FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 256-342,
SECTION "G" Honorable Byron C. Williams, Judge.
Cannizzaro District Attorney Donna Andrieu Assistant District
Attorney Chief of Appeals Christopher J. Ponoroff Assistant
District Attorney Parish of Orleans, COUNSEL FOR STATE OF
Constance Hanes LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT P. O., COUNSEL
FOR DEFENDANT /APPELLANT.
composed of Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Rosemary Ledet,
Judge Paula A. Brown.
A. LOMBARD JUDGE.
defendant, Albert Lewis, appeals his sentence to life
imprisonment with possibility of parole. After review of the
record in light of the applicable law and arguments of the
parties, the defendant's sentence is affirmed.
Facts and Procedural History
1976, the defendant and his co-defendant, Kenneth R. Smith,
were convicted of the second degree murder of Maria
Digiovani. The defendant, seventeen years old at the time of
the offense (which took place on July 13, 1976), was sentenced
to life imprisonment without benefit of parole, probation, or
suspension of sentence for forty years.
on an errors patent review, the convictions and
sentences of the defendant and his co-defendant were
initially affirmed by per curiam opinion. State
v. Lewis, 413 So.2d 513 (La. 1982) (table).
Subsequently, both defendants were granted an out-of-time
appeal and their convictions and sentences were affirmed by
this Court. State v. Smith, 623 So.2d 942 (La.App. 4
Cir. 1993). As recited in that opinion, the underlying facts
of this case are as follows:
On the morning of July 30, 1976, the body of 74 year old
Maria DiGiovanni was found in the bedroom of her home at 1414
Mandeville Street. The apartment was in disarray. The
bathroom window was broken and the telephone wire to the
receiver was cut.
An autopsy revealed Ms. DiGiovanni was strangled, stabbed
over 100 times in the face, shoulder and abdomen, received
injuries to her face including black eyes and missing teeth,
a broken breastbone and broken ribs, lacerations to her
vagina and a head injury so severe that one of her ears was
nearly severed. The head injury contained small pieces of
metal which matched an aluminum wrapped brick found in the
apartment. In addition, a wooden handle with a broken piece
of metal on the end was found deep inside her vagina.
Vaginal samples were positive for spermatozoa. Ms. DiGiovanni
had type "O" blood. Seminal fluid found on her
nightgown and inside her vagina came from a type
"B" blood type secretor. Kenneth Smith's blood
type is "O". Albert Smith's blood type is
The murder investigation revealed that Ms. DiGiovanni had
recently purchased a large color television set which was
missing from the apartment. After receiving a telephone call
from Smith's sister, Smith and Lewis became the prime
suspects in the murder. Both were arrested and taken to
police headquarters. There they both waived their rights and
gave written statements admitting to the murder.
Smith, 623 So. 2d at 943.
addition, both defendants' fingerprints were found inside
Ms. DiGiovanni's residence and items belonging to her