FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 512-156,
SECTION "J" Honorable Darryl A. Derbigny, Judge
A. CANNIZZARO, JR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ORLEANS PARISH DONNA R.
ANDRIEU CHIEF OF APPEALS, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY MITHUN
B. KAMATH ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR THE
Constance Hanes LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT COUNSEL FOR
composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay III, Judge Daniel L.
Dysart, Judge Tiffany G Chase.
F. MCKAY III CHIEF JUDGE
14, 2012, Kendall Harrison (defendant) was indicted for the
second degree murder of Harry Ainsworth (the victim), in
violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1 (count 1), a crime which came
be known as the "Good Samaritan" case, and the
armed robbery of Ms. Anita Hedgepeth, a violation of La. R.S.
14:64.3 (count 2).
a seven-day jury trial, which commenced on December 2, 2014,
and concluded on December 8, 2014, the defendant was
convicted of both charges. On March 4, 2015, the trial court
sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment with the
possibility of parole after forty-five years on count 1 and
to forty-five years on count two, sentences to run
911 operator Ms. Shondrell Isadore testified that every 911
call for police assistance is recorded, assigned an item
number and generates an incident recall report. The item
number assigned the 911 call in this case was A-034256-12.
Ms. Isadore identified State's Exhibit 2 as the recording
of the 911 call, made by Jeremy Ballard on January 25, 2012,
at approximately 7:11 a.m., reporting a shooting at Eliza and
Vallette Streets. The State played the 911 recording made by
Mr. Ballard in which he reported he was in his car following
the shooter, who he described as a black male wearing a brown
leather jacket, tan pants and black boxer shorts.
Samantha Huber, chief forensic pathologist for the City of
New Orleans, autopsied the victim's body on January 25,
2012, and documented her findings in a written report. Dr.
Huber concluded the victim suffered a penetrating bullet
wound to the left chest wall. The bullet passed through the
victim's spleen, stomach, liver, lungs and heart. Dr.
Huber removed the bullet from the victim's body during
the autopsy and turned it over to the ballistics lab.
Anita Hedgepeth testified she was living in the 500 block of
Vallette Street in Algiers Point in 2012. On the morning of
January 25, 2012, at about 7:00 a.m., as she walked from her
apartment to her car, she noticed a young man walking toward
her. She also noticed the victim, who she did not know but
recognized from the neighborhood, standing with his two
children at the bus stop on the corner of Vallette and Eliza
Streets. As Ms. Hedgepeth sat in the driver's seat of her
car, there was a tap on the driver's side window. She
rolled down her window slightly, and a man standing next to
her vehicle asked her the time. As she turned to answer him,
the man pointed a gun at her head and demanded her car. Ms.
Hedgepeth pushed the gun aside and refused to exit her
vehicle. The assailant once again aimed the gun at her and
repeated his demand. Ms. Hedgepeth exited the car holding her
purse, which the assailant grabbed and a struggle ensued. The
next thing she remembered was the car door slamming, and the
defendant seated in the driver's seat. She screamed and
at that moment, the victim jumped onto the hood of her car,
smashed the windshield with his feet/fists and yelled to the
defendant to get out of Ms. Hedgepeth's car. She heard
three shots. The victim told her to run and then said,
"He shot me." The victim jumped from the car, ran
across the street and collapsed in Ms. Hedgepeth's front
yard. By the time she made her way to the victim, his two
young sons were kneeling down next to him, crying. Meanwhile,
the defendant fled the area on foot. Neighbors called 911,
and the police and EMS arrived. The victim's partner/wife
arrived on the scene and collapsed at the sight. The police
questioned Ms. Hedgepeth about the shooting. She recalled
that the defendant wore khaki pants, a fleece hoodie, a cap
and had dark skin. At police headquarters, Ms. Hedgepeth gave
a recorded statement, approved a sketch of the shooter and
gave her purse to the police. Ms. Hedgepeth viewed a photo
lineup compiled by Detective Tanisha Sykes but was unable to
make an identification. The day after the shooting, officers
obtained the blouse Ms. Hedgepeth was wearing at the time of
the shooting. Ms. Hedgepeth identified her vehicle as a 2005
Saturn Ion and said that the only other person to drive her
car was her nephew, and then only in her company. She had not
had her car serviced or cleaned in the month preceding the
Tanisha Sykes, the lead detective in this case, recounted
that on January 25, 2012, her supervisor notified her of a
homicide in the 500 block of Vallette Street in Algiers.
