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State v. Carroll

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

February 27, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
LONNIE TRAMAINE CARROLL Appellant

          Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 347, 402 Honorable John D. Mosely, Jr., Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Carey J. Ellis, III Counsel for Appellant

          JAMES E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney Counsel for Appellee

          SUZANNE M. WILLIAMS RON C. STAMPS Assistant District Attorneys

          Before MOORE, STONE, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.

          BLEICH, J. (PRO TEMPORE)

         This criminal appeal arises from the First Judicial District Court, Parish of Caddo, the Honorable John Mosley, Jr., presiding. Defendant Lonnie Carroll was tried by a jury, found guilty of first degree rape, and sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. Defendant's appellate counsel has filed a motion to withdraw, together with a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), alleging that there are no nonfrivolous issues upon which to base the appeal. This Court held the motion to withdraw in abeyance and allowed Defendant 30 days within which to file a pro se brief. As of this date, no pro se brief has been filed. For the following reasons, appellate counsel's motion to withdraw is granted, Defendant's conviction and sentence are affirmed, and the case is remanded to the trial court with instructions.

         FACTS

         On April 13, 2017, Defendant was charged by bill of indictment with the first degree rape of C.M., his half-sister. At the time of this incident, C.M., a nursing student, lived with her mother, her mother's boyfriend, C.M.'s younger brother, Defendant, and Defendant's girlfriend Tara at a house on Red Bud Lane in Shreveport, Louisiana. At the time of this incident, which occurred the morning of February 25, 2017, C.M. and Defendant were the only people in the home. C.M. testified that after she had bathed and dressed in preparation to go to a Mardi Gras parade with her boyfriend, she went into the kitchen. As she was standing in the kitchen, she bent down to pick up her dog. When she turned around, Defendant was right there, with a butcher knife pointed at her abdomen. Defendant grabbed C.M. and forced her into his bedroom, which is a room located just off the kitchen.

         C.M. testified that Defendant told her he would kill her if she did not do what he said. Defendant told her to perform oral sex on him while continuing to hold the knife and asking her if she wanted to die. C.M. testified that Defendant told her to remove her clothes, which she did. Defendant then had her bend over the air mattress in his bedroom; Defendant sodomized C.M. and then vaginally raped her. C.M. testified that Defendant forced her to perform oral sex on him again. C.M. stated that Defendant was covered in fecal matter, which she could taste in her mouth.

         Afterwards, C.M. got dressed, but was unable to find her shirt, which she described as black with a heart-shaped neckline laced with pearls. C.M. stated that she went back to her room, slid a table in front of her door to prevent Defendant from getting in, grabbed her car keys and got out of the house through her bedroom window, wearing only her pants, underwear, and bra. She then drove her car to a nearby bank parking lot. As she was driving, she tried to call her mother, cousin, and boyfriend but no one answered. She then called 911 to report the rape. Corporal Lonnie Haskins with the Shreveport Police Department met her in the bank parking lot and took her to the hospital.

         Law enforcement officers apprehended Defendant at the house on Red Bud Lane. Evidence collected at the scene included the knife C.M. told Cpl. Haskins that Defendant had used and the black shirt she described as having put on before she was sexually assaulted, both of which were found in Defendant's bedroom. Police officers also discovered that they could not enter C.M.'s bedroom because there was something blocking the door. They also found a window to her bedroom open. Melanie Hubbard, a sexual assault nurse examiner, testified that she performed the rape kit examination on C.M., who had fecal matter in her vagina and all over her genitalia. Ms. Hubbard testified that she could not properly perform tests due to the presence of the fecal matter. Ms. Hubbard also testified that C.M. had injuries consistent with sexual assault.

         A redacted audio recording of Defendant's Mirandized statement to the police was played in court.[1] In his statement, Defendant stated that he had oral and vaginal sex with his sister and that he had a knife with him during the encounter.

         On May 2, 2018, a jury found Defendant guilty of first degree rape. On May 8, 2018, the trial court held Defendant's sentencing hearing. On that date, defense counsel filed motions for a new trial and post-verdict judgment of acquittal, which were denied at the hearing. Defense counsel stated after the trial court denied the motions, "Note our objection, Your Honor, and we're ready for sentencing." The trial court stated that first degree rape carried a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, then sentenced Defendant to life imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. The trial court stated that Defendant's sentence was to run concurrently with any other sentence he was required to serve and gave Defendant credit for time served. Defendant was advised ...


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