FROM THE 19th JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT EAST BATON
ROUGE PARISH, LOUISIANA DOCKET NUMBER 01-16-0114 HONORABLE
BEAU HIGGINBOTHAM, JUDGE
C. Moore, III District Attorney and Stacy Wright Assistant
District Attorney Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorneys for
Appellee State of Louisiana
Cynthia K. Meyer Louisiana Appellate Project New Orleans,
Louisiana Attorney for Defendant/ Appellant Roderick White
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McDONALD, and CHUTZ, JJ.
jury indicted the defendant, Roderick White, with second
degree murder, a violation of LSA-R.S. 14:30.1. The defendant
pled not guilty and, following a jury trial, was found guilty
as charged. The trial court sentenced him to life
imprisonment at hard labor, without benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence. The defendant now
appeals, designating one assignment of error. We affirm the
conviction and sentence.
afternoon of January 6, 2015, Brandon Coleman was driving
around the Scenic Highway area in Baton Rouge with three
passengers, including the defendant. Nearby on Walnut Street,
Gregory Spears was at his mother-in-law's house, selling
CDs out of the trunk of his car. NaQuian Robinson drove up,
got out, and bought some CDs from Mr. Spears. As the two men
stood there talking, Mr. Coleman drove by and stopped at a
nearby carwash. The defendant got out of the car, walked over
to the two men, and asked Mr. Spears about some CDs. When Mr.
Spears turned to look in his trunk, the defendant pulled a
gun and tried to rob Mr. Robinson. The defendant and Mr.
Robinson wrestled over the gun, and Mr. Robinson was shot
defendant ran down the street and cut through a yard to
Chestnut Street, where Mr. Coleman picked him up and drove
away. Mr. Robinson got into his car, drove a short distance,
and crashed into a fence. His family took him to the
hospital, where he died of his wounds that same day. Mr.
Spears was unable to identify the shooter. When the police
brought Mr. Coleman in for questioning, he implicated the
defendant in Mr. Robinson's shooting. The defendant did
not testify at trial.
sole assignment of error, the defendant argues the trial
court erred in allowing the jury to hear the videotaped
statement Brandon Coleman gave to police. Specifically, the
defendant contends that Mr. Coleman's failure, at trial,
to recall the events surrounding the shooting, or the giving
of his videotaped statement, violated the defendant's
right to confrontation, because Mr. Coleman could not be
effectively or meaningfully cross examined about his
to Mr. Coleman's statement to police, Mr. Coleman was
driving the black Toyota Camry, in which the defendant and
two other people were passengers, before the defendant got
out of the car and shot Mr. Robinson. After the shooting, the
defendant ran down Walnut Street, cut through a yard, and ran
to Chestnut Street (one street down and parallel to Walnut
Street). Mr. Coleman drove the car to Chestnut Street and
picked up the defendant. The defendant's movements
immediately after the shooting were confirmed by Alexandria
Edwards, who testified at trial that the front of her house
faced Chestnut Street and the back of her house faced Walnut
Street. After hearing gunshots, she looked out the window and
saw someone running with a gun through the yard. She then saw
the armed person jump into a black car on Chestnut Street.
statement, Mr. Coleman specifically disclosed that he heard
the gunshots and that the defendant "did do it."
Mr. Coleman did not see a gun when the defendant got out of
the car, but Mr. Coleman saw the defendant with a gun when he
got back in the car. When asked if he actually saw the
defendant shoot Mr. Robinson, Mr. Coleman replied that he did
not actually see the defendant shoot Mr. Robinson, but saw
him shooting in that direction. When Mr. Coleman picked the
defendant up on Chestnut Street, the defendant said he had
shot himself in the leg. The defendant told Mr. Coleman not
to bring him to the hospital.
defendant's trial, before Mr. Coleman took the stand, the
trial court told him he had the right to testify as well as
the right not to testify. Mr. Coleman was being charged as an
accessory after the fact and had not yet been tried on that
charge. Mr. Coleman told the trial court that he would
testify. The prosecutor told the trial court that he
anticipated a medical issue arising when Mr. Coleman took the
stand. The prosecutor ...