FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 522-142,
SECTION "A" Honorable Laurie A. White, Judge
LOBRANO, J., CONCURS IN THE RESULT Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY ORLEANS PARISH Scott G. Vincent Assistant
District Attorney COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA.
Herrle-Castillo LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT P. O. COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, OLIVER LEWIS.
composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano,
Judge Dennis R. Bagneris, Pro Tempore.
F. Love Judge.
Lewis was convicted of aggravated rape and unauthorized entry
of an inhabited dwelling. On appeal, Mr. Lewis contends he
cannot receive adequate appellate review without being able
to review all of the jury challenges. After reviewing, we
find that numerous challenges for cause were exercised
off-the-record. To ensure Mr. Lewis meaningful appellate
review, we remand the matter to determine whether any
documentation created contemporaneous to the trial
court's rulings excusing the jurors exists.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
evidence underlying Mr. Lewis' convictions is not
relevant to the present appeal.
his indictment on charges of aggravated rape and aggravated
burglary, Mr. Lewis entered not guilty pleas, but a jury
found him guilty of aggravated rape and returned the
responsive verdict of unauthorized entry of an inhabited
dwelling on the burglary count. The trial court denied Mr.
Lewis' ensuing motion for new trial and imposed
consecutive terms of life imprisonment at hard labor without
benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence and
six years imprisonment at hard labor. The trial court granted
Mr. Lewis' motion for an out-of-time appeal.
Lewis filed a pro se, handwritten, motion for new trial, upon
which the trial court failed to rule before imposing his
sentence. However, before the trial court sentenced Mr.
Lewis, it inquired whether there existed "any other
motions outstanding" and Mr. Lewis' counsel
responded in the negative. Mr. Lewis then interrupted and
verbally protested his innocence, while making no reference
to the pending motion. Under these circumstances, the
technical failure to comply with La. C.Cr.P. art. 853 does
not warrant intervention.
are no other errors patent.
Lewis maintains that the absence of a transcript of portions
of the voir dire, which occurred off-the-record,
including multiple rulings excusing jurors, denied him
meaningful appellate review and requires that this ...