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State v. Magluilo

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

September 26, 2018


          Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 335, 569 Honorable Katherine Clark Dorroh, Judge.

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Carey J. Ellis, III, Counsel for Appellant.

          JAMES E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney Counsel for Appellee.

          TOMMY J. JOHNSON JASON W. WALTMAN TRENEISHA J. HILL Assistant District Attorneys.

          Before PITMAN, GARRETT, and McCALLUM, JJ.

          McCALLUM, J.

         The defendant, Dylan Magluilo ("Magluilo"), was convicted by a jury of second degree murder under La. R.S. 14:30.1 and was sentenced to life in prison. Magluilo now appeals, challenging only the sufficiency of the evidence. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm.


         The prosecution's lay witnesses.

         On September 8, 2015, a group including Magluilo, Danielle Davis, Todd Scruggs, Lacy Smith, Amanda Thompson, and Tiffany Chaffee booked a room at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Shreveport. All of these group members, except Davis and Magluilo, admitted using methamphetamine during the time frame surrounding this murder.

         In his recorded interview with detectives, Magluilo admitted that he had a "gym" bag with him in the hotel room. Tiffany Chaffee saw that Magluilo had a black bandana wrapped around a gun and had a "duffle" bag in the hotel room.[1] Chaffee also testified that Magluilo was a "nervous wreck" and appeared to be high.

         Seeking to obtain methamphetamine, Lacy Smith and Todd Scruggs contacted the victim, Mark Cornett, to arrange a purchase. Mark Cornett met them in the parking garage of the Hilton Hotel and took $200 cash as payment for the purchase of methamphetamine. He went alone to retrieve the methamphetamine and returned shortly without it or the money. Cornett indicated they would have to go to a casino near the Shreveport Airport (which is on Monkhouse Drive) to get the methamphetamine.

         Cornett got in the driver's seat of his vehicle, while Todd Scruggs got in the front passenger seat and Lacy Smith got in the rear passenger seat. At Scruggs' direction, Cornett stopped in the parking lot of the Hilton and picked up Magluilo, who got in the rear driver-side seat carrying the bag. The four then proceeded along Interstate 20 and exited at Monkhouse


         Lacy Smith testified that, when the car stopped at the red light at the bottom of the exit ramp, she felt movement to her left. She turned and saw that Magluilo was holding a handgun to the back of Mark Cornett's head and then heard a loud bang. Todd Scruggs testified that he was looking to the right when the shot was fired. He heard a loud boom and saw a flash of light. Scruggs stated that after Magluilo shot Cornett and exited the car, Magluilo knelt down and put the handgun in the bag.[3]

         After the shooting, Lacy Smith and Todd Scruggs fled the scene together. Magluilo made his escape separately. All three were on foot and contacted Ted Wheat for a ride.[4] Wheat, accompanied by Brooklin Pickett, first went to Monkhouse Drive to pick up Magluilo, but could not find him because he was not where he said he would be. Before Wheat and Pickett left, Lacy Smith contacted them by phone. They picked up Smith and Todd Scruggs at the Moonrider Inn (located on Monkhouse Drive) and took them back to the Hilton Hotel.[5]

         Magluilo called Ted Wheat again asking for a ride. Wheat obliged, picking up Magluilo at the Greenwood Road exit on Interstate 20 and taking him to Wheat's shop/residence. Initially, Pickett testified that Magluilo burned his pants at Wheat's shop because they had blood on them. Later, she partially recanted, stating that she actually did not know whose pants were burned and did not see Magluilo without pants.

         Amanda Thompson testified that she picked up Magluilo from Ted Wheat's shop/residence and took him to her house. Tiffany Chaffee was already at Thompson's house at this point. Thompson and Chaffee both testified that Magluilo confessed to killing Mark Cornett. However, they reported slightly different explanations of Magluilo's motive.

         Thompson testified that Magluilo said he killed Mark Cornett because Todd Scruggs told him to do so. Chaffee testified that Magluilo said he thought the car ride to the casino was a setup for Mark Cornett to kill him. Magluilo explained that he believed this because Todd Scruggs, during the ride, kept turning around and telling Magluilo that Cornett had a gun and was going to kill Magluilo. Magluilo told Chaffee that he shot Mark Cornett when Cornett stopped the car and bent over as if reaching for something. Both ...

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