Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State ex rel. H.J.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

January 24, 2018


         APPEAL FROM JUVENILE COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2016-112-07-DQ-B, SECTION "B" Honorable Tammy M. Stewart, Judge

          Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr. DISTRICT ATTORNEY Donna Andrieu, Chief of Appeals Christopher J. Ponoroff ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE/STATE OF LOUISIANA


          Court composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge Regina Bartholomew Woods


         In this juvenile delinquency case, the juvenile, H.J., [1] appeals his adjudication of delinquency for simple burglary. H.J. raises three (3) assignments of error. Finding no merit in H.J.'s first two assignments of errors, we affirm the juvenile court's adjudication of delinquency. However, we find merit in H.J.'s third assignment of error and remand with instructions.


         On April 21, 2016, the State charged H.J. by delinquency petition with simple burglary, a violation of La. R.S. 14:62.[2] In its petition, the State alleged that on March 21, 2016, at approximately 10:24 p.m., H.J. entered a vehicle, a Toyota 4Runner, owned by Charles Hurme ("Hurme") without authorization and with the intent to commit a felony or a theft therein.[3] On May 26, 2016, H.J. entered a denial to the delinquency petition. On October 21, 2016, defense counsel filed a motion to dismiss petition for failure to timely prosecute, which the juvenile court denied. Thereafter, defense counsel sought appellate review of the juvenile court's denial of its motion. This Court found no abuse of the juvenile court's discretion and denied defense counsel's writ.[4] H.J.'s adjudication hearing was held on December 15, 2016. At the conclusion of this hearing, the juvenile court adjudicated H.J. delinquent.

         On May 11, 2017, the juvenile court committed H.J. to the custody of The Department of Public Safety and Corrections for a period not to exceed six (6) months. This sentence is to run concurrent with a three (3) year sentence imposed in Jefferson Parish for carjacking.[5] The juvenile court credited H.J. for time served. It is from this adjudication of delinquency that H.J. appeals and raises three (3) assignments of error.


         At the adjudication hearing, Hurme testified that upon entering his vehicle, a black 2008 4Runner, which had been parked near 3840 Bienville Street in New Orleans, he noticed that the vehicle's door was ajar and that his vehicle had been burglarized. According to Hurme, the burglary occurred on March 21, 2016. Missing from his vehicle were a business book that contained checks, fifteen hundred dollars ($1, 500.00) in cash that was stored in the vehicle's console, and other small items such as an auxiliary cord. Hurme stated that he went to work in Gentilly and then called the New Orleans Police Department ("NOPD") to report the burglary. However, NOPD never arrived at Hurme's Gentilly location. Hurme further testified that once he returned home that evening, he again contacted NOPD; this time, NOPD did report to Hurme's location. Hurme stated that he did not see the burglary occur. Hurme provided a written statement and video surveillance footage ("the footage") from his home to NOPD. The footage showed the area near Hurme's home where his vehicle was parked when the burglary occurred. Hurme stated that although a person's face can be seen on the footage, it is difficult to distinguish a person's facial features. Hurme testified that he was unable to identify anyone from the footage. When questioned by defense counsel, Hurme was not able to say whether H.J. was the person he observed on the footage.

         At the adjudication hearing, Shariffe Davis ("Det. Davis"), a detective assigned to NOPD's First District, testified that, at the request of Burglary Detective John Mitchell, he spoke with Hurme and retrieved the footage from Hurme's home. Once Det. Davis received the footage, he returned to the station and inserted the jump drive into the computer to ensure that the footage would play. Det. Davis testified that in doing so he observed an individual with whom he was familiar. Det. Davis explained that on the day prior to the burglary, he investigated an unrelated armed robbery, and located the subject who fit the description of the perpetrator of the armed robbery along with H.J.[6] Although H.J. was not connected to the armed robbery, Det. Davis learned H.J.'s name. With this interaction "fresh in [his] mind, " Det. Davis knew that the person in the footage was H.J. According to Det. Davis, he remembered H.J.'s face and height. After viewing the footage and identifying H.J., Det. Davis requested the task force unit's assistance in locating H.J. Det. Davis testified that upon arriving at H.J.'s last known address on Oak Street, he and Officer Vastola[7] knocked on the door; Det. Davis observed H.J. run down the alley. The task force officers pursued and stopped H.J. near the Lafitte Housing Development; H.J. identified himself and was taken into custody.

         Det. Davis testified that he met with H.J.'s guardian, L.P.[8] at juvenile detention. According to Det. Davis, H.J. was released at some point and he, L.P., and H.J. went to the NOPD First District station where Det. Davis showed the footage and identified H.J. According to Det. Davis, H.J. said "[t]hat ain't me. I don't have that jacket." Det. Davis further testified that L.P. responded "you don't have that jacket, but I'm looking at your face on the screen." Det. Davis stated that H.J. continued to deny that it was him on the footage. At that point, Det. Davis terminated the interview. When questioned, Det. Davis asserted that L.P. recognized H.J. in the surveillance video. According to Det. Davis, the hat and earrings that H.J. were wearing on that day were taken into evidence because those items were identifiable on the larger screen on which the footage was shown. With L.P.'s consent, NOPD officers searched H.J.'s bedroom exclusively for property connected with the burglary of Hurme's vehicle; however, no evidence was recovered. On cross examination, Det. Davis testified that he could see H.J.'s face on the footage because he had watched the footage on a screen larger than the screen in court; Det. Davis asserted that he was able see H.J.'s features clearly on the screen in court, but that "they could be large, larger."

         When questioned at the hearing, L.P. testified that, upon viewing the footage, he asked H.J. whether that was him on the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.