FROM THE THIRTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
EVANGELINE, NO. 98288-F HONORABLE CHUCK R. WEST, DISTRICT
K. Bauman Louisiana Appellate Project COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Anthony Jack
Brignac District Attorney Julhelene E. Jackson Assistant
District Attorney COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana
composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Marc T. Amy, and John E. Conery,
T. AMY, JUDGE
deputy was dispatched to a residence, the State charged the
defendant with one count of resisting an officer with force
or violence and one count of aggravated battery. Following
jury selection, one of the jurors notified the court that she
was related to the defendant's grandmother, and the trial
court excused the juror and replaced her with an alternate.
The defendant moved for a mistrial, which was denied, and the
jury ultimately convicted the defendant as charged. The
defendant now appeals. For the following reasons, we affirm.
and Procedural Background
being dispatched to a residence in reference to an
"Unauthorized Use complaint, " Deputy Joshua Uhlman
of the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office included, in
pertinent part, the following narrative in his complaint
Upon arrival I spoke to Mr. Julius Thomas who stated that his
girlfriend's grandson Anthony Jack took his car without
permission but pulled back up in the car before my arrival. .
I then turned to Anthony, who was standing on the side of the
yard and advised him to come see I need to talk to him. He
then put up his hands in a fighting position and kept saying
"I will whip your ass". I advised him to stand down
and to place his hands behind his back but he took off
running. I then gave chase on foot and radioed into dispatch
to send another unit. While running, Anthony picked up a
glass bottle that was lying in a yard and threw it towards
me. I was able to move out the way of the bottle. The foot
chase then continued into a yard . . . and that is when
Anthony picked up a long board and swung it towards me
hitting me in my left side of my chest with it causing me to
fall backwards. Anthony then came towards me with the board
while I was on the ground and attempted to hit me in my head
with the board. I then drew my service weapon and aimed it at
Anthony and gave the verbal command to drop the board.
Anthony complied with the order and I was able to get back up
and I re holstered my service weapon and pulled out my impact
baton and gave the verbal command to stop resisting and get
on the ground. Anthony refused and took a swing at me with a
closed fist. He missed then stated "I will shoot
you" and picked up his right hand and made a gun gesture
towards me. I then swung my impact baton striking him . . .
and he took off running again. I then gave chase again and
was able to catch up to him. Anthony then stopped and
attempted to swing at me with a closed fist again but missed.
I then gave the command to stop resisting but he refused to
comply. I then struck Anthony . . . and that is when [Deputy]
Kent Vidrine arrived to assist. Anthony was still resisting
and [Deputy] Vidrine administered a short 2 second burst of
Pepper Spray. At this point [Deputy] Joshua Estes also
arrived and Anthony was taken into custody.
Anthony Jack was transported to the Evangeline Parish Jail by
[Deputy] Estes. While in transport to the jail, Anthony spit
on [Deputy] Estes in the patrol unit and started to fight
with [Deputy] Estes in the patrol unit.
March 10, 2014, the State filed a bill of information by
which the defendant, Anthony Jack, was charged with two
counts of resisting an officer with force or violence; two
counts of aggravated battery; and one count of aggravated
assault. Subsequently, the bill of information was amended
three times. The third bill of information, upon which
the State proceeded to trial, charged the defendant with one
count of resisting an officer with force or violence, a
violation of La.R.S. 14:108.2(A)(3), and one count of
aggravated battery, a violation of La.R.S. 14:34. The
defendant pled not guilty, and a jury trial began on April 3,
April 4, 2017, on day two of the trial, Juror #1, Elizabeth
Bellard, approached the bailiff about some concerns she had.
Referring to the defendant's grandmother, whom she said
she had observed in the courtroom, Ms. Bellard notified the
trial court: "I know the lady . . . [my brother, my
sister, and I] call her Aunt Annie." When asked whether
she knew the defendant and whether she knew if she was
related to the defendant, Ms. Bellard answered, "I
don't know him" and "I don't [know] but if
that's his grandmother then we['re] related."
The trial court followed up by asking Ms. Bellard whether
that would affect her ability to be fair and impartial to
which she responded, "Yes it will." The trial court
instructed Ms. Bellard not to speak to the other jurors while
the court and the attorneys discussed the matter.
Juror #5, Rebecca Fontenot, was interviewed by the court and
explained that Ms. Bellard is her aunt. Ms. Fontenot
indicated that Ms. Bellard had just told her about Ms.
Bellard's relationship to the defendant's
grandmother. When asked whether she was related to the
defendant's grandmother or the defendant, Ms. Fontenot
responded: "I've never seen her or him before."
The trial court asked Ms. Fontenot whether this affected her
ability to be fair and impartial, and Ms. Fontenot answered,
"no." Additionally, the trial court asked Ms.
Fontenot if she could judge the case strictly based on the
evidence and if she would be fair to both sides, to which she
Ms. Bellard's revelation, defense counsel stated:
I would have picked my jury differently if I would have known
she would have been challenged for cause. Okay it changed the
way I used my back strikes . . . changed the makeup of the
jury. I tried to make the makeup as close to the actual
. . . .
[Mr. Jack] deserves [a] jury of his peers[.]
particular, defense counsel argued that to remove Ms. Bellard
from the jury and replace her with the alternate would change
the racial composition of the jury. However, citing Ms.
Bellard's testimony that she could not be fair and
impartial, the trial court notified the parties of its
decision to excuse Ms. Bellard from the jury and replace her
with the alternate juror. Defense counsel objected,
asserting: "[W]e feel that we have ...