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State v. Bates

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

February 28, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
JAMARCUS M. BATES Appellant

         Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 343, 671 Honorable John Mosely, Jr., Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Douglas Lee Harville Counsel for Appellant

          JAMES E. STEWART, JR. District Attorney HOLLY Y. McGINNESS TOMMY J. JOHNSON Assistant District Attorneys Counsel for Appellee

          Before WILLIAMS, MOORE, and GASKINS (Ad Hoc), JJ.

          MOORE, J.

         The defendant, Jamarcus M. Bates, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1. After the trial court denied his motion to suppress, Bates entered a Crosby plea agreement with the state in which he agreed to plead guilty to the responsive charge of attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in exchange for a sentence of seven years at hard labor to run concurrently with a separate seven-year sentence on an unrelated conviction. Bates also received credit for time served and reserved the right to seek review of the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress, which is the subject of the instant appeal. Finding no error in the court's ruling on the motion to suppress, we affirm Bates's conviction and sentence.

         FACTS

         On September 15, 2016, several Shreveport Police Department ("SPD") officers were dispatched to the McDonald's at 7000 West 70th Street, Shreveport, Louisiana, in response to a reported shooting. Upon their arrival, the officers encountered Jeremy Brooks carrying a sword in a sheath. Brooks claimed that two men, Ladamion Davis and Lakendrick Scroggins, pulled a gun on him when he tried to collect his belongings from a house at 2761 Rosemont Street. He said that he fled to the McDonald's and was pursued in a white Mustang driven by Scroggins. Scroggins shot at Brooks at the intersection of West 70th Street and Mansfield Road, but did not follow him into the McDonald's. The manager of the McDonald's confirmed that shots were fired outside the restaurant, and he, as well as Brooks, had called the police. According to the police report, Brooks said that the white Mustang was at the Rosemont address.

         While questioning Brooks, the officers received a second call from dispatch, reporting a stabbing at 2761 Rosemont. The officers proceeded there, where they found Ladamion Davis standing in the driveway holding a towel over 2 stab wounds, at least one of which completely penetrated his chest through his left pectoral muscle.

         The officers entered the home in order to secure the crime scene. They found blood on the kitchen floor leading to the carport door. Inside the house they found several people, including four black females, two toddlers, and two black males, including Scroggins. The occupants were moved outside, but not allowed to leave. Police continued searching the house and found another black male, Bates, wrapped in a comforter and asleep on a large ottoman in the living room. As an officer pulled back the comforter, they observed Bates in a fetal position with a semi-automatic pistol in his lap. One officer secured the gun while another officer arrested Bates. Bates was informed of his Miranda rights and said he understood them.

         Scroggins, the alleged shooter, was also arrested as he attempted to walk down Rosemont away from the outside area of the house. He told police that Brooks had initiated the fracas by attempting to take clothing items or shoes that were not his. When the dispute erupted between Davis and Brooks, the latter attacked Davis with the sword, stabbing him. Brooks was also arrested and later charged with aggravated battery.

         Bates was charged by bill of information with possession of a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon by a convicted felon. He entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment.

         A joint preliminary examination was held for both Bates and Brooks. Detective Kelly Coffey of the SPD testified that she was dispatched to 2761 Rosemont shortly after the house was searched by SPD officers and Bates arrested. Det. Coffey was advised by officers on the scene that they had conducted a warrantless search of the home for officer safety reasons. She further testified that later that day she obtained the consent of Jacqueline Scroggins, the owner of the house, to conduct additional searches. On cross-examination, Det. Coffey referred to the detailed report of Corporal Susan Mendels, one of the initial responding officers. Relying on this report, she stated that Brooks led officers to believe to believe that the man who fired the shots at him was within the 2761 Rosemont residence.

         Following the preliminary examination, counsel for Bates indicated that he would file a motion to suppress on grounds that the discovery provided by the state and Det. Coffey's preliminary examination testimony were insufficient to support a warrantless search of the residence. Counsel further argued that while it was unclear exactly when ...


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