Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Morehouse, Louisiana Trial Court No. 2016-326F
Honorable Carl V. Sharp, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT Counsel for Appellant Peggy J.
S. TEW Counsel for Appellee District Attorney
G. SPIRES STEPHEN T. SYLVESTER Assistant District Attorneys
BROWN, MOORE, and GARRETT, JJ.
bench trial, the defendant, Steven Minor, was convicted of
attempted second degree murder and sentenced to 20 years at
hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or
suspension of sentence. The defendant appealed, arguing that
the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction and
that his sentence was excessive. We affirm the
defendant's conviction and sentence.
April 22, 2016, the City of Bastrop police were dispatched to
Austin Street in reference to a shooting. When police
arrived, they found the victim, Rolandus Vaughn, under the
carport of a home. He had suffered gunshot wounds to his hip,
stomach and wrist. The victim was transported to the hospital
by helicopter. Fortunately, he recovered from his injuries,
but the bullet in his hip apparently could not be removed.
upon eyewitness accounts, police developed the 18-year-old
defendant as the shooter. The eyewitnesses saw the two men
argue and the defendant draw a gun before firing shots at the
victim. The defendant admitted shooting the victim, but
insisted that he only wanted to scare him and did not intend
to hurt or kill him. The defendant was arrested and charged
with attempted second degree murder.
the defendant waived his right to a jury trial, a bench trial
was held in June 2017. After considering the evidence and
testimony, the trial court found the defendant guilty as
charged of attempted second degree murder. In August 2017,
the trial judge sentenced the defendant to 20 years at hard
labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of
sentence. A timely motion to reconsider, which only
requested the imposition of a sentence of no more than 10
years at hard labor, was summarily denied by the trial court.
The defendant appealed.
defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to
convict him because the state failed to prove that he had the
requisite specific intent to kill necessary to support the
verdict of attempted second degree murder. He argues that he
should have been convicted of only aggravated battery.
state argues that the evidence, when viewed in the light most
favorable to the state, was clearly sufficient to satisfy any
rational trier of fact that the defendant possessed the
specific intent to kill the victim and to support the verdict
of attempted second degree murder. The state asserts that the
victim's testimony that the defendant pointed a gun at
his head and then shot him several times was alone sufficient
to establish the crime. Further, the eyewitness accounts
corroborated that the defendant approached the victim, argued
with him, pulled out a gun, and shot the unarmed man. The
state contends that this evidence is sufficient to establish
that the defendant faced the victim when he first shot him
and then continued to shoot at him after the victim turned to
run away. The state points out that further evidence showed
that the defendant admitted to arming himself after ...