Appealed from the Third Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Union, Louisiana Trial Court No. 2015-52537
Honorable Thomas W. Rogers, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Carey J. Ellis, III Counsel
E. BURCH Pro Se
F. BELTON District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
WILLIAM K. GREEN TRACY W. HOUCK Assistant District Attorneys
WILLIAMS, STEPHENS, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.
defendant, James Burch, was charged by bill of information
with attempting to disarm a peace officer, a violation of La.
R.S. 14:27 and 14:34.6, and public intimidation, a violation
of La. R.S. 14:122. After a jury trial, defendant was found
guilty as charged. Defendant's motions for post-verdict
judgment of acquittal and for new trial were denied. The
trial court adjudicated defendant a third felony offender and
sentenced him to serve 3 years at hard labor for the attempt
to disarm conviction and 4 years for the public intimidation
conviction. Defendant appeals his convictions. For the
following reasons, we affirm.
record shows that on June 24, 2015, Deputy Trey Tull and
Deputy Montrel Ferguson of the Union Parish Sheriff's
Office were dispatched to a residence in Marion, Louisiana,
in response to a disturbance call. At the residence, Teresa
Burch told the deputies that defendant, her cousin, had used
a rake to rip the screen door and poke her several times
through the door. Deputies Tull and Ferguson went to
defendant's residence and saw him sleeping through an
open window. The deputies entered the dwelling and woke
defendant, who cursed at them and seemed quite intoxicated.
Based on Ms. Burch's allegations, defendant was placed
under arrest, handcuffed and advised of his Miranda
rights. Deputy Tull took defendant outside and told him
several times to get into the back seat of the police car.
According to the deputies, defendant did not comply, but
continued cursing at them and then took a step away from the
vehicle. At that point, Deputy Tull activated his Taser and
pressed it on defendant's hip. Defendant then grabbed the
Taser and as he turned away Deputy Tull pushed him into the
back seat and pulled the Taser from defendant's grasp.
Deputy Tull later stated that during the ride to the Union
Parish Detention Center, defendant threatened to "kill
him and have his job." Defendant was charged with
attempting to disarm a peace officer and public intimidation.
trial, the jury found defendant guilty as charged.
Defendant's motions for post-verdict judgment of
acquittal and for new trial were denied. The trial court
adjudicated defendant a third felony offender and sentenced
him to serve 3 years at hard labor for the attempt to disarm
conviction and 4 years for the public intimidation
conviction, with the sentences to run concurrently. This
defendant contends the evidence is insufficient to support
the convictions for attempting to disarm a police officer and
public intimidation. Defendant argues that he was trying to
protect himself, not attempting to take the Taser from the
deputy, and that his comments in the patrol car were not
intended to influence the deputy in doing his job.
standard of appellate review for a sufficiency of the
evidence claim is whether, after viewing the evidence in a
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. Robinson, 50,
643 (La.App. 2 Cir. 6/22/16), 197 So.3d 717, writ
denied, 2016-1479 (La. 5/19/17), 221 So.3d 78. This
standard, now legislatively embodied in La. C.Cr.P. art. 821,
does not ...