FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 523-972,
SECTION "F" Honorable Robin D. Pittman, Judge
Cannizzaro DISTRICT ATTORNEY Donna Andrieu, Chief of Appeals
ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY Michael Danon ASSISTANT DISTRICT
ATTORNEY Irena Zajickova ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY PARISH
OF ORLEANS COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE/STATE OF LOUISIANA.
Watters COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.
composed of Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Daniel L. Dysart,
Judge Paula A. Brown
L. Dysart Judge.
Johnquell Bibbins, appeals his conviction of second degree
battery and the sentence imposed. After our review of the
record, and for the reasons that follow, we affirm both the
conviction and the sentence.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
of information dated March 13, 2015, Mr. Bibbins was charged
with the January 3, 2015 second degree battery of Keith
McGuire. At his arraignment on April 8, 2015, Mr. Bibbins
pleaded not guilty. At the preliminary hearing, the trial
court denied Mr. Bibbins' motion to suppress
identification, found probable cause to substantiate the
charge against Mr. Bibbins, and set a trial date for June 17,
2015. The matter was continued numerous times (at the
requests of both the State and Mr. Bibbins).
Bibbins was tried before a six member jury on March 13-14,
2017 and was unanimously found guilty of the charge. He filed
a Motion for New Trial, which was denied on April 17, 2017.
Mr. Bibbins then waived the sentencing delays and was
sentenced on April 21, 2017 to five years at hard labor with
credit for time served. At that time, the State filed a
multiple bill of information, and on October 5, 2017, Mr.
Bibbins was adjudicated a second felony offender. The trial
court vacated his original sentence and re-sentenced him to
ten years at hard labor without the benefit of probation or
suspension of sentence.
reviewed the record for errors patent and found none. See
State v. Lambert, 15-0886, p. 5 n.6 (La.App. 4 Cir.
1/20/16), 186 So.3d 728, 733, writ denied, 16-0335
(La. 2/17/17), and cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 92, 199
L.Ed.2d 187 (2017).
OF ERROR NUMBER 1
first assignment of error, Mr. Bibbins contends that there
was insufficient evidence adduced at trial to warrant his
conviction of second degree battery, a violation of La. R.S.
14:34.1 A, which defines second degree battery as "a
battery when the offender intentionally inflicts serious
bodily injury . . . ." More particularly, Mr. Bibbins
maintains that the State failed to prove the element of
"serious bodily injury." Mr. Bibbins further argues
that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
he did not act in self-defense.
jurisprudence on the applicable standard of review for
sufficiency of the evidence challenges is well-settled. We
reiterated that standard in State v. Rapp, 14-0633,
pp. 5-6 (La.App. 4 Cir. 2/18/15), 161 So.3d 103, 108, quoting
State v. Marcantel, 00-1629, p. 8 (La.
4/3/02), 815 So.2d 50, 55:
The standard of review for the sufficiency of the evidence to
uphold a conviction is whether or not, viewing the evidence
in the light most favorable to the prosecution, a rational
trier of fact could conclude that the State proved the
essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
See LSA- C.Cr.P. art. 821; State v. Hampton,
98-0331, p. 13 (La. 4/23/99), 750 So.2d 867, 880, cert.
denied, 528 U.S. 1007, 120 S.Ct. 504, 145 L.Ed.2d 390
reviewing court is not called upon to decide whether it
believes the witnesses or whether the conviction is contrary
to the weight of the evidence. State v. Smith, 600
So.2d 1319, 1324 (La.1992)." State v. Watkins,
13-1248, p. 13 (La.App. 4 Cir. 8/6/14), 146 So.3d 294, 303,
quoting State v. Huckabay, 00-1082, p. 32 (La.App. 4
Cir. 2/6/02), 809 So.2d 1093, 1111. To the contrary,
"the touchstone of Jackson v. Virginia [443
U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781 (1979)] is rationality . . .[;]
'irrational decisions to convict will be overturned,
rational decisions to convict will be upheld, and the actual
fact finder's discretion will be impinged upon only to
the extent necessary to guarantee the fundamental protection
of due process of law.'" State v. Alexis,
14-0327, p. 6 (La.App. 4 Cir. 12/3/14), 157 So.3d 775, 778,
quoting State v. Wilson, 09-0304, p. 3 (La.App. 4
Cir. 2/17/10), 68 So.3d 1031, 1033 (internal citations
Court explained in State v. Landry, 03-1671, pp. 6-7
(La.App. 4 Cir. 3/31/04), 871 So.2d 1235, 1238-39:
In a second-degree battery conviction, the State is required
to prove the offender committed a battery without the consent
of the victim and that he intentionally inflicted serious
bodily injury. In second-degree battery cases, the offense
requires proof of a specific intent to inflict "serious
bodily harm. Serious bodily injury is defined as injury that
involves unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, or
protracted and obvious disfigurement or protracted loss or
impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or
mental faculty, or a substantial risk of death. Specific
intent is defined as that state of mind that exists when the
circumstances indicate that the offender actively desired the
prescribed criminal consequences to follow his act or failure
to act. Therefore, the elements of second-degree battery are:
(1) the intentional use of force or violence upon the person
of another, (2) without the consent of the victim, (3) when
the offender has the specific intent to inflict serious
The term "extreme physical pain" as used in the
statute refers to "a condition which most people of
common intelligence can understand; it is considered
subjective in nature and susceptible to interpretation."
