Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No. 15-F2430
Honorable Benjamin Jones (Pro Tempore), Judge.
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Carey J. Ellis, III, Counsel
ONDREY HARRIS Pro Se.
S. TEW District Attorney, GEARY S. AYCOCK Assistant District
Attorney, Counsel for Appellee.
WILLIAMS, GARRETT, and McCALLUM, JJ.
defendant, James Ondrey Harris, was charged by bill of
information with attempted second degree murder, a violation
of La. R.S. 14:27 and 14:30.1. After a jury trial, the
defendant was found guilty as charged. Defendant's
motions for new trial and for post-verdict judgment of
acquittal were denied. The trial court sentenced defendant to
serve 50 years at hard labor, without the benefit of parole,
probation or suspension of sentence. Defendant appeals his
conviction and sentence. For the following reasons, we
record shows that on September 28, 2015, Laconna Lashay Smith
was transported via ambulance from her home in Monroe,
Louisiana, to St. Francis Medical Center after being severely
beaten and choked by the defendant. Smith was intubated and
airlifted that same day to University Health Hospital in
Shreveport, where she was admitted into the ICU. Days later,
when Smith was able to speak, she confirmed to police that
defendant was her assailant. Defendant was arrested and
charged with the attempted second degree murder of Smith.
trial, defendant was found guilty as charged by a unanimous
jury. His pro se motions for new trial and motion for
post-verdict judgment of acquittal were denied following a
hearing. Defendant was sentenced to 50 years at hard labor to
be served without the benefit of parole, probation or
suspension of sentence. This appeal followed.
defendant contends the evidence is insufficient to support
his conviction for attempted second degree murder. Defendant
asserts that the state failed to prove that he possessed the
specific intent to kill Smith.
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 provide the appellate court with a vehicle to
substitute its own appreciation of the evidence for that of
the fact finder. State v. Pigford, 2005-0477 (La.
2/22/06), 922 So.2d 517.
appellate court does not assess the credibility of witnesses
or reweigh evidence. State v. Smith, 94-3116 (La.
10/16/95), 661 So.2d 442; State v. Mitchell, 50, 188
(La.App. 2 Cir. 11/18/15), 181 So.3d 800, writ
denied, 2015-2356 (La. 1/9/17), 214 So.3d 863. A
reviewing court affords great deference to a jury's