FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 533-997,
SECTION "H" Honorable Camille Buras, Judge.
Cannizzaro District Attorney Donna Andrieu Irena Zajickova
Assistant District Attorney ORLEANS PARISH DISTRICT
ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.
Chervinsky NFC LAW, L.L.C., COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Edwin A. Lombard, Judge Rosemary Ledet,
Judge Tiffany G. Chase.
Tiffany G. Chase Judge.
State of Louisiana (hereinafter "the State")
appeals the trial court's granting of the motion to quash
the bill of information filed by the defendant, Keriana
Alexcee (hereinafter "Ms. Alexcee"). Ms. Alexcee
was charged with malfeasance in office, a violation of La.
R.S. 14:134. The State also appeals the trial court's
granting of a motion to suppress statements given by Ms.
Alexcee in the course of an investigation by the Orleans
Parish Sheriff's Office (hereinafter "OPSO").
The State lists two assignments of error for review. After
consideration of the record before this Court and the
applicable law, we find the trial court did not err in
granting the motion to quash and pretermit discussion of the
motion to suppress. For the reasons that follow, we affirm
the ruling of the trial court quashing the bill of
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Alexcee was a recruit in the employ of the OPSO. On October
17, 2016, she was assigned to work on a specialty tier of the
Orleans Parish Prison (hereinafter "OPP"). A
15-year-old juvenile inmate was housed in a cell in the tier
on which Ms. Alexcee was assigned and committed suicide by
hanging. An investigation into the incident was conducted by
Lieutenant Joseph Catalanatto (hereinafter "Lt.
Catalanatto") of the OPSO. Lt. Catalanatto initially
interviewed Ms. Alexcee, on the night of the incident. At the
conclusion of the interview she was suspended and sent home.
investigation continued, Lt. Catalanatto determined that Ms.
Alexcee may have violated certain policies of the OPSO. She
was later called in for a second interview. At some point
during the second interview, Lt. Catalanatto felt his
questions were seeking to elicit potentially incriminating
responses from Ms. Alexcee so he stopped and advised her of
her constitutional rights. Ms. Alexcee invoked her rights and
declined to answer any further questions. The investigation
concluded in December of 2017. Four months later, in April of
2017, Ms. Alexcee was arrested. The State filed a bill of
information alleging she "committed malfeasance in
October 6, 2017, Ms. Alexcee filed a motion for a bill of
particulars requesting the State to provide: (1) the
subsections of La. R.S. 14:134 that were allegedly violated;
(2) the lawfully required affirmative duty that was allegedly
violated; and (3) how Ms. Alexcee's actions constituted a
violation of said affirmative duty. The State's initial
bill of particulars erroneously identified the applicable
provisions of the malfeasance statute as 14:153(A)(1) and
(2). The State further requested a continuance pending the
Louisiana Supreme Court's review of a recent malfeasance
case from this Court. An amended bill of particulars followed
on February 7, 2018, stating Ms. Alexcee was being charged
with a violation of La. 14:134(A)(1) and (2) and that the
affirmative duties she violated were La. Const. Art. X Sec.
30, La. R.S. 14:93, and La. R.S. 15:704.
March 15, 2018, Ms. Alexcee filed a motion to quash pursuant
to La. C.Cr.P. arts. 532(4) and 532(5). The State filed a
second amended bill of particulars on the morning of the
hearing, amending the bill of information to a violation of
La. R.S. 14:134(A)(1) and alleging that Ms. Alexcee failed to
perform a duty lawfully required of her, when she
intentionally left her assigned post, pursuant to the consent
judgment in Jones, et al. v. Gusman, et al., EDLA
12-00859 (hereinafter "the Consent
specifically, the State cited to paragraph (d) under the
"Safety and Supervision" sub-heading of the Consent
Decree which states that the OPSO shall:
Continue to ensure that correctional officers conduct
appropriate rounds at least once during every 30-minute
period, at irregular times, inside each general population
housing unit and at least once during every 15-minute period
of special management prisoners, or more often if necessary.
All security rounds shall be documented on forms or logs that
do not contain pre-printed rounding times.
State contended that the second amended bill of particulars
rendered the motion to quash moot. Ms. Alexcee disputed this
contention arguing the Consent Decree failed to serve as the
requisite affirmative duty of law as it imposed a duty on the
OPSO rather than Ms. Alexcee individually. The matter was
taken under advisement and the trial court ultimately granted
the motion to quash. This appeal followed.
the State assigns two assignments of errors for review, we
pretermit discussion of the second, regarding the motion to
suppress, as our disposition on the motion to quash renders
the assignment moot.
motion to quash is appropriate whenever "[a] bill of
particulars has shown a ground for quashing the indictment
under Article 485." La. C.Cr.P. art. 532(5). When it
appears from the bill of information and bill(s) of
particulars that the defendant did not commit the offense
charged then a motion to quash is properly granted unless the
defect is cured. La. C.Cr.P. art. 485. We review a trial
court's judgment on a motion to quash de novo,
accepting the facts as alleged in the bill of information and
bill of particulars as true. State v. Ferguson,
2014-1305, p. 6 (La.App. 4 Cir. 9/2/15), 176 So.3d 449, 454
(citing State v. Ancalade, 2014-0379, p.10 (La.App.
4 Cir. 1/14/15), 158 So.3d 891, 897).
second amended response to Ms. Alexcee's motion for a
bill of particulars, the State alleges she violated La. R.S.
14:134(A)(1) which provides:
A. Malfeasance in office is committed when any public officer
or public employee shall:
(1) Intentionally refuse or fail to perform any duty lawfully
required of him, as such ...