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State v. Parker

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

October 3, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
MARCO PARKER

          APPLICATION FOR WRITS DIRECTED TO CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 537-573, SECTION "B" Honorable Tracey Flemings-Davillier, Judge

          Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr. DISTRICT ATTORNEY Angad Ghai ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR STATE OF LOUISIANA/RELATOR

          Michael Kennedy ATTORNEY AT LAW COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT

          Court composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods, Judge Paula A. Brown

          Regina Bartholomew-Woods Judge

         Relator, State of Louisiana ("State"), seeks supervisory review of the district court's June 22, 2018 ruling granting Defendant's motion in limine to exclude text messages recovered from Defendant's cell phone. For the following reasons, we find that the district court did not err; therefore, we deny the relief sought by the State.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         In its writ application, the State asserts the following:

On September 4, 2015[, ] Cornelius Bentley was shot and killed while in a motel room on Chef Menteur Highway. In video surveillance from the motel's parking lot, two subjects later identified as the defendant and Calvin Morris ["Morris"] are seen exiting the motel room. One of the subjects later identified as the defendant is seen going over to a trash can and dropping something inside. Both subjects are then seen leaving the parking lot. A Glock Model 17 handgun was recovered from the trash can outside of the motel room.

         In a recorded interview with an NOPD homicide detective, Defendant admitted that after witnessing Morris shoot the victim, he deposited the handgun into a trash receptacle outside of the motel room. However, Defendant denied having any knowledge that the homicide would occur before Morris abruptly shot the victim for no discernable reason. During the homicide investigation, NOPD extracted text messages from Defendant's cell phone that are at issue in this writ application. In one of the text message exchanges, which were sent to a contact in his phone entitled "Wife," Defendant and she discussed the theft of twenty thousand dollars; in another message Defendant stated, "Man Im [sic] ready to kill."

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Morris was subsequently charged by grand jury indictment with one count of second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1. Defendant was charged with one count of obstruction of justice in a homicide investigation, a violation of La. R.S. 14:130.1.[1] Thereafter, Morris pled guilty to an amended count of conspiracy to commit second degree murder, a violation of La. R.S. 14:(26)30.1, and was sentenced to ten (10) years in the Department of Corrections.

         Counsel for Defendant filed a motion in limine to exclude the text messages that NOPD extracted from Defendant's cell phone, which the district court granted on June 22, 2018. It is ...


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