APPLICATION FOR WRITS DIRECTED TO CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT
ORLEANS PARISH NO. 489-028, SECTION "F" Honorable
Robin D. Pittman, Judge
C. Myers COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RELATOR, CONNELL GALLE
A. Cannizzaro, Jr. District Attorney Parish of Orleans Kyle
Daly Assistant District AttorneyCOUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT, STATE
composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Rosemary Ledet, Judge
Tiffany G. Chase
F. Love Judge.
application for supervisory review arises from
defendant's application for post-conviction relief, which
the trial court denied. After review based on defendant's
assertions of ineffective assistance of counsel, we find that
defendant failed to meet to the burden outlined in
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct.
2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). As such, the trial court did not
err in denying his application for post-conviction relief.
The writ is granted, but relief is denied.
Conell Galle, and his codefendant, Allen Scott (hereinafter
"Defendants"), were jointly charged with two counts
each of attempted second-degree murder and one count each of
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The trial court
denied Mr. Galle's motion in limine to have
grand jury testimony of victim, Thomas Williams, who was
allegedly unavailable as a trial witness, read into the
record. This Court denied Mr. Galle's writ application
seeking review of that decision. Following a trial by a
twelve-person jury, Defendants were found guilty as charged
of the attempted second degree murder of Nykeisha Jackson
(count one); not guilty as to attempted second degree murder
of Mr. Williams (count two); and guilty as charged of
possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Galle was sentenced on count one to forty years at hard labor
and on count three to ten years at hard labor, both sentences
to be served consecutively and without benefit of parole. On
appeal, this Court affirmed Mr. Galle's convictions and
sentences. The matter was remanded for imposition of the
mandatory fine as to count three. Mr. Galle challenged the
denial of his motion in limine to have the grand
jury testimony of Mr. Williams read into the record.
State v. Galle, et al, 11-0930 (La.App. 4 Cir.
2/13/13), 107 So.3d 916, writ denied, 13-0752 (La.
10/30/13), 124 So.3d 1102.
Mr. Galle filed a counseled application for post-conviction
relief asserting two claims: 1) the grand jury testimony of
Mr. Williams should have been presented to the jury; and 2)
that he was entitled to an evidentiary hearing. On the same
day, Mr. Galle filed a pro se application for post-conviction
relief asserting two claims: 1) ineffective assistance of
counsel for failing to object to an erroneous jury
instruction regarding attempted second degree murder and the
corresponding responsive verdicts; and 2) he was denied his
constitutional right to confront his accuser because the
victim, Mr. Williams, did not testify.
trial court issued a judgment denying Mr. Galle's
application for post-conviction relief. Mr. Galle sought
supervisory writs from this Court, which were denied.
State v. Galle, 15-0584, unpub. (La.App. 4 Cir.
8/20/15). The Louisiana Supreme Court initially denied writs,
but then granted reconsideration, vacating the trial
court's ruling and remanding the matter to the trial
court for an evidentiary hearing. State v. Galle,
15-1734 (La. 3/13/17), 212 So.3d 1164. The Supreme Court
The district court's ruling denying post-conviction
relief is vacated and the matter is remanded to the district
court for an evidentiary hearing to determine whether
exclusion of the grand jury testimony at trial, which the
state disclosed before trial pursuant to Brady v.
Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215
(1963), impeded relator's fundamental right to present a
defense and whether trial counsel rendered ineffective
assistance with regard to litigating the admissibility of
this evidence and demonstrating its importance to the
defense. Notwithstanding that the Fourth Circuit on direct
review found no error in the trial court's ruling
excluding the grand jury testimony, see State v.
Galle, 11-0930 (La.App. 4 Cir. 2/13/13), 107 So.3d 916,
writ denied, 13-0752 (La. 10/30/13), 124 So.3d 1102,
and the procedural bar against repetitive claims, the
interest of justice requires revisiting these issues in a
case in which relator's defense was that the state's
sole eyewitness misidentified him and the state parted the
usual cloak of secrecy which surrounds grand jury proceedings
to disclose the testimony at issue because it directly
contradicted that eyewitness account. See La.C.Cr.P.
art. 930.4(A); see also State v. Galle, supra
(Lombard, J., dissenting); see generally Stewart v.
Wolfenbarger, 468 F.3d 338, 3576th Cir. 2006, as
amended on denial of reh'g and reh'g en banc
(Feb. 15, 2007) (finding prejudice as a result of the
exclusion from trial of exculpatory evidence that "went
to the very heart of Petitioner's defense.").
Galle, 15-1734, pp.1-2, 212 So.3d at 1165.
trial court conducted an evidentiary hearing on Mr.
Galles' application for post-conviction relief and denied
his application. Mr. Galle's present application for
supervisory review followed.
