APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 16-2701, DIVISION
"P" HONORABLE LEE V. FAULKNER, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D.
Connick, Jr. Terry M. Boudreaux Darren A. Allemand
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, SHAUN BARNETT Shaun Barnett
Jane L. Beebe
composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Jude G.
Gravois, and Stephen J. Windhorst
G. GRAVOIS JUDGE.
Shaun Barnett, was convicted by a jury of the first degree
murder of Dawn Scott, the first degree murder of Raynell
Kimbrough, and of possession of a firearm by a convicted
felon. On appeal, he argues multiple assignments of error.
After thorough review, we find no reversible error and affirm
defendant's convictions and sentences.
August 25, 2016, a Jefferson Parish Grand Jury indicted
defendant, Shaun Barnett, with the second degree murder of
Dawn Scott in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1 (count one), the
second degree murder of Raynell Kimbrough in violation of La.
R.S. 14:30.1 (count two), and possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon in violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1 (count
three). Defendant was arraigned on August 26, 2016 and pled
September 7, 2017, a Jefferson Parish Grand Jury returned a
superseding indictment amending defendant's charges from
the second degree murder of Dawn Scott and the second degree
murder of Raynell Kimbrough to the first degree murder of
Dawn Scott in violation of La. R.S. 14:30 (count one), the
first degree murder of Raynell Kimbrough in violation of La.
R.S. 14:30 (count two), and possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon in violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1 (count
three). On September 8, 2017, defendant was
arraigned and pled not guilty.
November 6, 2017, the State filed a Notice of Intent to Use
Other Acts Evidence Pursuant to La. C.E. art. 404(B). On
December 19, 2017, after a hearing, the trial judge granted
the State's Notice of Intent to Use Other Acts Evidence
Pursuant to La. C.E. art. 404(B) and ruled that the other
acts evidence was admissible. Defendant sought writs, which
this Court granted. This Court found that the other acts
evidence was not admissible. State v. Barnett,
18-K-22 (La.App. 5 Cir. 1/19/18) (unpublished writ
disposition). The State filed a writ with the Louisiana
Supreme Court; the Supreme Court granted the writ and
reinstated the ruling of the district court. State v.
Barnett, 18-0121 (La. 1/21/18), 233 So.3d 605.
January 22, 2018, the defense made an oral motion for
competency that the trial judge initially granted, but then
denied. Defendant thereafter informed the trial judge that he
wanted to represent himself. On that same date, the State
amended the indictment in connection with a predicate offense
in count three to correct a typographical error regarding the
statutory citation and the name of the offense. Also, the
trial judge ordered the State to remove two of the predicate
convictions from count three.
January 22-26, 2018, the case was tried before a
twelve-person jury that found defendant guilty as charged on
all counts. On February 8, 2018, defendant filed a motion for
a new trial that was denied on that same date. Afterwards, on
that same date, the trial judge sentenced defendant to life
imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence on count one; life
imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence on count two; and
imprisonment at hard labor for ten years without the benefit
of probation or suspension of sentence on count three, with
all of the sentences to run concurrently with each another.
On February 19, 2018, defendant filed a timely motion for an
appeal that was granted on February 21, 2018.
April 4, 2016, at 6:45 a.m., Erica Russell heard a knock at
the door of her residence at 2140 Idaho Avenue, Apartment B,
in Kenner, Louisiana. When she opened the door, D.S.,
ten-year-old son of her neighbor, Dawn Scott, told her that
his mother did not want to wake up, that he did not know
where his father was, and that "blood is
everywhere." Ms. Russell testified that she went to Ms.
Scott's nearby residence at 2144 Idaho Avenue, Apartment
D, and entered the apartment through the back door which was
already open. She went upstairs to Ms. Scott's bedroom,
after which she saw Ms. Scott lying in bed, a baby lying on
the side of Ms. Scott, Raynell Kimbrough, Ms. Scott's
boyfriend, lying between the bed and the dresser, and blood.