Detective Sykes arrived on the shooting scene about 8:25
a.m., at which time the victim was already dead. Detective
Sykes identified crime scene photos taken by crime lab
personnel, depicting cigarette butts, a cigarette package,
shell casings on the ground and the interior of Ms.
Hedgepeth's vehicle, and the victim's hat. The
evidence obtained from the scene was deposited in Central
Evidence and Property Room, and Ms. Hedgepeth's vehicle
was impounded at police headquarters for processing. The
victim's two young sons, and Ms. Hedgepeth, independently
of one another, directed the drawing of sketches of the
shooter. One of the victim's son's composite of the
defendant was released to the media by the police. Later on
the morning of the shooting, the victim's sons underwent
forensic interviews at the Children's Advocacy Center.
While processing Ms. Hedgepeth's vehicle, crime lab
personnel recovered two 9mm Luger spent casings from the
interior of the car and swabbed interior and exterior areas
for the presence of DNA.
after the shooting, FBI, DEA and ATF agents assisted in the
investigation by distributing sketches of the suspect and
the investigation, the defendant was developed as a suspect
via an unrelated charge in Jefferson Parish. Detective Sykes
obtained a buccal swab from him and sent it to the Louisiana
State Police Crime Lab for analysis. Eventually, the lab
notified the NOPD that a male DNA profile was developed from
the swab taken of the steering wheel of Ms. Hedgepeth's
vehicle. From that information, Detective Sykes obtained an
arrest warrant for the defendant for the murder of Harry
Ainsworth and the armed robbery of Ms. Hedgepeth, followed by
search warrants for the defendant's residences on South
Indigo Street and Heritage Lane. At the South Indigo Street
residence, officers seized several pairs of khaki pants, a
black sweatshirt with a gray hood, and a fitted cap, all of
which matched the description of clothing provided by
witnesses as being worn by the shooter.
defendant was arrested on February 28, 2012, and transported
to police headquarters where Detective Sykes and Detective
Darrell Doucette took the defendant's recorded statement.
After the statement, Detective Sykes collected the white
rosary and red and black plaid boxer underwear the defendant
was wearing because witnesses described the shooter as
wearing those items. Detective Sykes also obtained the
defendant's cell phone, which contained a picture of him
wearing a black coat, khaki pants, black tennis shoes and a
Brian Young, a middle school administrator, testified he was
defendant's mentor and a friend of the family for about
nine years before this incident. Mr. Young told the jury that
he and the defendant's aunt, Ms. Rose Mitchell, lived in
the Woodmere area of Jefferson Parish in 2012 and worked
together to transport the defendant to school at the John
McDonough High School campus in Orleans Parish. The witness
said he was working at Martin Behrman Charter School in
Algiers in January 2012. Mr. Young recalled that the
defendant spent the night of January 23, 2012, at his
Heritage Lane residence in order for him to transport the
defendant to school the next morning. However, the following
morning, Tuesday, January 24, 2012, instead of driving the
defendant to school, Mr. Young drove the defendant to the
defendant's aunt, Rosemary Harrison's, residence in
Woodmere Subdivision. Mr.Young recalled that on January 25,
2012, the school where he was employed was on
"lockdown" because it was near the scene of this
incident. Mr. Young said he had a telephone conversation with
the defendant on the day of the shooting, but that he did not
see the defendant again until the next week.
Harrison, the defendant's cousin, lived in Harvey in
January 2012. Mr. Harrison's grandmother, uncle, aunt and
sister lived on Vallette Street at that time. On January 25,
2012, Mr. Harrison was doing repair work at his father's
property in the 800 block of Vallette Street, when the
defendant stopped and visited with him before 8:00 a.m. Mr.
