APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 17-556, DIVISION
"F" HONORABLE MICHAEL P. MENTZ, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D.
Connick, Jr. Terry M. Boudreaux Andrea F. Long Rachel L.
Africk Douglas E. Rushton
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, CHRISTOPHER K. GARCIE Holli
composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Jude G.
Gravois, and Stephen J. Windhorst
FREDERICKA HOMBERG WICKER JUDGE
Christopher K. Garcie, appeals his conviction for four counts
of attempted second-degree murder, one count of aggravated
flight from an officer, and one count of illegal use of
weapons by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle located
upon a public highway. Having pled guilty pursuant to a plea
agreement wherein defendant reserved his appellate right
under State v. Crosby, 338 So.2d 584 (La. 1976), to
appeal the trial court's pretrial ruling granting the
State's motion to admit other crimes evidence at the
trial of defendant's case, defendant assigns as error the
trial court's order granting the State's motion. For
the reasons fully discussed herein, we affirm defendant's
convictions and sentences and remand this matter to the
district court for corrections of errors patent on the
bill of information filed on January 30, 20167, the Jefferson
Parish District Attorney charged that, on November 29, 2016
while in Jefferson Parish, Mr. Garcie: (1) violated La. R.S.
14:30 and La. R.S. 14:27, in that he attempted to commit
first-degree murder of Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office
("JPSO") Deputies Jason Loerwald, Jerome Green,
Todd Bordelon and Michael Jones; (2) violated La. R.S.
14:108.1(C), in that Mr. Garcie intentionally refused to
bring a vehicle to a stop, under circumstances wherein human
life was endangered, knowing he had been given a visual
warning and an audible signal to stop by Deputy Bordelon when
the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that defendant
had committed an offense; and (3) violated La. R.S. 14:94(E),
in that Mr. Garcie intentionally, or in a criminally
negligent manner, discharged a firearm from a motor vehicle
located upon a public highway, with the intent to injure,
harm, or frighten another human being. At his arraignment on
February 3, 2017, Mr. Garcie pled not guilty and not guilty
by reason of insanity to all charges. No motion to appoint a
sanity commission or for mental examination was filed, and no
sanity hearing was held to determine Mr. Garcie's mental
capacity to stand trial or to assist counsel in his defense.
On August 4, 2017, the State filed a notice of intent to
admit evidence of other acts as res gestae under La.
C.E. art. 404(B), to which Mr. Garcie responded by filing a
written objection. Following a hearing on August 28, 2017,
the trial judge ruled that other evidence leading up to the
police chase would be admissible at trial.
September 19, 2017, pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement,
the State amended the attempted first-degree murder charges
to four counts of attempted second-degree murder, in
violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1 and La. R.S.
14:27. On that same date, Mr. Garcie entered
pleas of guilty under State v. Crosby,
supra, to the amended charges of attempted
second-degree murder,  withdrew his previous pleas of not guilty
and pleaded guilty as charged to aggravated flight from an
officer and illegal use of a firearm, and reserved his right
to appeal the granting of the State's notice of intent to
admit evidence of other acts as res gestae.
the trial court advised Mr. Garcie of his rights and Mr.
Garcie waived these rights to the court's satisfaction,
the trial court accepted Mr. Garcie's guilty pleas. Mr.
Garcie then waived sentencing delays and, accordingly, the
trial court sentenced him to serve concurrent sentences of
imprisonment at hard labor for fifteen years on the four
counts of attempted second-degree murder, without benefit of
probation, parole, or suspension of sentence; imprisonment at
hard labor for five years on the one count of aggravated
flight from an officer; and, imprisonment at hard labor for
ten years for the one count of an illegal use of a firearm,
without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence, with
credit for time served. The trial court also imposed various
fines and fees. Defendant now appeals.
Mr. Garcie pled guilty, the underlying facts were not fully
developed in the record and are largely gleaned from the
police report upon which the State relied in seeking
admission of other crimes evidence. According to the police
report, the charged offenses committed by Mr. Garcie in
Jefferson Parish were committed on November 29, 2016, after
Mr. Garcie engaged in the following criminal activity in St.