previously summarized the facts surrounding Mr. Galle's
alleged crimes in his previous appeal as follows:
The matter went to trial on March 14, 2011. During the
three-day trial before a twelve-person jury, the following
evidence was adduced. Among the State's witnesses were
Ms. Jackson and the NOPD officers involved in the
investigation. The State did not present Mr. Williams as a
New Orleans Police Department Officer George Jackson was
qualified by joint stipulation as an expert in the taking,
examination, and comparison of fingerprints. Officer Jackson
testified that he had taken defendant Scott's
fingerprints in court the previous day. He matched those
known fingerprints of defendant Scott to fingerprints on an
arrest register, a bill of information, and a plea of guilty
form evidencing what the officer said was Scott's 2006
conviction for illegal discharge of a firearm. Similarly,
Officer Jackson testified that he had taken defendant
Galle's fingerprints in court the previous day. He
matched those known fingerprints to documents evidencing
Galle's arrest and 2004 conviction for possession of
The audio recordings of the 911 calls received in the early
hours of March 21, 2009, two reporting gunshots and one
reporting a person having been shot, were identified by
Gesielle Roussel, the NOPD division supervisor and custodian
of 911 audio recordings, and played for the jury. Ms. Roussel
also identified the incident recall dated March 21, 2009, at
approximately 4:23 a.m., from General Taylor and Loyola
Streets, pertinent to the 911 calls and confirmed that at no
point during any of the three calls was the alleged shooter
Officer Vara testified as to his role in the events of March
21, 2009, stating that at approximately 4:20 a.m., he and his
FTO were dispatched to the 2200 block of General Taylor
Street as a result of 911 calls of gunshots. Upon turning
onto General Taylor Street, Officer Vara saw the male later
identified as Mr. Williams standing in the street covered in
blood from a gunshot wound to the neck. In addition, as he
approached the residence at 2204 General Taylor Street,
Officer Vara observed the female later determined to be Ms.
Jackson lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to her head
and another one to her chest area. Inside the residence,
Officer Vara observed blood on all the walls except the
middle bathroom. He identified photos of the scene, which
were subsequently admitted into evidence. Officer Vara
testified that the victims described the perpetrators to him
only as two black males and, although he spoke to neighbors,
none of them witnessed the shootings. Officer Vara related
that he and his FTO brought Mr. Williams into the residence
and sat him down on a couch inside to await medical
assistance. A crack pipe and a push rod were found in the
residence, but Officer Vara was unaware of any arrests being
made in connection with those items. He did not recall any
weapons or spent cartridge casings being found inside the
On cross-examination, Officer Vara indicated that the
shootings occurred in the middle bedroom, the room in which
drug paraphernalia and money were found. He based this
conclusion on a neighbor's report of hearing gunshots
fired in the center of the residence. Although Officer Vara
was absent from the scene when it was processed, he confirmed
that photographs of the middle bedroom showed a crack pipe
and push rod, a ten-dollar bill and a five-dollar bill, a box
of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, and an open box of plastic
sandwich bags. Officer Vara did not recall seeing a plastic
bag inside a toilet, as depicted in a crime scene photograph,
but stated that it could have been there at the time he was
in the residence. When asked how blood had been spread
throughout the residence, Officer Vara refreshed his
recollection by referring to his police report and then
stated that when Thomas Williams was shot in the neck, he ran
into the back of the residence and then ran back to the
NOPD Crime Scene Technician Bessie Patrolia testified that
she processed the crime scene and identified a copy of her
report. She stated that although she took eleven blood
samples from the crime scene, none were submitted for a
laboratory exam nor (to her knowledge) were any DNA profiles
generated from the blood samples. She did not collect any
latent fingerprints from the scene or from any object at the
scene, specifically a twenty-dollar bill recovered; a crack
pipe; or the metal push rod. To her knowledge, no ballistics
report had been generated regarding the one spent bullet
collected by her.
Bobby Dickerson testified that he was then in custody in
Washington Parish with charges pending against him and had a
1991 conviction for possession of crack cocaine. He stated
that he did not want to be in court that day, that he did not
want to participate in the trial in any way, and that he did
not want to answer any questions the prosecutor asked of him.
After being declared a hostile witness on motion by the
State, Dickerson denied knowing either defendant but referred
to Mr. Williams as "Uncle." Dickerson recalled
meeting with Detective McGhee, the crime scene investigator,
on the day of the incident and confirmed talking with him
about what happened when Mr. Williams got shot, but insisted
"they" coerced him to say those things. Dickerson
confirmed that he and Mr. Williams had gone to Ms.
Jackson's residence to purchase drugs. He further
confirmed that when they got to the residence, he stayed in
the car while Mr. Williams went into the residence to meet
with Jackson. When asked whether "Duke" (later
identified as Galle) and somebody else subsequently showed up
at the residence, Dickerson said he did not know. When asked
immediately thereafter whether, after Duke and the other
person showed up, Duke and Ms. Jackson talked for a second,
Dickerson replied that he did not know what they talked about
When asked whether he saw Duke take out a gun and hand it to
the other person, Dickerson said he did not see that happen.
When asked whether he saw or heard Duke tell the other person
to "lay that bitch down," Dickerson replied that he
had not seen that, but had been coerced "to say all that
what I just said in my first statement." When asked
whether he had told Detective McGhee those things, Dickerson
confirmed that he had, stating, "[h]e coerced me to say
that." Dickerson said he was on narcotics at the time.
Dickerson denied seeing Jackson get shot in her head. He
denied seeing the person who was with Duke shoot Mr. Williams
in the neck. Dickerson stated that he left after the shooting
but returned to the scene to check on Mr. Williams. After Mr.
Williams and Ms. Jackson were taken to the hospital,
Dickerson met with Detective McGhee and told him "all of
these things." He reiterated that he was coerced by the
detective into saying what he did in his statement.
On cross-examination, Dickerson stated that he was parked
across the street from Jackson's residence. He said the
screen door on the residence was closed, and the porch light
was off. It was around 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m., and dark.
Dickerson conceded he had been using drugs all night,
"smoking and using heroin," and confirmed that the
whole night was a blur to him. He replied in the affirmative
when asked whether the recorded statement Detective McGhee
said Dickerson made to him had been coerced and influenced by
the detective. According to ...