Ms. Russell called 9-1-1 and reported the incident.
Kenneth Boudoin of the Kenner Police Department responded to
the call at 2144 Idaho Avenue at "about 6:52, 53"
a.m., which was within minutes of the call coming out. He
testified that when he arrived, a female told him that she
thought Ms. Scott and Mr. Kimbrough were dead. Officer
Boudoin entered the residence and went upstairs, after which
he found a deceased male and female and an infant who was
breathing. Officer Boudoin spoke to Keoka Jack, a neighbor,
who told him that she heard "some boom sound"
coming from that apartment. She stated that when she went to
check to see where the sounds came from, she saw a
champagne-colored vehicle pull out of the driveway.
Mike Jackson of the Kenner Police Department spoke to Arnell
Kimbrough, Mr. Kimbrough's sister, who told him that the
night before the homicides, Mr. Kimbrough and Shaun Barnett,
defendant, were together at a daiquiri shop shooting
pool. Detective Jackson testified that he
learned that defendant's address was 329 Pat Drive in
Avondale and that a gold or champagne colored 2003 Ford
Taurus with license plate ZNU817 was registered to defendant.
On his way to 329 Pat Drive, Detective Jackson noticed a
daiquiri shop in the neighborhood close to that address.
Edward Rohde of the Kenner Police Department responded to the
call at 2144 Idaho Avenue, Apartment D, and had a supervisory
role over the crime scene. Sergeant Rohde testified that the
crime scene was dusted for fingerprints and items were
swabbed for DNA analysis. He stated that no weapons were on
the scene, no casings were recovered, no prints came back to
defendant, and some prints came back to Mr. Kimbrough. A bag
of marijuana was found on the dresser and there was money in
Harold Pendergast of the Kenner Police Department was the
lead investigator in the homicides. He arrived at the scene
at 7:01 a.m. He testified that they interviewed witnesses,
collected evidence, retrieved traffic camera information
regarding defendant's license plate, obtained
defendant's cell phone records,  and obtained surveillance
camera footage from near the crime scene, near
defendant's residence,  and at a nearby daiquiri
shop. Detective Pendergast stated that they
ultimately obtained and executed search warrants for
defendant's residence and vehicle.
age twelve at the time of trial, testified that he lived with
his mother, Ms. Scott, and her boyfriend, Mr. Kimbrough. He
explained that there were two bedrooms upstairs and that he
and his brother slept in one of them and that Ms. Scott and
Mr. Kimbrough slept in the other one. He slept with his door
open because his mother did not like it when the door was
closed, and when he was in bed, he could look out the open
door and see the stairs. D.S. stated that Mr. Kimbrough had
guns in the apartment.
testified that on the night of the incident, he went upstairs
to his room and went to sleep. He was awakened when he heard
his mother and Mr. Kimbrough arguing that Mr. Kimbrough and
someone else downstairs were making too much noise. After the
argument was finished, D.S. went downstairs for something to
drink, and when he did so, he saw someone with dreadlocks
going out the back door. Although D.S. had never seen that
person before, he heard Mr. Kimbrough call that person
"Shaun." He then went to his room and went back to
later heard gunshots during the night and woke up. Thinking
the gunshots came from outside, he walked over to the window.
D.S. stated that he then heard the gunshots again and saw
"little flashing lights" in his mother's room.
D.S. hurried up and lay down, after which he saw somebody in
black clothes come out of his mother's room and run down
the stairs. He then went back to sleep. He stated that the
person running down the stairs after the shooting was the
same person who walked out the back door and the same person
who Mr. Kimbrough called "Shaun."
explained that the next morning, he woke up and realized his
mother had not awakened him. He went into her room and saw
Mr. Kimbrough's body on the floor and some blood. He did
not see his mother. D.S. went downstairs and saw that the
back door was wide open. He recalled seeing one of Mr.
Kimbrough's guns the night before; however, when he went
to bring his young brother to use the restroom, the gun was
not there anymore, and the bullets on top of it were gone.
