FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 522-142,
SECTION "A" Honorable Laurie A. White, Judge
Cannizzaro District Attorney Donna Andrieu Irena Zajickova
DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE ORLEANS PARISH COUNSEL FOR
Herrle-Castillo LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Joy Cossich Lobrano,
Judge Dale N. Atkins
COSSICH LOBRANO, JUDGE
Oliver Lewis ("Defendant"), appeals his convictions
for aggravated rape and unauthorized entry of an inhabited
dwelling. After reviewing the record and applicable law, we
affirm the convictions.
his indictment on charges of aggravated rape and aggravated
burglary, Defendant pled not guilty to both charges. A jury
found Defendant guilty of aggravated rape and returned the
responsive verdict of unauthorized entry of an inhabited
dwelling on the burglary count. The district court denied
Defendant's motion for new trial and imposed consecutive
terms of life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of
parole, probation or suspension of sentence. After Defendant
was granted an out-of-time appeal, we remanded the case to
the district court based on an incomplete record of the
Similar to [State v.] Handy, [17-1823, (La.
12/15/17), 231 So.3d 609], the parties here do not dispute
that Mr. Lewis exhausted his peremptory challenges and the
present record does not include a basis for the trial
court's rulings excusing eleven potential jurors.
Although the State argues that the defense was required to
lodge an on-the-record objection to any adverse rulings
excusing a juror to preserve the issue for review, the
off-the-record nature of the voir dire examination
renders it impossible to ascertain whether the defense
objected. The trial court questioned the jurors before
excusing them. Thus, presumably they were not removed
pursuant to a joint motion.
Given these facts, the Supreme Court's recent holding in
Handy, and to afford Mr. Lewis meaningful appellate
review, we remand the matter to the trial court to determine
whether any documentation created contemporaneous to the
trial court's rulings excusing the jurors exists.
State v. Lewis, 17-0255, p. 4 (La.App. 4 Cir.
2/7/18), 238 So.3d 509, 512.
March 16, 2018, the district court conducted a hearing and
determined that two of the jurors had been excused without
objection. As to the nine remaining jurors, the court located
documentation concerning the discussions related to their
removals, after which defense counsel filed a motion to
supplement the record with the material. This timely appeal
evidence presented at trial in support of the convictions is
at most tangentially relevant to Defendant's claim on
appeal-that the court erred when it denied two of his defense
challenges for cause because the prospective jurors
themselves were sex-crime survivors.
female victim ("Victim') was eleven years old at the
time of the crime. Defendant, a former boyfriend of
Victim's mother, entered the residence without
authorization, possibly by climbing onto a balcony located on
the second floor. Defendant was caught by Victim's
stepfather in bed with her. Officers responded to the scene
where they encountered the naked Defendant restrained by
Victim's stepfather. Bodycam footage depicted Victim
accusing Defendant of forcing her to perform oral sex and