Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Bass

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

May 23, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
ROBERT EARL BASS, JR. Appellant

          Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No. 15-F2829 Honorable C. Wendell Manning, Judge

          JASON ROGERS WILLIAMS & ASSOCIATES By: Jason Rogers Williams Nicole Burdett Brad Scott Counsel for Appellant.

          ROBERT S. TEW District Attorney MICHAEL J. FONTENOT Assistant District Attorney Counsel for Appellee.

          Before BROWN, MOORE, and PITMAN, JJ.

          PITMAN, J.

         A unanimous jury found Defendant Robert Earl Bass, Jr., guilty as charged of second degree murder. The trial court sentenced him to life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. He now appeals. For the following reasons, we affirm Defendant's conviction and sentence.

         FACTS

         On December 10, 2015, a grand jury indicted Defendant on one count of second degree murder in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1. The bill of indictment alleged that between the dates of November 11-15, 2015, he committed the murder of Brandon Albritton. On January 5, 2016, Defendant pled not guilty.

         A jury trial began on January 17, 2017. Detective Chris Fulmer of the Monroe Police Department testified that at 9:40 p.m. on November 11, 2015, the police department received a call about a murder. During the investigation that followed, law enforcement went to 205½ Filhiol Avenue, a garage apartment located behind 205 Filhiol Avenue, and learned that Ronald Redfearn and Allison Rogers lived in the apartment. Det. Fulmer stated that a .380 caliber shell casing was found in the alley behind 205½ Filhiol Avenue and noted that no weapon or bullet was found.

         Grant Cookston testified that the weekend before the shooting, he and Albritton went to Filhiol Avenue so Albritton could purchase drugs. At approximately 9:00 p.m. on November 11, 2015, he picked up Albritton and they returned to the alley behind Filhiol Avenue so that they could purchase drugs again. He gave Albritton $20 to purchase methamphetamine and remained in the car while Albritton exited and walked past the left side of the car. Approximately five minutes later, a black man walked up from the left side of the car and asked him for a ride. He told the man he could not give him a ride. The man then walked around the car and stopped and stood by the passenger side. Approximately two minutes later, Albritton returned and spoke with the man, who asked Albritton if they could give him a ride. Albritton turned away from the man, and the man drew out a gun and shot Albritton, who fell into the passenger seat. Mr. Cookston observed that Albritton was bleeding, and he started his car, put it in reverse and drove away. He noted that Albritton's body was only partially inside the car and that his feet were dragging on the ground. He drove to a nearby donut shop and called 911. He testified that he had difficulty identifying the shooter in the photographic lineup presented by the police. He was conflicted between the men in the first and fifth photographs because he was trying to determine which man's hairstyle was more consistent with that of the shooter.

         Ronald "Joey" Redfearn testified that he had lived in the apartment at 205½ Filhiol Avenue for several months at the time of the shooting. He grew up with Albritton, and Albritton would come to the apartment to exchange clothing for methamphetamine. He stated that he had known Defendant for approximately two years and that Defendant frequently visited him. He testified that Defendant and Albritton met several days before the shooting, and Defendant later told him that he would have shot Albritton if he had had his gun. He noted that Defendant usually carried an automatic gun. He testified that on the night of the shooting, Defendant was at his apartment when Albritton arrived. Defendant went outside, and Albritton later left the apartment and walked toward the alley. He noted that Defendant was in the backyard at this time and followed Albritton. He recalled hearing a "pow" that sounded like a firecracker or gun followed by the sound of a car "taking off" and "burning rubber." He then saw Defendant walking back through the yard from the direction of the alley. The next day he learned that Albritton had been shot.

