Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 291, 834 Honorable
Brady D. O'Callaghan, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Douglas Harville Counsel for
EDWARD STEWART, SR. District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
JAN JOHNSON RON CHRISTOPHER STAMPS CHARLES KENNETH PARR
Assistant District Attorneys
MOORE, STONE, and COX, JJ.
criminal appeal arises from the First Judicial District
Court, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Following a bench trial, the
defendant, James Micah Vanhorn, was found guilty as charged
of attempted armed robbery. Vanhorn was sentenced to serve 12
years at hard labor, without the benefit of probation,
parole, or suspension of sentence. Vanhorn now appeals his
conviction and sentence. For the following reasons, we affirm
Vanhorn's conviction and sentence.
November 10, 2010, Robert Stuart Douglas and Vanhorn were
charged with the attempted armed robbery of Jordan Willis,
committed on October 27, 2010, in violation of La. R.S. 14:64
and La. R.S. 14:27. Both defendants were tried together and
both defendants were represented by the same
Tim Adgate, of the Shreveport Police Department, testified
that on October 27, 2010, he was the first responder to a 911
call for a home invasion at 9307 Wiscassett Drive in
Shreveport, Louisiana. Sgt. Adgate found a white male, with
duct tape around his wrists and ankles, holding a 12-gauge
shotgun and standing over another male, who was covered in
blood and lying face down on the ground. A third male, with
blood running down his face, was also on the ground to the
side of the first two men. The man with the gun and the man
with blood on his face repeatedly asked the man lying on the
ground, "Why?" Sgt. Adgate secured the shotgun and
identified the holder as Jordan Willis, who lived in the
Wiscassett Drive home owned by his father, James Willis. Sgt.
Adgate identified the man with blood running down his face as
Jordan's brother, Dillon Willis. Sgt. Adgate testified
that Jordan told him that the man lying on the ground was one
of two men who "busted in" their house, identified
themselves as narcotics officers, and then wrapped
Jordan's and James' wrists, feet, and head in duct
tape. Sgt. Adgate later learned that the man lying on the
ground was Vanhorn.
Police Detective John Jackson, who also responded to the 911
call, testified that James had duct tape on his wrists and
ankles and that he had scratches and bruises. Det. Jackson
testified that James told him the following:
• He answered a knock at the door and two men identified
themselves as narcotics officers and forced their way inside.
• The intruders told him that they were there on a
marijuana complaint and asked if anyone else was present.
• He told them his son, Jordan, was upstairs.
• One man proceeded up the stairs to get Jordan, and the
other man began binding him with duct tape.
• After Jordan was brought downstairs, the intruders
began binding Jordan with duct tape too.
• His other son, Dillon, arrived at the house, and one
of the men used a black, semiautomatic handgun to strike
• He and his sons realized the men were not law
enforcement officers and fought back.
• As Dillon struggled with the man with the gun, Jordan
broke loose from the duct tape and retrieved a shotgun.
• When Jordan fired the shotgun, the man with the gun
ran outside and drove off in a white car.
• He, Dillon, and Jordan were able to catch the other
man, and restrain him until police arrived.
Police Detective Shawn Parker also responded to the home
invasion call and testified about statements he took from
Jordan and Dillon. He testified that both of them were in
shock. Det. Parker testified that Jordan told him the
• He was asleep in bed when a white man wearing
sunglasses and a hat woke him up and dragged him downstairs
to the kitchen, where another larger white man was binding
his dad with duct tape.
• The intruders wrapped his and his dad's wrists and
feet, and then their heads with duct tape.
• When he heard his brother Dillon walk in, he asked
Dillon if he saw any badges on the intruders.
• When Dillon said he did not see any badges, Jordan
struggled loose from the duct tape, retrieved a shotgun, and
fired it into the living room.
• When he fired the shotgun, the bigger man ran out of
the house and drove off in a white vehicle, but Dillon and
James caught the other man.
• He, his dad, and his brother struggled with the other
man, and he struck the man on the back of the head with the
butt of the shotgun.
Parker testified that Jordan still had duct tape around his
wrists and ankles and that residue from the tape remained
around his eyes, indicating where the tape had been. Det.
Parker testified that he believed Jordan was in shock because
Jordan appeared very emotional, his hands were shaking, he
voice was broken, and he was pacing back and forth.
Parker testified that Dillon told him the following:
• In an earlier phone conversation, he told his dad that
he would stop by the house.
• When he arrived, he saw a white Toyota parked in the
driveway and thought painters were at the house as part of
some recent renovations.
• After he entered the house, he found his dad and his
brother with duct tape wrapped around their heads.
• A large white man with a gun grabbed him and threw him
against the wall, pistol-whipped him with a black,