from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 319893 Honorable Ramona
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT Peggy J. Sullivan Counsel for
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney EDWIN L. BLEWER, III J.
AARON CRAWFORD REBECCA ARMAND EDWARDS Assistant District
Attorneys Counsel for Appellee.
BROWN, PITMAN, and GARRETT, JJ.
defendant, Gerderrick Davis, was convicted of second degree
murder of his girlfriend's 17-month-old son, Anthony
Scott, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1. Following the
denial of his motion for post verdict judgment of acquittal,
the court imposed the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment
at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or
suspension of sentence. Davis appeals, claiming the evidence
shows that he was guilty only of manslaughter. For the
following reasons, we affirm the conviction and sentence.
lived in an apartment with his girlfriend, Brittany Scott,
and her 17-month-old son, Anthony. Davis frequently cared for
Anthony while Brittany worked at a fast food restaurant.
Davis was not employed. On the evening of November 26, 2013,
Anthony was fine when Brittany left for work. When she
returned home at 1:00 a.m. on November 27, Davis was holding
Anthony. It is not clear whether the child was conscious.
Brittany called 911 and the emergency responders came to the
apartment. Anthony was taken to LSU hospital and was
pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that Anthony died of a
lacerated liver caused by blunt force trauma which resulted
in massive internal bleeding. Numerous other bruises and
injuries were noted in the autopsy; all injuries were recent.
In interviews with the police, Davis initially denied causing
any injuries to the child. Following the autopsy results, he
eventually admitted that he struck Anthony twice in the
stomach. Davis was arrested and, in recorded telephone
conversations to Brittany from jail, Davis again admitted
that he struck Anthony.
was originally indicted for first degree murder. The charge
was later amended to second degree murder. At his jury trial,
the testimony and evidence established the chain of events
leading to Anthony's tragic death. Lisa Scott, the mother
of Brittany and Kentrell Scott, and the grandmother of
Anthony, testified that she had taken care of Anthony for two
days. She said Anthony was a good baby and he
never cried. When Lisa dropped Anthony and Kentrell off at
Brittany's apartment, Anthony did not have any bruises or
who was 14 at the time of trial, testified that he was
staying with Brittany when Anthony died. He played dominoes
with Davis and Anthony would grab a domino from the table and
run, or he would throw it at Kentrell and laugh. Kentrell
also tried to teach Anthony to catch a soft football.
Kentrell did not hear the baby crying that day. Brittany went
to work and Anthony went to sleep around 10:00 p.m. Kentrell
then played dominoes with Davis and watched television.
Kentrell went to sleep around 11:00 p.m. and awoke to
testified that Anthony was born June 26, 2012. At the time of
the child's death, she had been seeing Davis for four
months and had been living with him for two months. Brittany
stated that her mother kept Anthony for a couple of days
prior to this incident and he was fine when she returned him.
had asthma and used a nebulizer for breathing treatments. He
had an asthma spell about two weeks before his death, but was
not having any symptoms immediately before his death.
Brittany said that Anthony ran into a wall while playing with
Kentrell, but when she bathed Anthony that evening before she
went to work, she did not see any marks or bruises.
rode to work with a friend and, while she was at work, Davis
called to ask when she would be home. Brittany got off work
at 1:00 a.m. on November 27. When she arrived home, the door
to the apartment was locked, which was unusual. She said it
took Davis some time to unlock the door. Davis was pacing the
floor holding Anthony. Brittany grabbed the child. Davis said
it was too hot in the apartment, and the baby "might
have been up under the cover." Brittany did not think
the apartment was too hot.
emergency call was placed and Brittany rode to the hospital
in the ambulance with Anthony. At the hospital, a nurse told
her that Anthony "was gone" and she "fell
out." Brittany was taken to her uncle's house. She
learned the next day that Davis had been arrested. He called
from jail to say he was sorry and "told her what he did
Wilson, a paramedic with the Shreveport Fire Department
responded to the 911 call regarding Anthony. He testified at
trial that, upon arrival, there was a lady on a balcony
screaming, "What's wrong with my baby? Help my
baby." There was a man present who at times was
consoling the lady and at other times was "pacing
around." The child was lying on a bed and did not have a
pulse. The child had obvious bruising on the face and neck
and along the jawline. Wilson picked the child up and took
him to the ambulance, where pediatric advanced life support
was initiated. The child was intubated, an IV was started
along with CPR, and attempts were made to restart the heart.
Anthony had distention, rigidity, and swelling in the
abdomen. He was transported to LSU Health Sciences Center
where he was pronounced dead.
Robert Morman with the Shreveport Police Department was
called to secure a possible crime scene at the apartment. He
was informed that a baby had been transported from the
apartment to the hospital. Davis and Kentrell were at the
apartment when Morman arrived. Davis was outside the
apartment talking on the telephone with Brittany. Morman was
told that the child had expired for unknown ...