D.S. then went out the back door, knocked on the
neighbor's door, and told her that his mother and Mr.
Kimbrough were lying down upstairs and that he saw blood.
D.S. said that the woman went and checked, then came back
downstairs, called the police, and told him his parents were
Macaluso testified that in April of 2016, he was living in
Kenner and that he would leave for work at 5:30 a.m. every
morning. In doing so, he would drive to Circle K at the
corner of Williams and Veterans to get some coffee. He stated
that when he traveled down 22nd Street to get to
Williams, he would pass by the apartment complex at 2144
Idaho. Mr. Macaluso testified that on April 4, 2016, he left
his house at 5:30 a.m. As he slowly approached the apartment
complex in his vehicle, he noticed a "black guy"
standing between two vehicles wearing a camouflage
jacket and something white on his head. He
stated that he and the "guy" "kind of startled
each other" and "made eye contact." Mr.
Macaluso explained that as he passed the complex, he noticed
a gold Ford Taurus parked "funny up towards the front
door." Afterwards, Mr. Macaluso went to work. While
there, his daughters called and told him that some people had
gotten shot near the Winn-Dixie, which he explained was near
the apartment complex. Mr. Macaluso was unsure if what he saw
meant anything, so he called the police. Later, the police
showed him a photographic lineup and he positively identified
image number 4 as the individual in the camouflage jacket he
saw outside of 2144 Idaho on April 4, 2016. Detective
Pendergast testified that Mr. Macaluso was able to identify
defendant in that photographic lineup.
Jack testified that on April 4, 2016, she was living at 2144
Idaho Avenue, Apartment C, with her four-year-old son and her
boyfriend, Carey Jones, next door to Ms. Scott and Mr.
Kimbrough. On that date, at "6:00 something," she
heard two noises, like "boom, boom" coming from
upstairs in her apartment. She stated that her master
bedroom shares a wall with Ms. Scott and Mr. Kimbrough's
master bedroom. Ms. Jack went upstairs, grabbed her son, and
heard a second set of "booms" from the same room.
She placed her son on the downstairs sofa and approximately
five minutes later, she heard a car "crank." Ms.
Jack opened her front door and saw an older model
champagne-colored Taurus backing out from the front of Ms.
Scott and Mr. Kimbrough's front door.
Jones testified that in April of 2016, he was living at 2144
Idaho Avenue, Apartment C, with his fiancée, Keoka
Jack, and his son. He explained that in the early morning
hours of April 4, 2016, he was awake at 2:00 a.m. smoking a
cigarette outside his door when he observed Mr. Kimbrough and
a "black guy" pulling up in a gold "Taurus or
something like that." Mr. Jones stated that Mr.
Kimbrough was in the passenger seat and the "other
guy" was driving. Mr. Kimbrough and the "other
guy" exited the vehicle and went inside Mr.
Kimbrough's residence. Mr. Jones explained that Mr.
Kimbrough stopped to talk to him for a minute before going
inside. He testified that at approximately 2:30 a.m., while
he was watching television, he heard Mr. Kimbrough and his
girlfriend "fussing." Mr. Jones guessed that Ms.
Scott was upstairs telling Mr. Kimbrough to stop making so
much noise. Afterwards, Mr. Jones dozed off. He left for work
"about five after, ten after 6:00", and Ms. Jack
later called to tell him about the shooting.
Marchan testified that in April of 2016, she lived at 2144
Idaho Avenue, Apartment A, with her husband, her four
children, and her brother, Gabriel Gonzales. Ms. Marchan
recalled seeing a black male with dreads wearing a "hat
type thing" who visited and spent the nights at the
apartment of Mr. Kimbrough and Ms. Scott. She also recalled
that individual drove a gold Ford Taurus. Ms. Marchan
identified State's Exhibit 48 as a photograph showing Mr.
Kimbrough and also the person who was always at his house
driving that car.
Gonzales testified that in April of 2016, he was living in
the 2400 block of Idaho in an apartment complex with his
sister, Jessica Perez, her husband, and their four children.
