FROM THE THIRTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
EVANGELINE, NO. 101313-FB HONORABLE CHUCK R. WEST, DISTRICT
Brignac, District Attorney, Thirteenth Judicial District
Court Julhelene E. Jackson Assistant District Attorney Post
Office Drawer, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana.
Douglas Lee Harville Louisiana Appellate Project 329
Southfield Road Post Office Box 52988 Shreveport, Louisiana
71135 (318) 222-1700 COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Samuel
Anderson A/K/A Samuel Brent Anderson, Samuel Anderson
Louisiana State Prison.
composed of Elizabeth A. Pickett, D. Kent Savoie, and Van H.
KENT SAVOIE JUDGE.
January 28, 2015, a grand jury indicted Defendant Samuel
Brent Anderson for first degree murder, a violation of
La.R.S. 14:30, and armed robbery, a violation of La.R.S.
14:64. After various pretrial motions and hearings, the
parties selected a jury on March 28, 2016. The jury heard
evidence and argument on March 29 through April 1 and
ultimately found Defendant guilty as charged on both counts.
On July 28, the trial court sentenced Defendant to serve life
in prison for the first degree murder conviction, with a
consecutive fifty-year term for the armed robbery conviction.
now appeals his convictions and sentences, assigning three
errors. For the foregoing reasons, we affirm Defendant's
murder conviction and vacate his armed robbery conviction.
28, 2014, Defendant was armed with a gun when he entered a
store in Evangeline Parish, seeking to commit an armed
robbery. In the course of the robbery, he shot proprietor Ann
Nguyen, killing her.
accordance with La.Code CrimP. art. 920, all appeals are
reviewed for errors patent on the face of the record. After
reviewing the record, we find no errors present.
OF ERROR NUMBER THREE
first discuss assignment of error number three. Defendant
argues that his convictions for both first degree murder and
armed robbery violate the constitutional protection against
double jeopardy, as the robbery was the act that elevated the
homicide to first degree murder.
court has stated:
A person cannot twice be placed in jeopardy for the same
offense. U.S. Const, amend. V; La. Const, art. I, § 15.
The defendant argues, and the state acknowledges, that it is
well-settled that convictions for both a felony murder and
the underlying felony violate double jeopardy protections.
See State v. Marshall, 81-3115, 94-461 (La.9/5/95),
State v. Lafleur 12-1383, p. 2 (La.App. 3 Cir.
6/5/13), 114 So.3d 666, 668 (footnote omitted). As the
Lafleur court noted, the remedy is vacation of the
less severely punishable offense. Id.
brief, the State acknowledges the violation and agrees with
the remedy. Accordingly, the conviction and sentence for
armed robbery is vacated.
OF ERROR NUMBER ONE
first assignment of error, Defendant argues that the trial
court erred by denying his motion to suppress his confession.
He alleges that he was questioned after he invoked his right
to counsel. An assertion of the right to counsel must be
"clear and unequivocal." State v. Payne,
01-3196, p. 13 (La. 12/4/02), 833 So.2d 927, 937.
court has explained in a previous case:
In brief, the defendant contends that during the
interrogation he stated "unequivocally, T really would
like, I mean I think I want a lawyer. Because, I mean this is
not right.' "
In Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602,
16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), the United States Supreme Court held
that the Fifth Amendment gives a suspect subject to custodial
interrogation the right to consult with an attorney during
questioning. State v. Payne, 01-3196 (La. 12/4/02),
833 So.2d 927, 934; Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. at
469-473, 86 S.Ct. at 1625-1627. The police are required to
explain this right to the suspect before the custodial
interrogation, "initiated by law enforcement officers
after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise
deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way,
" begins. State v. Payne, supra at 934,
citing Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291, 298, 100
S.Ct. 1682, 1688, 64 L.Ed.2d 297 (1980), quoting Miranda
v. Arizona, 384 U.S. at 444, 86 S.Ct. at 1619. The
safeguards regarding the Miranda right to counsel
are triggered by both a custodial setting and official
interrogation. State v. Payne, supra at 934.
After a knowing and voluntary waiver of the Miranda
rights, law enforcement officers may continue questioning a
suspect unless or until he clearly requests an attorney.
Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. 452, 461, 114 S.Ct.
2350, 2356, 129 L.Ed.2d 362 (1994). Whether the accused
actually invoked his right to counsel is an objective
inquiry. State v. Payne, 833 So.2d at 935, citing
Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. at 458-459, 114
S.Ct. at 2355. In order to invoke his right to counsel, the
suspect must articulate his desire to have counsel present
with sufficient clarity to enable a reasonable police
officer, in the circumstances, to understand his statement to
be a request for an attorney. Id. See also, State v.
Leger, 05-0011 (La. 7/10/06), 936 So.2d 108, 135. The
invocation of the right to counsel during the custodial
interrogation "requires, at minimum, some statement that
can reasonably be construed to be an expression of a desire
for the assistance of an attorney." State v.
Payne, 833 So.2d at 935, quoting Davis v. United
States, 512 U.S. at 459, 114 S.Ct. at 2355.
Once a suspect has asked to have an attorney present, he is
not subject to any further interrogation by the authorities
until counsel has been made available to him, unless the
suspect initiates further communication, exchanges or
conversations with the police. State v. Payne, 833
So.2d at 935, citing Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S.
477, 484-485, 101 S.Ct. 1880, 1885, 68 L.Ed.2d 378 (1981). A
cessation of questioning is not required, if the suspect
makes a reference to an attorney that is ambiguous or
equivocal, which causes a reasonable police officer, in light
of the circumstances, to understand only that the suspect
might be invoking the right to counsel. State v.
Payne, supra at 935, citing Davis v. United
States, 512 U.S. at 458, 114 S.Ct. at 2355. (emphasis in
In analyzing whether there has been a direct, clear,
unequivocal, and unambiguous request for counsel, courts must
give a broad, rather than narrow, interpretation to the
suspect's request. State v. Payne, 833 So.2d at
936, citing Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625, 106
S.Ct. 1404, 89 L.Ed.2d 631 (1986). The admissibility of a
confession or statement is a determination for the trial
court and the trial court's ruling will not be overturned
unless the preponderance of the evidence clearly favors
suppression. State v. Gant, 06-232 (La.App. 5 Cir.
9/26/06), 942 So.2d 1099, 1123.
State v. Allen, 06-778, pp. 4-6 (La.App. 5 Cir.
4/24/07), 955 So.2d 742, 747-48, writ denied,
08-2432 (La. 1/30/09), 999 So.2d 754 (footnote omitted).
State v. Broussard, 16-974, pp. 10-11 (La.App. 3
Cir. 6/13/17), 224 So.3d 23, ...