filed a complaint against Mr. Collie, but
said the police arrested him.