He explained that he took care of his sister's children
during the day and that he worked the overnight shift at
Rouses in Metairie. Mr. Gonzales initially testified that on
April 4, 2016, he got home at approximately 6:00 or 6:10
a.m., but when confronted with his grand jury testimony, he
admitted that he probably got home at 6:45 a.m. He stated
that he went inside, after which he heard noises that sounded
like Winn-Dixie employees unloading and taking out their
pallets. However, Mr. Gonzales explained that it could not
have been that because he knew that Winn-Dixie did not take
their pallets out then. He then heard crying in the back side
of the apartment complex. When he went to find out what had
happened, he learned that the individuals in Apartment D had
been shot. Mr. Gonzales testified that while living at the
complex, he saw visitors at the victims' apartment. He
recalled seeing a male visitor with "dreads" on
more than one occasion. The police showed him a photographic
lineup, and he positively identified defendant as that
person. He also positively identified defendant in court.
Scott testified that one of the victims, Dawn Scott, was her
daughter. After the murders, she went to Ms. Scott's
apartment to remove her belongings, but she never recovered
Ms. Scott's purse.
Matthew Glapion, Sr. testified that he was a Kenner Police
Department officer assigned to the U.S. Marshals fugitive
task force. On April 4, 2016, Officer Glapion went to 329 Pat
Drive in Avondale to locate defendant, but left when he did
not see a gold Taurus there. When he returned shortly
thereafter, he saw a gold Taurus backed into the driveway.
Officer Glapion testified that defendant, his mother, and his
brother were there.
Jeffrey Adams of the Kenner Police Department testified that
on April 4, 2016, he responded to the scene at 2144 Idaho
Avenue, Apartment D. He supervised and participated in the
execution of the search warrant on the house and the vehicle
at 329 Pat Drive. They seized two black and gray jackets from
the trunk of the vehicle, a cell phone located in the glove
compartment, the social security card of Ms. Scott's
younger child, a healthcare card in Ms. Scott's name, and
a piece of paper with possible PIN numbers or passcodes on it
with Ms. Scott's name on it from the back seat of the
vehicle. They also seized a camouflage jacket from the living
room, two socks and a flashlight from the left pocket of that
jacket, defendant's ID from defendant's mother's
room from between the mattress and the bedspread, the keys to
defendant's vehicle from under a hat, and an envelope
mailed to defendant found in his mother's room.
Adams explained that the camouflage jacket was seized because
video footage from a neighbor's house indicated that
defendant arrived in his vehicle wearing a camouflage jacket
and exited without that jacket. He testified that the crime
scene on Idaho Avenue was broken into a couple of times after
the murder. Therefore, they went back to search the house
again during which they found an AK 47 cartridge and an AK 47
bullet. Sergeant Adams testified that on April 4, 2016, there
was no forced entry on either door, but on April 17, there
were signs of forced entry. He recalled that there was a
rumor that tax-return money should have been there.
Marianna Eserman, the Jefferson Parish deputy coroner, was
qualified as an expert in the field of forensic pathology.
She testified that she performed autopsies on the victims. As
to Ms. Scott, Dr. Eserman testified that the cause of death
was a gunshot wound to the head and that the manner of death
was homicide. She further explained that Ms. Scott also
sustained a gunshot wound to the left trunk and a graze
gunshot wound to the left upper extremity. As to Mr.
Kimbrough, Dr. Eserman testified that the cause of death was
a gunshot wound to the head and that the manner of death was
homicide. She further testified that Mr. Kimbrough also
sustained gunshot wounds to the trunk. Dr. Eserman maintained
that the weapon was at least two or three feet away from the
wounds when it was fired. She noted that Mr. Kimbrough had a
high alcohol level consistent with an individual drinking a
lot of alcohol just prior to his death.
Williams-Cyprian, a drug analyst at the Jefferson Parish
crime lab, was qualified as an expert in the field of the
analysis and identification of controlled dangerous
substances. She analyzed a clear plastic bag containing green
"vegetative" material and a piece of paper
containing a white powder-like substance. Ms.