Id. (Internal footnotes omitted).
evidence in this matter reflects that, on January 3, 2015,
Mr. Bibbins struck the victim, Keith McGuire, who was at a
yard sale, which caused Mr. McGuire to suffer a broken jaw,
requiring surgery at Tulane Medical Center. Mr. Bibbins does
not dispute this fact, but argues that the injury does not
constitute "serious bodily injury" as contemplated
by La. R.S. 14: 14:34.1 and that the State failed to prove
that he did not act in self-defense. We have carefully
reviewed the record in this matter and find that neither of
Mr. Bibbins' contentions have merit.
noted, "La. R.S. 14:34.1 A, requires a showing that a
defendant 'intentionally inflict[ed] serious bodily
injury,' which is defined to include
'unconsciousness, extreme physical pain or protracted and
obvious disfigurement.'" State v. Miner,
14-0939, p. 9 (La.App. 4 Cir. 3/11/15), 163 So.3d 132, 138,
writ denied, 15-0651 (La. 2/26/16), 187 So.3d 466.
Relying heavily on the case of State v. Helou,
02-2302 (La. 10/23/03), 857 So.2d 1024, and to a lesser
degree on State v. Broussard, 09-1012 (La.App. 3
Cir. 4/7/10), 33 So.3d 1036, Mr. Bibbins maintains that he
"did not inflict serious bodily injury on Mr.
McGuire," noting a lack of medical testimony and a lack
of unconsciousness or "protracted or extreme
injury." He point to the fact that the incident was
"a single, brief encounter." He contends that a
lesser verdict of simple battery was warranted under the
circumstances of this case.
involved an altercation in which the victim was struck in the
nose by the defendant and was treated for a bloody nose.
While the defendant was charged with and convicted of second
degree battery in the trial court (a ruling which was set
aside by Third Circuit), the Louisiana Supreme Court vacated
the conviction and entered a conviction of simple battery. In
doing so, the Court reviewed several cases on the issue of
what constitutes "serious bodily injury," and found
that "a punch in the nose, without more evidence, is
sufficient to support a conviction of second degree
battery." Id., 02-2302, p. 8, 857 So.2d at
1029. The Helou Court noted the following:
Our jurisprudence demonstrates many cases where the State
proved the "serious bodily injury" element of
second degree battery. Some examples are: 1) State v.
Abercrumbia, 412 So.2d 1027 (La.1982), where the
defendant hit the victim with boards across his head, neck,
and arm, causing a "deep cut over his right eye;"
2) State v. Robertson, 98-0883 (La.App. 3d
Cir.12/9/98), 723 So.2d 500, writ denied, 99-0658
(La.6/25/99), 745 So.2d 1187, where the defendant knocked the
victim to the ground and repeatedly kicked and hit her until
she "kind of lost her senses for a minute;" the
victim had bruises and contusions over the entire extent of
her body, which left significant scars and lacerations on her
nose; and 3) State v. Robinson, 549 So.2d 1282, 1285
(La.App. 3d Cir.1989), where the defendant stabbed the victim
twice with a large, folding knife.
Id., 02-2302, pp. 6-7, 857 So.2d at 1028.
Broussard case involved an altercation, following
which the victim was seen with "fresh cuts and severe
bruising to the face" caused by her boyfriend.
Id., 09-1012, p. 4, 33 So.3d at 1038. Finding that
the "State failed to prove [the victim] suffered extreme
physical pain" the Court concluded that the State
likewise "failed to prove that Defendant committed
second degree battery" and entered a conviction of the
lesser offense of simple battery. Id., p. 8, 33
So.3d at 1040.
State v. Jackson, 02-1250 (La.App. 3 Cir. 2/5/03),
838 So.2d 841, a case involving injuries similar to those in
this case, a conviction of second degree battery was
affirmed. There, the court found that the State established
the element of "serious bodily injury" through the
victim's medical records which reflected dislocated jaw
for which the victim received various pain medications,
underwent surgery to repair the injury, and experienced pain.
Additionally, the victim was unable to chew or bite down for
several weeks following the incident.
instant matter, Mr. McGuire testified that Mr. Bibbins
"ran up and swung on him," hitting the victim in
the face and fracturing his jaw. Immediately after the
incident, Mr. McGuire went home but later sought medical
attention after he experienced pain when he tried to eat. He
was then hospitalized and underwent surgery to repair his
fractured jaw. Moreover, unlike Helou and
Broussard, here, the State introduced the
victim's medical records, which verified the necessity of
corrective surgery, the administration of prescription IV
pain medication, hospitalization and recovery. Additionally,
Mr. McGuire testified about the pain in his jaw and how it
prevented him from eating.
terms "extreme physical pain" as used in the
statute refers to "a condition which most people of
common intelligence can understand . . ." State v.
Legendre, 522 So.2d 1249, 1251 (La.App. 4 Cir. 1988),
quoting State v. Thompson, 399 So.2d 1161, 1168
(La.1981). A fractured jaw, requiring hospitalization and
corrective surgery, as well as the administration of
intravenous pain medication during the hospitalization, would
certainly meet the statutorily required element of
"extreme physical pain" to those of even
"common intelligence." Accordingly, we find that
the jury's conclusion that Mr. Bibbins intentionally
inflicted serious bodily injury on Mr. McGuire is supported
by the record, and viewing the evidence in the light most
favorable to the prosecution, jury could conclude that the
State proved the essential elements of the crime beyond a