FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
LAFAYETTE, NO. CR 150841 HONORABLE MARILYN C. CASTLE,
A. Stutes District Attorney, Fifteenth Judicial District J.N.
Prather, Jr. Roger P. Hamilton, Jr. Assistant District
Attorneys COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: State of Louisiana
K. Bauman COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Dillion Wade
composed of John D. Saunders, Elizabeth A. Pickett, and
Shannon J. Gremillion, Judges.
D. SAUNDERS, JUDGE.
27, 2015, Defendant, Dillion Wade Trahan aka Dillon Wade, was
charged by bill of indictment with the January 28, 2015
second degree murder of Silas Tate, in violation of La.R.S.
14:30.1. On September 7, 2017, a jury found Defendant guilty
as charged. On September 14, 2017, Defendant was sentenced to
life imprisonment without the benefit of probation, parole,
or suspension of sentence, as required by La.R.S. 14:30.1.
now appeals his conviction and sentence, raising a single
assignment of error: the evidence introduced at trial is
insufficient to support his conviction for second degree
Sergeant Michael Hiatt of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's
Office testified that he was a detective in the "crimes
against persons unit" at the time Silas Tate was killed.
Sergeant Hiatt testified he was the on-call detective and was
called out with information that someone had been shot and
there were witnesses and officers on the scene. He stated
that when he arrived at the scene Anthony Savoy and Charlotte
Broussard were attempting to transport Silas Tate to the
hospital; Kelsey Trahan, Dylan Guidry, and Steve Trahan, Jr.
were in Steve Trahan, Jr.'s home; and Steve Trahan, Sr.
and Heather Trahan were in their home. Anthony, Charlotte,
Steve Trahan Sr., and Steve Trahan Jr., live in trailer homes
near one another.
Hiatt stated that Charlotte Broussard advised him that she
had given Anthony Savoy permission to use a trailer located
on the Trahans' property, and that in the process of
retrieving the trailer Anthony knocked down the Trahan's
gate, which resulted in an altercation in front of
Anthony's trailer between her, Anthony Savoy, Silas Tate,
Steve Trahan Sr., Steve Trahan, Jr., Dylan Guidry, and
Defendant, during which time Heather Trahan made two 9-1-1
calls. Sergeant Hiatt testified that Charlotte advised him
that at onset of the altercation Steve Sr. was chasing her
with a knife, then he began chasing Silas with it, that she
heard gun shots, and saw Silas fall. Initially Charlotte said
the shots came from where Dylan Guidry was standing, but
later said that the shots came from where Defendant was
standing. She also stated that when Silas went down, Steve
Sr., Steve Jr., and Dylan Guidry were all in front of her and
none of them had a gun.
others involved in the altercation were also interviewed.
However, the statements given by those witnesses were either
evasive, inconsistent, or later recanted.
Hiatt testified that Kelsey and Dylan's stories changed
over time. Initially they both stated that they were inside
their home when the altercation occurred, had not seen
anything, and neither recalled seeing Defendant that night.
Later Kelsey stated that Defendant could have been there,
although she was not certain. Whereas, Dylan later stated
that both he and Kelsey had seen Dillion that night.
Hiatt testified he believed that the Trahan family was trying
to cover up Dillion's involvement:
During my interviews with the family, it was a lot of trying
to cover up where Dillion was. He wasn't there. Then,
some said he was there. Then, some said they never saw him.
Some said he was camping. And so it was a bunch ...