Appeal from the 22nd Judicial District Court In and for the
Parish of St. Tammany State of Louisiana Trial Court No. 544,
954 Honorable August J. Hand, Judge Presiding
L. Montgomery District Attorney Matthew Caplan Butch Wilson
Assistant District Attorney Covington, LA Attorneys for
Appellee, State of Louisiana
L. Beebe Attorney for Defendant -Appellant, Louisiana
Appellate Project Jack Calvin Conklin New Orleans, LA
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McCLENDON, AND HIGGINBOTHAM, JJ.
Jack Conklin, was charged by bill of indictment with
aggravated rape (count one), a violation of La. R.S. 14:42,
sexual battery of a victim younger than thirteen (count two),
a violation of La. R.S. 14:43.1(C)(2), and production of
pornography involving juveniles (count three), a violation of
La. R.S. 14:81.1. He pled not guilty on all three counts.
Defendant filed motions to suppress his identification,
arrest, statements, and evidence, which were denied. After a
trial by jury, defendant was found guilty as charged. The
trial court denied defendant's motion for post-verdict
judgment of acquittal and motion for new trial. Defendant
waived sentencing delays, and the court imposed concurrent
terms of life on count one, fifty years on count two, and
fifty years on count three, all at hard labor, to be served
without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of
sentence. The trial court also denied defendant's motion
for reconsideration of sentence. Defendant now appeals.
defendant was convicted of three offenses stemming from the
ongoing abuse of A.R. between June 5, 2012 and February 14,
2013, defendant's first assignment of error regarding his
motion to suppress involves facts stemming from a largely
unrelated event occurring about seven months later. Police
involvement in that later event led to a secondary
investigation concluding in the indictments for which
defendant was ultimately convicted. The following facts were
adduced at a suppression hearing conducted on August 24,
September 27, 2013, while at their home on Moonraker Drive in
Slidell, Mr. and Mrs. Dobson witnessed a suspicious vehicle
slowly and repeatedly passing and taking photographs of their
home. After being alerted by their daughter that the vehicle
passed by again, Mr. Dobson followed the driver, defendant,
to his residence, and had a conversation with him. During
their encounter at defendant's home, defendant told Mr.
Dobson he had witnessed two young juveniles in the
Dobsons' backyard engaging in sexual intercourse. Mr.
Dobson had Mrs. Dobson bring their child over to see if
defendant could identify whether or not she was one of the
juveniles he claimed to have seen in the Dobsons'
backyard. Defendant kept referring to her as
"Zoey," despite Mrs. Dobson telling him that was
not her name. Defendant told Mr. Dobson he keeps candy and
toys in his truck for when he sees children, and he made
several attempts to engage the Dobsons' seven-year-old
daughter in conversation.
at defendant's house, Mrs. Dobson noticed that he had
children's toys and bicycles in his garage, even though
he had no children. Mrs. Dobson also noted that defendant
told her not to worry about his photograph taking because he
liked to take photographs of birds. Defendant invited her
daughter, who he referred to as "Zoey," to come by
any time and to come back the next day to fish and ride
bicycles. Defendant told Mrs. Dobson that he knew how long
the Dobsons had been at their Moonraker Drive address and
that "Zoey" liked to fish. Mrs. Dobson reported
defendant seemed very focused on her daughter's
the Dobsons returned home, they notified the police.
Thereafter, Deputy Brett Posner of the St. Tammany Sheriffs
Office ("STSO") was dispatched to the Dobsons'
home. The Dobsons told Dep. Posner that their daughter had
been playing outside at the time, and the driver was holding
the phone out of the vehicle window and appeared to be taking
pictures. Their neighbor, Mr. Bouche, corroborated the story,
saying he witnessed the suspect vehicle driving past with the
driver holding a phone outside of the window.
Dobsons told Det. Posner about their conversation with
defendant and gave him the address where they spoke with
defendant. Also, Mrs. Dobson reported to Dep. Posner that she
had been called by the Office of Child Services
("OCS") twice over the previous two days asking if
she had a nine-year-old daughter named "Zoey" and
informing her that there were reports of children having sex
in their backyard. Det. Posner noted that the Dobsons were
visibly shaken and that Mr. Bouche appeared to be alarmed or
Posner left the Dobsons' home on Moonraker Drive and
drove to the address given to him by the Dobsons. Upon his
arrival, Dep. Posner encountered defendant and informed him
of his Miranda rights. Defendant waived his rights.
When confronted with the allegation that he had been driving
past the Dobsons' house taking photographs, defendant
admitted he had driven past twice and had taken photographs.
Defendant explained he was attempting to find the address of
a house upon which he claimed to have made an OCS report in
the weeks before. Specifically, defendant claimed to have
witnessed indecent behavior between juveniles in the
backyard. Defendant showed Dep. Posner the photos he had
taken of the Moonraker Drive house on his phone.
having talked about the incident with the Dobsons and their
neighbor, Mr. Bouche, seeing their reactions and demeanor,
along with defendant's later corroboration of some of
their details, Dep. Posner found probable cause that
defendant had committed the offense of stalking and arrested
court, Dep. Posner identified the defendant as the man he
arrested that day. Additionally, after the deputy viewed
copies of the photographs recovered from defendant's
phone, he Deputy Posner said the photographs were low quality