Harrison remembered there were police cars in the
neighborhood at that time because of an "incident"
which occurred "down the street." While Mr.
Harrison and the defendant were visiting, the defendant's
Aunt Rosemary Harrison arrived to drive the defendant to
school. At some point after the shooting, Mr. Harrison
received a visit from Detective Sykes, who took a recorded
statement from him.
cross-examination, Mr. Harrison said he was threatened by
Detective Sykes with being charged as an accessory if he did
not testify about the defendant's involvement in the
Rosemary Harrison, the defendant's great aunt, testified
that in January 2012, she, along with the defendant, her
daughter and daughter's children, were living on South
Indigo Street in Algiers. Ms. Harrison said she would bring
her grandchildren to school in the morning between 7:20 and
7:45 a.m. On the morning of January 25, 2012, as she was
driving her grandchildren to school, Ms. Harrison received a
call from the defendant, asking for a ride. After dropping
the grandchildren at school, she drove to the 800 block of
Vallette Street and picked up the defendant about 7:50 a.m.
Daniel Dooley, a forensic interviewer at the Child Advocacy
Center in New Orleans conducted a recorded interview of D.C.,
the victim's older son, on the morning of the shooting.
testified that the victim of the shooting was his father.
D.C., thirteen years old at the time of trial, said he was
aged ten and his brother was nine, when their father was
murdered. In January 2012, the victim's sons lived with
their parents in Algiers Point. On January 25, 2012, the
victim's sons and the victim walked to the glass-blowing
shop on the corner near their home to await the arrival of
the bus to transport D.C. to school. D.C. remembered as they
stood at the bus stop, they heard a woman scream because she
was being robbed. D.C. witnessed his father run to the
woman's aid, jumping on her car, beating on the
windshield and yelling to the assailant to leave. D.C. heard
a gunshot and watched the victim run from the car to a house
across the street and duck down. The shooter ran from the
area and the two boys ran to the victim. A neighbor took the
two boys into his house where they waited. Shortly
thereafter, the two boys' mother and uncle arrived at the
neighbor's house and the boys learned their father was
killed in the shooting. D.C. remembered the shooter as a
black male, wearing a black jacket. The two boys were
transported to the Children's Advocacy Center where both
were interviewed. D.C. said he listened to a recording of his
interview before trial, but that he did not remember saying
some of the things heard on the tape.
Robin Mayer testified she lived in Algiers Point for twelve
years at the time of this shooting. On January 25, 2012, she
lived on Slidell Street, and her mother resided in the 500
block of Vallette Street in Algiers Point. Her daily routine
was to bring her young child to her mother's house on
Vallette Street and then return to her home five blocks away
to dress for work.
day of the shooting, Ms. Mayer deposited her child at her
mother's house at 7:05 a.m. As Ms. Mayer was leaving, she
saw what she thought was a couple arguing across the street
from her mother's house. Seconds afterwards, Ms. Mayer
heard Ms. Hedgepeth screaming and then saw Ms. Hedgepeth
struggling with the suspect, who was standing next to Ms.
Hedgepeth's car. Ms. Mayer ran toward the commotion. The
suspect reached in and out of Ms. Hedgepeth's vehicle
while Ms. Hedgepeth was seated in the car. Then Ms. Mayer saw
the victim run from the corner of Eliza and Vallette Streets
to help Ms. Hedgepeth. By that time, Ms. Hedgepeth had exited
the vehicle, and the suspect had entered. The victim jumped
on the hood of Ms. Hedgepeth's car, hitting and kicking
the windshield. A shot was fired. The victim jumped from the
hood of the car, alerting Ms. Mayer and Ms. Hedgepeth that
the suspect was armed and had shot him. The victim ran across
the street and collapsed on the lawn of a nearby house. Ms.
