FROM JUVENILE COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 2017-233-06-DQ-C,
SECTION "SECTION C" Honorable Candice Bates
Cannizzaro District Attorney Scott G. Vincent Assistant
District Attorney Parish of Orleans, COUNSEL FOR STATE OF
Katherine M. Franks LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Rosemary Ledet,
Judge Paula A. Brown.
A. LOMBARD JUDGE.
juvenile, W.V., appeals his adjudication as a delinquent for
one count of simple battery in violation of La. Rev. Stat.
14:25. After review of the record in light of the applicable
law and arguments of the parties, we affirm W.V.'s
adjudication. However, we vacate the disposition as well as
the $55 court costs and the $150 probation fee imposed.
Lastly, we remand this matter to the juvenile court to
conduct a disposition hearing in accordance with La. Ch.C.
and Procedural History
was arrested on March 24, 2017, in New Orleans as a result of
his mother, L.V., calling the New Orleans Police Department
to report that W.V. choked her and assaulted one of his
siblings. At the adjudication hearing, L.V. gave varying
accounts of what transpired.
L.V. testified that on March 24, 2017, W.V. slapped his
younger brother and slapped his younger sister on the arm.
Later, she clarified that W.V. had slapped his younger
brother on another day, but had only slapped his sister
during the incident at issue. L.V. related that she did not
approve of W.V. hitting his younger siblings, which she
called to his attention. While chastising him, L.V. testified
that she grabbed W.V. to punish him. In response, W.V. raised
his hands and pushed against her. She related that W.V.
grabbed her by the chest, but did not choke or strike her.
later testified that after W.V. slapped his nine-year-old
sister, L.V. questioned him about his behavior. She then
attempted to grab and hit him just before she fell on a
chair. She explained that she grabbed W.V. very hard as she
fell and that, in response, he put his hands on her neck. She
further testified that she did not give her son permission to
put his hands around her neck. She pushed him away before he
put his hands around her neck. Later, she testified that he
put his hands on her first before pushing him away.
yet another version of the incident, she testified that after
W.V. slapped his sister, she grabbed W.V., but started to
fall backwards on a chair. She explained that as she fell
back, W.V. put his hand up and she pushed him away.
final version of the incident, L.V. recounted that she
witnessed W.V. slap his younger sister on the arm and
remarked to him that she had previously warned him that she
was tired of him slapping his siblings. She explained that
she started to fall back on a chair and grabbed W.V. as she
fell. She explained that when she grabbed him and started to
fall, he then put his hands on her neck. She testified that
she responded by pushing him away.
explained that W.V. put his hands on her neck because he was
bothered that she had grabbed him. According to L.V., W.V.
did not squeeze her neck. She testified that she pushed W.V.
away from her because she did not want him to put his hand on
her throat. She testified that her daughter was not injured
and that no one sustained any injuries or went to the
hospital. She explained that she called the police because
she did not want to hurt or hit W.V. She also testified that
she called the police because of the behavior W.V. was
displaying. She further testified that she informed the
police that W.V. choked her. She testified that she was
afraid of what she was going to do to him because of the way
he reacted towards his sister. Lastly, she testified that
everything she reported to the responding officer that night
was accurate. She also explained that she did not want to be
in court for the hearing to "persecute" her son,
Kimberly Ginder ("Off. Ginder") testified that on
March 24, 2017, she responded to a call at L.V.'s
residence on St. Andrew Street in New Orleans to take a
report regarding a domestic situation involving W.V., who was
the perpetrator. She described L.V. as a victim. She
testified that there was a language barrier and that one of
L.V.'s younger children acted as an interpreter. Off.
Ginder further testified that she learned, through
interpretation by L.V.'s younger son, that W.V. had put
his hand around L.V.'s neck. She testified that L.V.
explained what happened and implied it with her hand motions.
Off. Ginder related that she wrote a report detailing what
occurred, including that L.V. had been strangled by W.V., who
also slapped one of the siblings. She explained that W.V. was
arrested at the scene. She related that L.V. did not object
to his arrest and remained calm during his arrest.
his arrest, W.V. was charged by delinquency petition with two
counts of simple battery. The matter initially was placed on
diversion, but the charges were returned to the docket on
September 5, 2017. On ...