FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
CALCASIEU, NO. 26188-14 HONORABLE GUY BRADBERRY, DISTRICT
F. DeRosier District Attorney Karen C. McLellan Jacob L.
Johnson Cynthia Killingsworth Assistant District Attorneys
COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana
Constance Hanes COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: David Billy
composed of Marc T. Amy, Van H. Kyzar, and Candyce G. Perret,
T. AMY JUDGE
State charged the defendant with one count of manufacture and
possession of a bomb, and the jury ultimately found the
defendant guilty of attempted manufacture and possession of a
bomb. The trial court sentenced the defendant to seven years
at hard labor, with credit for time served, and a fine of $5,
000.00. The defendant appeals his conviction and sentence.
For the following reasons, we affirm.
and Procedural Background
being dispatched to a residence to serve a warrant, Deputy
Chris Miller, of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office,
submitted, in pertinent part, the following narrative in an
During the execution of a felony warrant . . . [David Billy
Parker, Jr.] was located in the attic. A search and seizure
form was signed for the residence due to loose ammunition
being seen while searching for the subject in the residence
and the combination of the fact that the subject is a
convicted felon. During the search of the residence, two pipe
bombs were located in the attic w[h]ere the subject had been
by bill of information, the State charged the defendant,
David Billy Parker, Jr., with one count of manufacture and
possession of a bomb, a violation of La.R.S. 14:54.3. The
defendant pled not guilty, and the matter proceeded to a jury
trial, Deputy Miller testified that, on September 28, 2014,
he arrived at the defendant's residence to serve a
warrant on the defendant. He stated that the defendant's
wife told him that the defendant was not there but that she
granted Deputy Miller permission to enter the residence to
search for the defendant. Deputy Miller explained that he
located the defendant in the attic; verbally commanded the
defendant to come down from the attic; and, after the
defendant complied with the command and the defendant's
wife signed a search and seizure form, searched the attic.
Deputy Miller testified that, when "[he] entered the
attic, [he] noticed two PVC pipes that were capped on both
ends that had wires coming out of the ends[, ]" which
"looked like electrical wire." He stated that, upon
seeing the devices, he removed himself, the defendant, the
defendant's wife, and two children from the residence.
Deputy Miller explained that he subsequently blocked off the
residence and called for assistance because "through
[his] training, [he] recognized it to be an IED [improvised
explosive device] or a possible IED." Deputy Miller
stated that the defendant told him that he had assembled the
jury also heard testimony from State Trooper Sean LaFleur,
who explained that he is a technician supervisor for the
Louisiana State Police, Emergency Services Unit, and that the
unit he supervises is a "full-time HAZMAT and explosive
response unit, " which serves as "the bomb squad
for the State Police." Trooper LaFleur testified that he
and Investigator Hopkins were the bomb technicians that
responded to Deputy Miller's call for assistance at the
defendant's residence. According to his testimony, upon
initially seeing the devices in the attic, Trooper LaFleur
observed: "Two PVC pipes. They were capped on both ends.
And on one end of each device, there was bare wire coming
out. And on one device, the bare wire coming out had a coding
that was red in color, and on the other device, it was - - I
believe it was green in color."
LaFleur explained that the technique used to remove the
devices from the residence is called a "hook and line
kit[, ]" which he described as a rope and pulley system
that can be operated remotely for safety. He stated that
during this process, one device came apart, specifically an
endcap came off, and "then the pyrotechnic or firework
charge that was inside the pipe actually came out from that
one device." Trooper LaFleur noted that, on the charge,
he could see part of a label and believed the charge to be a
consumer firework based on the label remnant, as well as the
size. He classified they pyrotechnic charge as a "low
explosive." Trooper LaFleur testified that, after they
removed the devices from the residence, they moved the
devices with an extended pole to a sandbag area that had been
set up to "disrupt them or render them
safe." At that point, Trooper LaFleur stated that
they deployed a PAN (Percussion Activated Non-Electronic)
disruptor, specifically "a disintegrating projectile . .
. that is designed to . . . break that pipe apart without it
letting the pipe detonate on us, and that's what happened
in this case."
the devices, Trooper LaFleur testified that they fit the
criteria he looks for in identifying a "pipe bomb."
In this regard, the following colloquy occurred:
Q. Okay. And what do you look for when you say the term
"pipe bomb"? What do you look for when you're
determining if that's what something is?
A. Container. We look at the type of container. And pipe
bombs can generally either be PVC or metal pipe bombs. We
look to see whether or not they are capped on both ends and
potentially if there are any other things coming out, wire,
fuse, things of that nature. Commonly, people will use hobby
or cannon fuse. Other times, they will use wire. Sometimes
they are capped on both ends, and everything is internal. So
when we see a pipe and see it capped on both ends, we treat
it as an actual IED or pipe bomb until we can prove
Q. And did these devices fit those criteria?
A. That's correct.
Q. And how did they fit those criteria?
A. You had approximately a 10 to 12 inch long piece of PVC
pipe capped on both ends, and you had bare wire coming out
from one of the endcaps on each device.
Q. Going back to the one that came apart within the home, is
it my understanding that there was a pyrotechnic charge
within that pipe?
Q. And electric wire was connected to that?
A. There was.
LaFleur further explained that detonating these devices
"would be pretty simple" by using a flame or by
short-circuiting a battery and heating the wire. He also
noted that the devices could possibly detonate upon being
dropped. Trooper LaFleur stated that, if these devices were
intact and detonated, they would undergo fragmentation, which
he described as "this thing coming apart in small pieces
. . . up to about 3300 feet per second[.]" He testified
that fragmentation can result in potentially serious injury
and, in some cases, death. Trooper LaFleur concluded that he
searched for the defendant's name in the explosive
licensing database and found neither an active nor an
inactive license with the defendant's name.
jury returned the responsive verdict of attempted manufacture
and possession of a bomb, a violation of La.R.S. 14:27 and
14:54.3. Thereafter, the defendant filed a motion for new
trial, which the trial court denied. The trial court
sentenced the defendant to seven years at hard labor, with
credit for time served since September 2014, and a fine of
$5, 000.00. Subsequently, the defendant filed a Motion for
Reconsideration of Sentence and, at a hearing on the motion,
argued that his sentence should be reduced to five years. The
trial court denied the motion. The defendant now appeals,
asserting the following assignments of error:
1. There is insufficient evidence to support David Billy
Parker, Jr.'s conviction for attempted manufacture and
possession of a bomb; the State failed to prove that the
devices found in Mr. Parker's attic met the statutory
definition of "bomb"; and
2. Mr. Parker's seven-year sentence and maximum fine of
$5000 are excessive under the circumstances.
accordance with La.Code Crim.P. art. 920(B), all appeals are
reviewed for errors patent on the face of the record. An
error patent is one "that is discoverable by a mere
inspection of the pleadings and ...