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State v. Green

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

January 10, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
CHADRIC L. GREEN Appellant

         Appealed from the Forty Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of DeSoto, Louisiana Trial Court No. 15CR25966 Honorable Amy Burford McCartney, Judge

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

          GARY V. EVANS District Attorney Counsel for Appellee

          KENNETH PATRICK HAINES GEORGE WINSTON, III Assistant District Attorneys

          Before BROWN, STONE, and BLEICH (Ad Hoc), JJ.

          BLEICH, J. (AD HOC)

         Following a jury trial, Chadric Green was found guilty as charged of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and sentenced to 14 years at hard labor, without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence and a $1, 000 fine. Green appeals his conviction. We affirm.

         FACTS

         On October 29, 2014, the Mansfield Police Department received a walk-in complaint from the victim of events that involved a man firing a gun into the air in a pasture located in Mansfield, Louisiana, and subsequently engaging in a physical altercation with the victim. The victim and other witnesses identified Chadric Green as the individual who pulled a weapon out of his back pocket and fired five or six times into the air; the witnesses also saw a gun fall out of Green's pocket as he fought with the victim. Police recovered six .380 automatic shell casings from the scene. A warrant for Green's arrest was obtained and he was arrested in the late hours of October 29, 2014.

         On July 7, 2016, Green was charged by third amended bill of information with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or carrying a concealed weapon, in violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1, after having been previously convicted of simple burglary in DeSoto Parish in Docket No. 08-CR-17320, on January 14, 2009.

         In four pretrial court appearances in 2016, Green refused appointed counsel and asserted his constitutional right to represent himself. The trial court ultimately assigned standby counsel to assist Green as needed. On the day of trial, however, Green insisted that standby counsel was not going to be of any help to him because he did not trust him. Thereafter, Green proceeded to trial on July 27, 2016, and conducted voir dire and questioned the state's four witnesses on his own behalf.

         These four witnesses were present at the gathering of people in or near the pasture on October 29, 2014. The victim, Billy Layton, heard five gunshots, saw Green put a gun in his back pocket, point a gun at him after the two fought, and carry the gun in his hand after the altercation. Layton also heard Green threaten to "pop" another individual. Jasmine Green and Treshawn Walker both testified they saw Green with a gun. Davonte Murphy saw Green fire a handgun multiple times into the air and a gun fall out of Green's pocket as he scuffled with Layton.

         On the second day of trial, the trial court was notified that Green was absent from court and that standby counsel had unsuccessfully attempted to reach him. The trial judge issued an arrest warrant. Upon Green's absence for approximately another hour, the trial judge ruled that trial would proceed in accordance with La.C.Cr.P. art. 832. The trial judge allowed standby counsel to leave, but ordered that he be available until a verdict was reached.

         The trial judge informed the jury of Green's absence, explaining that it was assumed to be voluntary as he was present for the first day of trial and failured to notify anybody that he would be late. The trial judge apprised the jury that officials continued to search for Green. The trial judge read La.C.Cr.P. art. 832 as authority for the trial to ...


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