Mayer ran under some steps and watched the suspect, who was
wearing a gray hoodie, run toward the river. Ms. Mayer went
to the unconscious victim's aid. She attempted to staunch
the bleeding from the victim's torso by applying pressure
to the wound. Just then, the victim's young sons ran to
the victim and attempted to speak to him. EMS personnel
arrived but despite their efforts could not revive the
expert firearm examiner, Ms. Meredith Acosta, examined four
unknown caliber copper jacket fragments (specimens 1, 2, 3
and 5), three fired 9mm caliber cartridge cases, two fired
casings (specimen 4) and one fired casing (specimen 6) and a
bullet retrieved during the victim's autopsy (specimen
7). Ms. Acosta opined the casings retrieved from the shooting
scene were fired from a 9mm semi-automatic weapon and
confirmed that she did not examine a weapon related to this
Kay Harrell testified she was employed by the Orleans Parish
Sheriff's Office as the supervisor of the records
division of the NOPD Intake and Processing center. Corporal
Harrell's duties involved updating all inmate files,
keeping track of probation, parole and release of inmates.
Through her computer, Corporal Harrell was able to access
information related to the locations of inmates. On July 30,
2014, the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office asked
her to determine the defendant's and Joshua
McReynolds' location histories.
booking date on the defendant's location records was
February 28, 2012. Further, the defendant's record
indicates he was housed in Templeman 5, A-1, Cell-1of Orleans
Parish Prison from May 27, 2012 to June 20, 2012.
McReynolds' location history reflected he was booked on
June 15, 2011, and housed in the same cell with the defendant
from June 6, 2012, to June 12, 2012.
McReynolds testified that he pled guilty to armed robbery on
June 25, 2012. He was incarcerated in the Orleans Parish
Prison, serving a twenty-year sentence at the time of the
trial in this case. During a portion of his time in jail, Mr.
McReynolds was in the same cell as the defendant, who related
to Mr. McReynolds that he had shot a man while carjacking a
woman. The defendant referred to the killing as the
"good Samaritan murder." Mr. McReynolds recounted
that the defendant questioned him about his knowledge of
forensic evidence, specifically DNA. The defendant explained
that he had wiped down the car but may have dropped a
cigarette butt at the shooting scene. When Mr. McReynolds
questioned the defendant about what it felt like to kill a
man, the defendant replied it was just like shooting a bird
with a BB gun.
Huey testified that he worked at the Orleans Parish
Sheriff's Department and was the custodian of records of
inmate telephone calls. He stated that the phone calls of the
inmates are recorded on an internet-based system and stored
on a secured database. Mr. Huey testified that when an inmate
makes a call, the inmate must use a pin/folder number that
was issued to the inmate at booking. One of Mr. Huey's
duties is to provide law enforcement agencies copies of an
inmate's jailhouse telephone calls. Mr. Huey explained
that as an inmate makes a call from the Orleans Parish
Prison, the inmate is issued a warning that the call will be
monitored and recorded. Mr. Huey also noted that a call
detail sheet, which lists the specifics of an inmate call,
i.e., name of caller, time, duration, number called, etc.,
accompanied the recording of jailhouse calls. Pursuant to the
State's request, Huey supplied a disc containing a
recording of four calls the defendant placed in the first
week of March 2012 while incarcerated at Orleans Parish
Ballard testified that on the morning of January 25, 2012, he
arrived at his glass studio in Algiers Point at approximately
6:50 a.m. His shop was located on the corner of Vallette and
Eliza Streets. At approximately 7:00 a.m. that day, Mr.
Ballard heard what he thought were four gunshots. He walked
out of his shop to investigate and saw two children running
in the street. Mr. Ballard recognized the children from the
neighborhood because he had seen them with their father on
previous mornings waiting on the corner for their school bus.
Ballard ran toward the children as the suspect ran across
Vallette Street toward Eliza Street. When the suspect tripped
on the sidewalk, Mr. Ballard noticed the suspect was wearing
red plaid boxer shorts. Mr. Ballard followed the suspect in
his car. However, Mr. Ballard lost sight of the man
momentarily and drove around the area until he saw the
suspect again on Sequin Street. The suspect met a man on
Opelousas Street, and the two walked to Teche Street.