Williams-Cyprian testified that testing revealed that the
green "vegetative" material was marijuana and that
the white substance did not contain cocaine.
Camarena, a former JPSO DNA analyst, was accepted as an
expert in the field of forensic DNA analysis. Ms. Camarena
testified that she conducted DNA analysis on the camouflage,
long sleeve shirt seized from defendant's residence. She
found that the DNA profile obtained from the cuttings from
the sleeve of the shirt (42T1) and from the lower back of the
shirt (42T6) were consistent with the DNA profile obtained
from the victim, Mr. Kimbrough. She also found that the
probability of finding the same DNA profile if the DNA had
come from a randomly selected person other than Mr. Kimbrough
was one in greater than a hundred billion.
Pendergast testified that he obtained information that there
was some sort of romantic relationship between defendant and
Ms. Scott, and therefore, he had requested a paternity test
for R.S., the infant lying next to Ms. Scott when she was
found. Ms. Camarena testified that Mr. Kimbrough could not be
excluded as the biological father of R.S., and that Mr.
Kimbrough was three million times more likely to be the
father of R.S. than another randomly selected
African-American male. She maintained that the relative
probability of paternity was 99.99 percent for Mr. Kimbrough
and that defendant was excluded as the biological father of
Rauch testified that she worked for the JPSO crime lab as the
supervisor of the firearm and tool-marks section. The trial
court thereafter accepted her as an expert in the field of
"Firearms and Tool Mark Examination." She testified
that specimen 14A (a copper jacket from the upstairs
bedroom), specimen 15 (a copper-jacketed projectile from the
right breast of Ms. Scott), specimen 16A (a copper jacket
from Ms. Scott's skull), and specimen 17A (a
copper-jacketed projectile from Mr. Kimbrough's skull)
were all fired from the same gun and were consistent with .38
caliber class ammunition. Ms. Rauch determined that the
evidence was consistent with the use of a revolver.
Detective Joseph Mancuso testified that he worked with
traffic cameras and the license plate recognition system and
that he did so in April of 2016. He explained that license
plate cameras were set up throughout Jefferson Parish in
multiple locations and that they searched for defendant's
license plate number ZNU817 for April 4, 2016, the date of
the incident. The evidence reflected that defendant's
residence was on Pat Drive in Avondale on the West Bank of
Jefferson Parish and that the homicides were committed in
Kenner on the East Bank of Jefferson Parish. Detective
Mancuso indicated that the evidence showed that
defendant's vehicle was seen going back and forth in the
area between his residence and the crime scene several times
on April 4, 2016. Significantly, he explained that the
evidence showed that defendant's vehicle was seen at Huey
P. Long and Clearview west at 6:42 a.m., heading back toward
the area of his residence shortly after the homicides were
Dwight, an investigative specialist for the Louisiana State
Police, testified that he plotted defendant's cell phone
calls on maps using tower locations. He was also provided
with license plate readings. Based on that information, he
produced a report regarding his analysis of them. Mr. Dwight
indicated that the location of the cell phone calls and the
location of defendant's vehicle on April 3 and 4, 2016
matched closely. He explained that this showed that
defendant's cell phone and vehicle went back and forth in
the area between his residence and the crime scene on those
Smith testified that he was incarcerated within the
Department of Corrections and serving a two-year sentence for
drug possession. Mr. Smith explained that on August 7, 2016,
he was arrested and held in the Jefferson Parish Correctional
Center. He said that from August 9, 2016 until November 3 or
4, 2016, he and defendant were bunkmates. He stated that he
had never met defendant, heard his name, or saw his face
before he met defendant in prison. Mr. Smith indicated that
defendant was not friendly or talkative at first, but after a
couple of weeks, defendant started talking to him. Mr. Smith
testified that defendant told him that the tattoo on his arm,
"Jasmine," was the name of his ex-girlfriend whom
was with him seven or eight years when he committed a murder,
that he and his ex-girlfriend's father had problems, and
that defendant had killed "Jasmine" because she
witnessed him commit the other crime.
