FROM THE 16th JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT ST. MARY
PARISH, LOUISIANA DOCKET NUMBER 2013-190, 883 HONORABLE
ANTHONY THIBODEAUX, JUDGE
Richard Allen Spears New Iberia, Louisiana Attorney for
Defendant/ Appellant Charles Douglas Chandler II
Bofill Duhe District Attorney Walter J. Senette, Jr.
Assistant District Attorney Franklin, Louisiana Attorneys for
Appellee State of Louisiana
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McDONALD, and CHUTZ, JJ.
defendant, Charles Douglas Chandler II, was charged by grand
jury indictment with second degree murder, a violation of
LSA-R.S. 14:30.1 (count one), and by bill of information with
possession of a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon by a
convicted felon, a violation of LSA-R.S. 14:95.1 (count two).
The defendant pled not guilty on both counts. A jury later
found him guilty as charged on both counts. On count one, the
trial court granted the defendant's motion for post
verdict judgment of acquittal and modified the conviction to
guilty of the responsive offense of manslaughter, a violation
of LSA-R.S. 14:31. The trial court granted the State's
motion to delay sentencing pending appeal. The State
appealed, assigning error to the trial court's ruling on
the motion for post verdict judgment of acquittal. In an
unpublished opinion, this Court reversed the trial
court's ruling modifying the verdict on count one,
reinstated the original conviction on count one, and remanded
for sentencing on both convictions. The Supreme Court denied
the defendant's writ application. State v.
Chandler, 15-1493 (La.App. 1 Cir. 2/24/16), 2016 WL
759165 (unpublished), writ denied, 16-0561 (La.
3/31/17), 217 So.3d 359 (ChandlerI).
remand, the trial court sentenced the defendant to life
imprisonment at hard labor, without the benefit of probation,
parole, or suspension of sentence on count one, and to 18
years imprisonment at hard labor, without the benefit of
probation, parole, or suspension of sentence on count two.
The defendant now appeals, assigning error to the sufficiency
of evidence on count one. For the following reasons, we
affirm the conviction on count one and the sentences on both
April 28, 2013, between 11:00 p.m. and midnight, three
gunshots were fired on Columbus Avenue in Bayou Vista,
Louisiana. The gunshots were heard by bystanders and area
residents, including Gwendolyn Landry Hidalgo, who called 911
immediately after hearing the gunshots. Officers of the St.
Mary Parish Sheriffs Office (SMPSO) responded to the scene of
the shooting at 1220 Columbus Avenue. Fifteen to twenty
people were at the scene when the police arrived, and the
scene was in disarray. SMPSO Patrol Lieutenant Jeremy Green
arrived around 10 to 15 minutes after the gunshots were
reported. He secured the scene and summoned medical personnel
for Wade Blackburn, Jr., the victim. When the police arrived,
the victim was lying unresponsive in the carport. Efforts to
revive the victim were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced
dead at the scene, having suffered a fatal contact gunshot
wound to his abdomen. Lt. Green located a spent shell casing
at the scene. According to Tammy James, the owner of the
residence where the shooting occurred, the defendant showed
up at her residence that night looking for the victim, and
the three shots were fired after the defendant and the victim
began tussling over the gun. Fragments from the first gunshot
grazed Ms. James's stomach, fragments from the second
shot hit her daughter, and the third shot struck the victim.
The defendant fled from the scene after the shots were fired.
to Craig Corbett Nini, sometime after the shooting, the
defendant hid in the backseat of Mr. Nini's truck, which
was parked in Bayou Vista at the time. After Mr. Nini started
his truck and pulled off, the defendant made his presence
known and instructed Mr. Nini to continue driving. Tyler
Emmanuel Brewer, who had ridden with Mr. Nini to Bayou Vista,
was sitting outside and saw the defendant when he ran and
jumped into the back of Mr. Nini's truck. Moments later,
Mr. Brewer observed the police pursuing the defendant and
told them that he was in the back of the truck. Shortly after
Mr. Nini drove off, the police swarmed the vehicle and
apprehended the defendant.
executing a search warrant for the defendant's residence
at 149 Sun Road, the police located the gun used in the
shooting, a Glock 30 .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, under
the TV stand in the defendant's bedroom. When recovered,
the gun had several rounds in the magazine and a spent
cartridge in the chamber.
sole assignment of error, the defendant argues that the
jury's verdict on count one is not rational. He argues
that the witnesses' testimony establishes that the fatal
shooting occurred during a struggle for the murder weapon and
is inconclusive as to what happened when the three shots were
fired. Thus, the defendant contends that the record lacks
evidence that he intended to kill the victim. He does not
contest the conviction on count two. In response, the State,
in pertinent part, argues that the defendant cannot raise
sufficiency of the evidence on the issue of his specific
intent to kill or inflict serious bodily harm, since that
issue was disposed of in the previous appeal of this case,
Chandler I. As discussed below, we find that the
State's response has merit.
of the case doctrine embodies the rule that an appellate
court ordinarily will not reconsider its own rulings on a
subsequent appeal in the same case. The reasons for the law
of the case doctrine are to avoid relitigation of the same
issue; to promote consistency of result in the same
litigation; and, to promote efficiency and fairness to both
parties by affording a single opportunity for the argument
and decision of the matter at issue. Barringer v.
Robertson, 15-0698 (La.App. 1 Cir. 12/2/15), 216 So.3d
919, 924-25, writ denied, 16-0010 (La. 2/26/16), 187
So.3d 1004; see Day v. Campbell-Grosjean Roofing &
Sheet Metal Corp.,260 La. 325, 330, 256 So.2d 105, 107
(1971). The doctrine applies to all prior rulings or
decisions of an appellate court or the Supreme Court in the
same case, not merely those arising from the full appeal
process. State v. Cox, 11-0789 (La.App. 1 Cir.
5/23/12), 2012 WL 1900539 at *3 (unpublished), writ
denied, 12-1675 (La. 2/22/13), 108 So.3d 763. The law of
the case doctrine is not an inflexible law, thus appellate
courts are not absolutely bound by it and may exercise
discretion in its application. The doctrine is not ...