APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 17-6008, DIVISION
"L" HONORABLE DONALD A. ROWAN, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D.
Connick, Jr., Terry M. Boudreaux, Thomas J. Butler, Lynn
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, SHAWN R. RICHARDSON Bertha
composed of Judges Stephen J. Windhorst, Hans J. Liljeberg,
and John J. Molaison, Jr.
J. LILJEBERG, JUDGE
appeals his conviction and sentence for attempted possession
of cocaine, arguing that his motion to suppress evidence
should have been granted. For the following reasons, we
September 22, 2017, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney
filed a bill of information charging defendant, Shawn R.
Richardson, with possession of cocaine in violation of La.
R.S. 40:967(C). Defendant was arraigned and pleaded not
guilty. On January 29, 2018, the trial court held a hearing
on defendant's motion to suppress evidence, and the
motion was denied.
March 13, 2018, the matter proceeded to trial, and a jury
found defendant guilty of the responsive verdict of attempted
possession of cocaine. On March 16, 2018, the trial court
sentenced defendant to one year at hard labor, to run
consecutively to any time defendant was presently serving.
night of August 7, 2017, Detective Nathaniel Obiol with the
Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Narcotics Section
observed a silver Chevy Malibu traveling on Veterans
Boulevard near Lafreniere Park fail to signal as it changed
lanes. At the time, Detective Obiol was alone in his unmarked
unit but was working in tandem with four or five other
narcotics officers, including his supervisor, Sergeant Joshua
Collins. Officers conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle,
and the driver pulled into a nearby parking lot in the 2600
block of Veterans Boulevard. Detective Obiol and several
other unmarked police units equipped with police lights
approached the vehicle when it pulled over.
Obiol asked the driver, defendant, to step out. Detective
Obiol immediately advised defendant of his
Miranda rights and the reason for the traffic
stop, and defendant indicated that he understood his rights.
During the traffic stop, Detective Obiol asked defendant if
there was any contraband, such as narcotics or weapons,
inside the vehicle or on his person. Detective Obiol
testified that defendant was "adamant" there was
nothing illegal in the vehicle or on his person, and
defendant told the officers they could search him and his
car. Sergeant Collins, who was present when defendant exited
the vehicle, similarly recalled that defendant provided
consent to search his person and vehicle.
response to defendant's consent to search, Detective
Obiol removed a stocking cap from defendant's head, and
he and Sergeant Collins observed a plastic bag containing a
rock of crack cocaine stuck to the side of defendant's
head.Detective Obiol seized the item as
evidence, and defendant was arrested.
sole assignment of error, defendant argues that the trial
court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence.
asserts that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when
officers conducted a search of his person and seized evidence
following a traffic infraction. He argues that his detention
was unlawful and the purpose of the stop ...