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State v. Smith

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

May 22, 2019


          Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Bossier, Louisiana Trial Court No. 219, 630 Honorable John M. Robinson (Ad Hoc), Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Carey J. Ellis, III Counsel for Appellant


          J. SCHUYLER MARVIN District Attorney Counsel for Appellee

          JOHN M. LAWRENCE RICHARD R. RAY DALE N. MONTGOMERY, II Assistant District Attorneys

          Before PITMAN, STONE, and BLEICH (Ad Hoc), JJ.

          BLEICH, J. (Ad Hoc)

         This criminal appeal arises from the 26th Judicial District Court, Parish of Bossier, the Honorable John M. Robinson presiding. Defendant, Jeffery Sanchez Smith, was convicted of manslaughter, in violation of La. R.S. 14:31. Defendant was sentenced to 38 years' imprisonment at hard labor. For the following reasons, Defendant's conviction and sentence are affirmed.


         Defendant, Jeffery Sanchez Smith, was charged by bill of indictment with the second degree murder of Jeremy Davis, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1. A jury trial commenced on April 30, 2018. Teresa Cooper, Defendant's girlfriend, testified that on June 24, 2016, she was living at 1029 Shirley Lane with Defendant and her three sons, Kaderrick Cooper, Jeremy Davis, and Jacoby Smith (her son with Defendant).

         Kaderrick Cooper testified that he was present at the Cooper house after 10:00 p.m. on the night of June 24, 2016. Kaderrick stated that he was in his room at the back of the house when Teresa and Defendant came home. He could hear his mother Teresa and brother Jeremy begin arguing. Kaderrick testified that he heard Defendant yell something and then heard a sound "almost like a firecracker." Jeremy ran into Kaderrick's room and hid behind Kaderrick's back. Kaderrick testified that Defendant followed Jeremy into the bedroom and pointed a gun at him. Kaderrick, a former Marine, identified the gun as a chrome-colored .38 pistol.

         Kaderrick testified that his mother walked to the bedroom door, and she and Kaderrick tried to subdue Defendant and get him to lower his weapon so Jeremy could leave the room. Kaderrick testified that Defendant overpowered them and shot Jeremy in the back as he attempted to run from the bedroom. Kaderrick stated that he did not see Defendant and Jeremy physically fighting or struggling over a gun at any time. When Kaderrick found out that Jeremy had died, he ran out of the house after Defendant. At that time, Defendant turned around and began shooting at him.

         On cross-examination, Kaderrick admitted that Jeremy had pled guilty to misdemeanor battery and spent six months in jail over a fight in which he knocked out some of Kaderrick's teeth.

         Teresa Cooper testified that on June 24, 2016, when she and Defendant returned home from his sister's house, she began arguing with Jeremy about a case of water that he had opened. Theresa stated that she was standing in the kitchen, and Jeremy was standing in the living room when the argument began. Teresa testified that, when she told Jeremy that he could not have the case of water, he grabbed her by the neck, pushed her head up against the wall, and choked her. She stated that she heard a gunshot from the back of the house, apparently fired into the ceiling of the living room. Jeremy then ran to Kadderick's room.

         Teresa testified that she followed Jeremy into Kaderrick's room and saw Defendant with a gun. Teresa stated that she and Kaderrick attempted to keep Defendant and Jeremy apart, but her son was able to move into the hallway, where Jeremy punched Defendant in the face. At that point, the two men fell to the floor. Teresa testified that she heard a gunshot, and they ran out of the house. She did not actually see the shooting.

         Jameisha Gilmore, a cousin of the Coopers, testified that she was in town from Texas visiting her grandmother, Mary Cooper, a neighbor of Teresa Cooper (Mary lives at 1031 Shirley Lane). Jameisha testified that, during the evening, the women heard a commotion and went outside. She saw Defendant walking down the street with a silver gun in his hand. Jameisha stated that she heard Defendant yell, "He shouldn't've been fuckin' with me." She also stated that she could hear, but not see, Kaderrick Cooper, who was outside of the Cooper house. Jameisha testified that she heard Defendant tell Kaderrick, "If you fuck with me I'll kill you too." At that point, Defendant began shooting towards Theresa Cooper's house and Jameisha's aunt made her go back inside the house. Breanna Cooper, who resides at 1033 Shirley Lane, testified that she also witnessed Defendant walking down the sidewalk in the direction of her house with a ...

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