On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at approximately 2130 hours,
Deputies Troy White and Walter Eason were dispatched to
Rouses Food Market, located at 3461 East Causeway Boulevard,
in Mandeville, Louisiana, in reference to an aggravated
kidnapping. Deputies arrived at approximately 2139 hours,
coming into contact with Mandeville Police Officer Derek
Dondeville. Officer Dondeville reported, under his case
number 1611-1084, the following:
A white female subject... made contact with Rouses employees
and requested they dial 911. [The female
subject] stated she had been kidnapped and escaped
in the rear parking lot of the business. The suspects [sic]
vehicle had been BOLO'd and was currently being pursued
by the Mandeville Police Department, southbound, on the
Causeway Bridge. The victim... was secured in the rear of
Officer Dondevilles [sic] patrol unit.
Deputy Eason relocated to Officer Dondevilles [sic] patrol
unit where he came into contact with [the female subject].
Deputy Eason observed a zip tie strap on her left wrist and
small cuts on her wrists and feet. [The subject] reported the
[The female subject] met with a man, identified as
Christopher Garcie, on the website www.backpage.com.
A bargain was made to meet Mr. Garcie at [an address] in
Lacombe, Louisiana, for the price of $400.00. Mr. Garcie
approached [the female subject's] vehicle upon her
arrival at the location in Lacombe. He brandished a firearm
and ordered her to exit the vehicle. Mr. Garcie identified
himself as a Federal Agent and forced [the female subject]
inside the residence. While inside he struck her in the back
of the head, with the firearm, and bound her hands with zip
ties behind her back. Mr. Garcie proceeded to force [the
female subject] into the front passenger seat of his vehicle
where they traveled west towards Mandeville, Louisiana. While
traveling [the female subject] was able to free her hands and
wait for an opportunity to escape. Mr. Garcie entered the
Rouses rear parking lot where he slowed the vehicle's
speed. [The female subject] jumped from the moving vehicle
and ran towards other citizens screaming, "help,
I've been kidnapped." [The female subject] was
escorted into the store, by an unidentified white male
subject, where she was able to dia1 911. [The female subject]
described the vehicle as a white colored pickup truck pulling
a box shaped trailer.
Emergency medical services were dispatched to the scene. Fire
district # 4 later arrived and [the female subject] refused
treatment. Deputy Eason relocated to the rear parking lot of
Rouses, and located a black colored bag along with a face
mask. [The female subject] alleged that the face mask was
utilized as a blind fold and that the bag had fallen out of
the vehicle during her escape.
to Mr. Garcie's brief on appeal, following the BOLO alert
that had been issued for him in St. Tammany Parish, law
enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions located his
vehicle traveling southbound toward Jefferson Parish. Mr.
Garcie's brief further avers that, based on the BOLO, the
officers attempted to conduct a stop of his vehicle, but he
refused and, instead, led the law enforcement officers on a
high speed chase into Jefferson Parish, during which he
allegedly fired several shots from his vehicle towards the
pursuing police units. Mr. Garcie was ultimately apprehended
sole assignment of error on appeal, Mr. Garcie challenges the
trial court's ruling granting the State's motion to
admit other crimes evidence under La. C.E. art. 404(B).
support of his contention that the trial court erred, Mr.
Garcie argues that none of the other crimes leading up to the
high speed chase (i.e., crimes related to the
escort, including setting up a date with the female subject
in order to kidnap her, impersonating a federal agent,
striking her with a firearm, tying her up with zip ties, and
kidnapping her), are part of the res gestae of his
fleeing from law enforcement officers on the Causeway bridge.
Specifically, Mr. Garcie claims that the escort was out of
his vehicle when he fled and failed to stop for police, and
that the discharge of his firearm occurred in a completely
different parish. Mr. Garcie claims that the jury did not
need to know the specific facts of the prior crimes for which
the BOLO was issued in order to understand the police chase
and Mr. Garcie's shooting of his firearm at the police.
Mr. Garcie contends that even if the other crimes are found
to be necessary for the State to cohesively present its case,
the State could have presented the fact that he was suspected
of committing an aggravated kidnapping and impersonating an
officer, as opposed to presenting all of the disturbing
details of the alleged crime, which invariably would inflame
and prejudice the jury. According to Mr. Garcie, even if the
other acts are determined to be part of the res
gestae, the ...