Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 339939 Honorable
Katherine Dorroh, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Holli Herrle-Castillo Counsel
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney JANET L. SILVIE RACHEL KING
Assistant District Attorneys Counsel for Appellee.
COX, STEPHENS, and MCCALLUM, JJ.
jury trial in the First Judicial District Court, Caddo
Parish, Louisiana, the defendant, Edward D. Lattin, was
convicted of illegal carrying of a weapon while in possession
of a controlled dangerous substance ("CDS"), a
violation of La. R.S. 14:95(E). He was subsequently sentenced
to eight years at hard labor without benefits, and he appeals
his conviction. For the following reasons, we affirm
Lattin's conviction and sentence.
Parish Sheriff's Office narcotics agents executed a
search warrant at a residence in Shreveport, Louisiana on
March 24, 2016. At the time of the search, the house was
inhabited by Lattin and his girlfriend, Latasha Robinson;
initially, the two of them were asleep in a bedroom. Also in
the house at the time was Latasha's nephew, Brian
Robinson. The search warrant was obtained on the suspicion of
drug activity at the residence.
the search of Lattin's bedroom, agents found marijuana
between the mattress and box spring of the bed. At the scene,
the marijuana was thought to weigh 15 grams, but was later
determined to be approximately 22 grams. In addition to the
marijuana, agents found a scale nearby on the dresser and, in
a shoe box on top of the dresser, a .22 caliber revolver. At
the scene, Lattin freely admitted that the marijuana and
scale belonged to him, but denied ownership of the gun.
Latasha denied any knowledge of the marijuana or the weapon.
Brian claimed ownership of the gun, but at the time of the
search, he was unable to answer any questions by the agents
regarding the weapon. Lattin was charged by amended bill of
information with illegal carrying of a weapon while in
possession of a CDS, in violation of La. R.S. 14:95(E).
a jury trial, by a vote of 10-2, Lattin was found guilty as
charged. He was subsequently sentenced to eight years at hard
labor, to be served without the benefit of parole, probation,
or suspension of sentence, as well as ordered to pay a fine
of $1, 000.00. Lattin's motion to reconsider sentence was
denied by the trial court. This appeal by Lattin ensued.
appeal, Lattin's sole assignment of error is that there
was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt
that he was guilty of the illegal carrying of a weapon while
in possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Lattin
argues that there was no direct evidence that he had actual
possession of the gun, and the state failed to prove that
Lattin had constructive possession of the gun. Specifically,
Lattin maintains the state failed to prove he knew the gun
was in the shoe box or he had the general intent to possess
the gun. This argument is without merit.
of the Evidence
standard of appellate review for a sufficiency of the
evidence claim is whether, after viewing the evidence in the
light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier
of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime
proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Jackson v.
Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560
(1979); State v. Tate, 2001-1658 (La.
5/20/03), 851 So.2d 921, cert. denied, 541 U.S. 905,
124 S.Ct. 1604, 158 L.Ed.2d 248 (2004); State v.
Bass, 51, 411 (La.App. 2 Cir. 6/21/17), 223 So.3d 1242,
writ not cons., 2018-0296 (La. 4/16/18), 239 So.3d
830. This standard, now legislatively embodied in La.C.Cr.P.
art. 821, does not provide the appellate court with a vehicle
to substitute its own appreciation of the evidence for that
of the fact finder. State v. Pigford, 2005-0477 (La.
2/22/06), 922 So.2d 517; State v. Dotie, 43, 819
(La.App. 2 Cir. 1/14/09), 1 So.3d 833, writ denied,
2009-0310 (La. 11/6/09), 21 So.3d 297.
Jackson standard is applicable in cases involving
both direct and circumstantial evidence. An appellate court
reviewing the sufficiency of evidence in such cases must
resolve any conflict in the direct evidence by viewing that
evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution. When
the direct evidence is thus viewed, the facts established by
the direct evidence and inferred from the circumstances
established by that evidence must be sufficient for a
rational trier of fact to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt
that the defendant was guilty of every essential element of
the crime. Stat ...