from the Third Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Lincoln, Louisiana Trial Court No. 68466 Honorable Jay B.
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, By: Peggy J. Sullivan Counsel
F. BELTON District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
W. HOUCK, LAURIE L. WHITTEN JAMES Assistant District
BROWN, WILLIAMS, and GARRETT, JJ.
defendant, Coty Scott Traylor, was charged by bill of
information with driving while intoxicated, fourth offense, a
violation of La. R.S. 14:98 and 14:98.4. Following a jury
trial, the defendant was found guilty as charged. Defendant
was sentenced to pay a $5, 000 fine and serve 25 years at
hard labor without the benefit of parole, probation or
suspension of sentence. Defendant appeals his conviction and
sentence. For the following reasons, we affirm the conviction
record shows that in April 2016, Ruston Police Officers
Hannah Laborde and Dylan Castaneda were dispatched to look
for a silver Ford pickup truck in the Sexton Parking Lot.
After arriving, they waited for the owner to return to the
vehicle to obtain insurance information. At approximately
10:30 p.m., the officers saw defendant and another man walk
across the parking lot and urinate in front of the subject
truck. Both men then entered the truck, with defendant
getting into the driver's side. Moments later, the
truck's engine started and the brake lights came on.
Officer Castaneda activated the overhead lights on the patrol
vehicle, pulled up next to the defendant's truck, and
asked him to exit the vehicle. Defendant admitted to
consuming alcohol, but said that he had called a cab and was
waiting in his truck for it to arrive. Nonetheless, defendant
agreed to submit to several field sobriety tests on which he
performed very poorly. The defendant was arrested for
operating a vehicle while intoxicated and transported to the
Lincoln Parish Detention Center. Defendant submitted to an
Intoxilizer 5000 exam which indicated that he had a blood
alcohol concentration of .276 %.
trial, the jury found defendant guilty of driving while
intoxicated, fourth offense. The defendant was sentenced to
serve 25 years at hard labor without the benefit of parole,
probation or suspension of sentence and pay a fine of $5,
000. Defendant did not file a motion to reconsider the
sentence. This appeal followed.
defendant contends the evidence presented was insufficient to
support the conviction of operating a vehicle while
intoxicated. Defendant argues the jury erred because the
state failed to prove that he was operating his vehicle when
contacted by the police.
standard of appellate review for a sufficiency of the
evidence claim is whether, after viewing the evidence in the
light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier
of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime
proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Jackson v.
Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560
(1979); State v. Tate, 2001-1658 (La. 5/20/03), 851
So.2d 921, cert. denied, 541 U.S. 905, 124 S.Ct.
1604, 158 L.Ed.2d 248 (2004); State v. Carter, 42,
894 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1/9/08), 974 So.2d 181, writ
denied, 2008-0499 (La. 11/14/08), 996 So.2d 1086. This
standard, now legislatively embodied in La. C.Cr.P. art. 821,
does not provide the appellate court with a vehicle to
substitute its own appreciation of the evidence for that of
the fact finder. State v. Pigford, 2005-0477 (La.
2/22/06), 922 So.2d 517; State v. Dotie, 43, 819
(La.App. 2 Cir. 1/14/09), 1 So.3d 833, writ denied,
2009-0310 (La. 11/6/09), 21 So.3d 297.
Jackson standard is applicable in cases involving
both direct and circumstantial evidence. An appellate court
reviewing the sufficiency of evidence in such cases must
resolve any conflict in the direct evidence by viewing that
evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution. When
the direct evidence is thus viewed, the facts established by
the direct evidence and inferred from the circumstances
established by that evidence must be sufficient for a
rational trier of fact to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt
that the defendant was guilty of ...