Appeal from the Juvenile Court In and for the Parish of East
Baton Rouge State of Louisiana No. JU111578 Honorable Adam J.
Haney, Judge Presiding
Annette Roach Louisiana Appellate Project Lake Charles,
Louisiana Counsel for Appellant D.M.
C. Moore, III District Attorney Cristopher J.M. Casler
Assistant District Attorney Baton Rouge, Louisiana Counsel
for Appellee State of Louisiana
BEFORE: McCLENDON, WELCH, AND THERIOT, JJ.
fifteen-year-old juvenile, D.M., was alleged to be delinquent
according to petition number 111, 578, filed by the State on
July 3, 2017, pursuant to the Louisiana Children's
Code. The petition was based upon the alleged
commission of simple burglary, a violation of Louisiana
Revised Statutes 14:62. The juvenile entered a denial to the
allegation. Following an adjudication hearing, the juvenile
was adjudicated delinquent. At the disposition hearing, the
juvenile judge committed the juvenile to the custody of the
Office of Juvenile Justice ("OJJ") until his
twenty-first birthday. On appeal, the juvenile argues that
the disposition imposed is excessive. For the following
reasons, we affirm the juvenile's adjudication of
delinquency and disposition.
adjudication hearing, witness Jason Hunt testified that on
May 25, 2017, he received a notification between 1:00 a.m.
and 5:00 a.m. that motion was detected on his driveway in
Baton Rouge. When he viewed a surveillance recording of his
driveway, he observed three men entering his truck. He
testified that nothing was taken from his vehicle. He turned
the surveillance video over to the East Baton Rouge
Sheriff's Department. The video depicts the juvenile as
one of the three men who entered Hunt's vehicle and the
juvenile identified himself in the video.
juvenile was also developed as a suspect in a rash of
burglaries that took place in various subdivisions in the
Shenandoah area of Baton Rouge. On June 30, 2017, the
juvenile was placed under arrest at the residence where he
lived with his parents, advised of his Miranda rights, and
transported for questioning. Detectives searched the
juvenile's house and located multiple cellular
telephones, two tablet devices, rubber gloves, a .380
magazine, and a pair of tennis shoes that matched those worn
by the juvenile in the surveillance video. Thereafter, a
detective drove the juvenile around various neighborhoods,
and the juvenile pointed out the unlocked vehicles that he
and two other juveniles burglarized. The juvenile stated that
he and the other two juveniles "hit" at least
fifteen vehicles in one of the neighborhoods and sold stolen
items to classmates and through "Letgo." He pointed
out seven specific addresses where unlocked vehicles were
parked. One of those addresses was 15414 Ferrell Avenue,
which the juvenile noted they "hit" in early to
mid-June. The juvenile specifically noted that a
"Glock" was taken from the 15414 Ferrell Avenue
address but denied that he was the person who took the
testimony connected to the instant petition was introduced,
the State called witnesses in connection with petition number
111, 588, counts two and eighteen (simple burglary) and count
nineteen (theft of a firearm). John Demopulos, who lived at
15414 Ferrell Avenue in Baton Rouge, testified that his two
vehicles were burglarized at his home between June 13, 2017,
at 11:30 p.m. and June 14, 2017, at 7:30 a.m. On the morning
of June 14, 2017, Demopulos found that his Bible, 9
millimeter Glock pistol, checkbook, and address book were
taken from one vehicle, and a prescription medicine bottle
had been removed from the second vehicle.
sole assignment of error, the juvenile argues that the
disposition imposed by the juvenile court is excessive.
Specifically, he complains that the juvenile court failed to
articulate specific reasons for the disposition and imposed a
disposition in excess of that necessary for rehabilitation.
Children's Code article 901B provides that the court
shall impose on the child the least restrictive disposition
authorized by Louisiana Children's Code articles 897
through 900, which the court finds consistent with the
circumstances of the case, the needs of the child, and the
best interest of society. Commitment of the child to the
custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections
may be appropriate under any of the following circumstances:
(1) there is an undue risk that during a period of a
suspended commitment or probation the child will commit
another crime; (2) the child is in need of correctional
treatment or a custodial environment that can be provided
most effectively by his commitment; (3) a lesser disposition
will deprecate the seriousness of the child's delinquent
act; and (4) the delinquent act involved the illegal
carrying, use, or possession of a firearm. LSA-Ch.C. art.
901C. In imposing a disposition, the juvenile court is
required to indicate in the record consideration of the
statutory disposition guidelines. LSA-Ch.C. art. 903A; see
State in Interest of R.L.K., 95-1277 (La.App. 1 Cir.
12/19/95), 666 So.2d 427, 432, writ denied, 95-3120
(La. 1/26/96), 666 So.2d 1084.
juvenile court ordered a predisposition report. The report
notes that on August 16, 2017, the juvenile participated in a
predisposition interview wherein he admitted committing the
burglaries and explained that he did so because he needed
money to reimburse his mother after he stole sixty dollars
from her. According to the juvenile, his mother "kicked
him out" of the house for stealing the money and told
him that he could not return until he reimbursed her. He
stated that he "hit a lick" because he did not want
to stay outside. He further stated that he wanted money to
purchase drugs. The juvenile told his ...