Thereafter, the pair walked back to Vallette Street, and Mr.
Ballard lost sight of them; however, as Mr. Ballard was
following the men, he called 911, reported the situation and
provided a description of the suspect's clothing - tan
pants and dark brown leather jacket. Mr. Ballard then drove
back to his shop. When the police arrived at his shop, Mr.
Ballard accompanied them in the patrol car, retracing the
suspect's flight route. Mr. Ballard said he viewed the
suspect from a vantage point of no more than twenty feet;
however, Mr. Ballard was unable to make an identification
from the photo lineup the police presented him.
Dickerson, the NOPD expert crime scene and fingerprint
analyst, testified he was called to the shooting scene. By
the time he arrived, crime scene technicians had already
begun photographing and processing the area. Mr. Dickerson
photographed and processed Ms. Hedgepeth's vehicle. He
swabbed the vehicle's driver side door handle, steering
wheel, radio knob, gear shift, AC switch and driver's
side arm rest for DNA. Mr. Dickerson also processed the
vehicle for latent fingerprints and hair and fibers. The
swabs and samples taken during the process were sealed,
identified and placed in Central Evidence and Property for
Jeff Rodrigue of the Homicide Division of the Jefferson
Parish Sheriff's Office testified that in January and
February 2012, he was assigned to the New Orleans FBI Violent
Crimes Task Force. Sergeant Rodrigue assisted Detective
Tanisha Sykes in obtaining a buccal swab from the defendant.
Crime Lab forensic DNA analyst Jeremy Dubois tested the swab
samples obtained by Troy Dickerson from the Hedgepeth
vehicle. Mr. Dubois also performed DNA testing on the blouse
Ms. Hedgepeth wore the day of the shooting. He issued a
report of his test results on February 8, 2012. Mr. Dubois
explained that he obtained reference DNA samples from Ms.
Hedgepeth and the defendant for comparison with profiles
obtained from swab samples. Testing on the steering wheel
swab revealed the presence of DNA for both Ms. Hedgepeth and
the defendant. Mr. Dubois opined that based on statistical
analysis, the probability the male DNA found on the steering
wheel being deposited by anyone other than the defendant was
one in 73.7 million within the African American population.
defense offered the testimony of the defendant's father,
Mr. Michael Willis, who informed the jury that the defendant
had been missing a tooth since junior high
school. He also denied that the defendant was a
Sykes was called by the defense and confirmed she was the
lead detective in this case. The detective admitted failing
to have the witnesses who viewed a photographic lineup sign
the back of the photos if no identification was made;
however, she reiterated she noted in her report the procedure
employed in displaying the photo lineups and whether an
identification was made by the witness.
accordance with La. C.Cr.P. art. 920, all appeals are
reviewed for errors patent on the face of the record. Our
review of the record reveals one with regard to the
defendant's sentence for armed robbery. In the
indictment, the State invoked the firearm sentence provision
of La. R.S. 14:64.3, which provides that when a firearm is
used in the commission of an armed robbery or attempted armed
robbery, the "offender shall be imprisoned for an
additional period of five years without benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence." See State v.
Bartley, 2017-0273 (La.App. 4 Cir. 10/11/17), ___ So.3d
___, 2017 WL 4534407. The trial court sentenced the defendant
to forty-five years at hard labor without benefit of
probation, parole, or suspension of sentence for the count of
armed robbery with a firearm. However, the trial judge did
not specify whether the sentence imposed included the
enhanced term of imprisonment under La. R.S. 14:64.3. A
sentence is indeterminate when the trial court fails to
impose a consecutive five-year enhancement as mandated by La.
R.S. 14:64.3. See State v. Burton, 2009-0826, p. 3
(La.App. 4 Cir. 7/14/10), 43 So.3d 1073, 1076.
we vacate the defendant's sentence for armed robbery with
a firearm and remand the matter for resentencing or
clarification as to whether the sentence includes any
additional punishment as prescribed by La. R.S. 14:64.3.
See State v. ...