Smith also testified that defendant told him about his
current charges, namely, that defendant and his friend
"Pluck" (Mr. Kimbrough) used to ride together to
work and that they went to a daiquiri shop and got into an
argument. Mr. Smith stated that defendant told him that he
and Mr. Kimbrough went back to Mr. Kimbrough's home and
that later that night, there was another argument in the
living room between him and Mr. Kimbrough. Mr. Smith
explained that defendant said that Mr. Kimbrough's wife
came downstairs and told defendant to leave, but they ended
up upstairs where there was a fight between defendant and Mr.
Kimbrough, after which defendant shot Mr. Kimbrough and Mr.
Kimbrough's wife. Defendant told him that afterwards, he
left the scene, threw the gun in a river, went to his
mother's house, and then later left. He testified that
defendant told him that he thought Ms. Scott's baby was
his as he was "sleeping with" Mr. Kimbrough's
wife. Mr. Smith recalled that defendant mentioned some drugs
Mr. Kimbrough had. He also testified that defendant told him
that the police were trying to prove he committed the crime
by putting blood on a camouflage jacket.
Smith testified that he spoke to his fiancée about his
talks with defendant and they decided it would be best to
talk to the police. Thus, his fiancée made contact
with law enforcement. He identified an advisory of rights
form he reviewed before he spoke to Detective Pendergast. Mr.
Smith explained that the detective did not offer him anything
for his statement and that he came forward because it was the
right thing to do. He felt like defendant was a
"monster" who needed to "pay for what he
did." Mr. Smith testified that the State subsequently
offered him a plea agreement for his current charges,
i.e., possession of "meth," marijuana, and
clonazepam. He insisted that he never lived on the Westbank,
Avondale, Woodmere, Harvey, or Kenner. Mr. Smith stated that
the State told him several times to be honest and to say what
he remembered to the best of his ability.
Thornton, a former JPSO captain, testified that in 2007, when
he was commander of the homicide division, Perry Ingram was
murdered on November 18, 2007, at approximately 1:40 a.m., in
the 3700 block of Longleaf in the Woodmere subdivision in
Harvey. He testified that another dispatch came out at 6:16
a.m. regarding the murder of Jasmine McGinnis that also
occurred that morning at 1524 Haydel Drive in Marrero.
Captain Thornton testified that at the time of the second
murder, Ms. McGinnis was wearing a shirt with a picture of
her and defendant on it, her name, the name of
"Shaun," and the words, "get money." He
explained that defendant was a suspect in Mr. Ingram's
murder and that defendant came in willingly to give a
statement. The tape was played for the jury.
Thornton testified that defendant admitted that his picture
and name were on Ms. McGinnis' shirt and that he had been
in a relationship with Ms. McGinnis. He noted that during the
statement, the detective taking the statement mentioned how
the Ingram and McGinnis homicides were connected. Captain
Thornton testified that this was by ballistic material that
was found on both scenes. Captain Thornton explained that
there was not enough evidence to charge anyone at that time.
He retired in March of 2015 but was re-hired to work in the
intelligence division in cold-case homicides. Captain
Thornton testified that in June of 2009, Ronald Bowman wanted
to provide a statement regarding the Ingram case. According
to Captain Thornton, Mr. Bowman told him that there were
males and females on the scene of the Ingram homicide after
shots were fired and that one of them was Ms. McGinnis. Mr.
Bowman also told him that the motive for the killing stemmed
from a burglary that occurred prior to the homicide involving
a policeman's house where some weapons were stolen.
Thornton testified that deputies determined that there was a
burglary of firearms from JPSO Deputy James Jefferson at 2307
Alex Kornman in Woodmere. He explained that the deputy
reported a break-in while he was gone from his house from
November 20 to 25, 2007. Captain Thornton stated that did not
make sense to him since Mr. Ingram was murdered before that
break-in. In his statement, Mr. Bowman also ...