         Allison Roberts testified that Redfearn is her boyfriend and that they lived at 205½ Filhiol Avenue. She stated that she knew both Albritton and Defendant. She testified that several days before the shooting, Defendant shaped his hand like a pistol and stated that if he had a gun he would have shot Albritton and that he would "gut him up" the next time he saw him. She stated that on the evening of the shooting, she, Redfearn, Timothy Millien, Ashley Frith and Defendant were at the apartment. She did not see any other black men at the apartment that night. She was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol because she was pregnant. Albritton walked into the apartment and greeted everyone, including Defendant, who then walked outside. Albritton stayed for 10 or 15 minutes or less and then left the apartment and walked toward the alley. Approximately three minutes later, she was standing outside and heard from the direction of the alley a "pop, " which sounded like a firecracker or a small hand pistol, followed by the sound of car wheels spinning. She then saw Defendant walking in "kind of fast pacing" from the direction of the alley. He asked her for the keys to Redfearn's truck, but she said no. He then asked her to let him go inside, but she said no because she wanted everyone to leave. She observed Defendant walk away from the apartment, noting that Defendant was wearing a Raiders flat bill hat. She further testified that Defendant owned a gun. She recalled that Ashley Frith told her that she saw Defendant with a gun on the night of the shooting.

         Ashley Frith testified that she was at the apartment on the night of the shooting. She admitted that she was under the influence of Suboxone, Xanax and methamphetamine, so she did not remember everything that happened that evening. She recalled seeing a black man at the apartment and noted that she did not see him with a gun. She stated that she did not know Albritton and did not see him that evening. She heard a loud "pop" when she was standing outside and thought it was fireworks. She did not recall telling Roberts that she saw a black man with a gun that night, but noted that her failure to remember might be due to the drugs she had taken.

         Timothy Millien testified that he knows Redfearn and visited him many times at his apartment; has known Defendant for several years; and met Albritton a few times. He stated that on the evening of the shooting, he was at Redfearn's apartment and was under the influence of methamphetamine. He observed Defendant leave the apartment as Albritton arrived. He noted that Defendant was the only black male present at the apartment that evening. When he walked outside, he did not see Defendant. He heard a "pop" followed by "squealing" tires. He later observed Defendant asking someone for a ride.

         Lieutenant Jeremy Kent testified that on November 11, 2015, he was working as a detective with the Monroe Police Department and responded to a shooting at a donut shop. When he arrived at the donut shop, he met Cookston. Albritton had already been transported to the hospital. Some of Albritton's clothing remained in the parking lot, and the pockets of his clothing contained his wallet, some cologne, a Sharpie, a loose $20 bill and a pocketknife. He noted that the weather was stormy with rain and wind, which prevented him from processing Cookston's car, so he had the car towed to the police department. He and Cookston then attempted to locate the scene of the crime. On November 16, 2015, he showed a photographic lineup to Cookston. He noted that Cookston had a difficult time identifying a suspect and "went back and forth" between the men in the first and fifth photographs, eventually choosing the man in the fifth photograph. This man was later determined to be incarcerated at the time of the shooting. Defendant was featured in the first photograph. Lt. Kent stated in his report that Cookston had difficulty selecting a photograph because of the different hairstyles of the men in the photographs. He further testified that on November 16, 2015, Sgt. Samehea Turner of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office contacted him, and he took her recorded statement regarding a conversation she had had with Defendant. Defendant was developed as a suspect and later arrested. He also testified that no bullet or gun was found at the scene of the shooting and that no evidence was recovered after a search of Defendant's residence.

         Sgt. Samehea Turner testified that she has known Defendant and his family for 20 years, that their families attended church together and that she considered him a friend. She testified that on the morning of the day she contacted Lt. Kent, Defendant walked up to her vehicle while she was in the drive-through line at a donut shop and asked what she knew about the homicide that occurred on Filhiol Avenue. She was unaware of the shooting at that time and told Defendant so. Defendant asked her to look up the offense up on her phone, but she was bothered by his questions and changed the subject of their conversation. Defendant again told her to look up the offense on her phone and then said to her "that's not how it happened, they tried to rob me." She noted that Defendant was referring to the incident ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.