Appealed from the Eighteenth Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of Pointe Coupee State of Louisiana Docket
Number 79, 93 IF Honorable Kevin Kimball, Judge Presiding
Richard J. Ward, Jr. District Attorney Terri Russo Lacy Chad
A. Aguillard Assistant District Attorneys Port Allen,
Louisiana Counsel for Appellee State of Louisiana
Gwendolyn K. Brown Baton Rouge, Louisiana Counsel for
Defendant/Appellant Darrion O. Burks
BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND PENZATO, JJ.
defendant, Darrion O. Burks, was charged by bill of
information with one count of attempted second degree murder
(count I), a violation of La. R.S. 14:27 and La. R.S.
14:30.1, and one count of aggravated criminal damage to
property (count II), a violation of La. R.S. 14:55. He pled
not guilty to both counts. Following a trial by jury, the
defendant was found guilty as charged on both counts. On
count I, the trial court sentenced the defendant to fifteen
years at hard labor without the benefit of probation, parole,
or suspension of sentence. On count II, the trial court
sentenced the defendant to five years at hard labor and a $2,
500 fine, but suspended the sentence, placed the defendant on
supervised probation for a period of five years subject to
certain conditions, including paying the fine, and ordered
this sentence to run consecutively with the sentence for
count I. The defendant now appeals, raising four assignments
of error. For the following reasons, we affirm the conviction
and sentence on count I, affirm the conviction, amend the
sentence, and affirm as amended on count II, and remand to
the Eighteenth Judicial District Court with instructions.
morning of September 28, 2014, Stanley Brue and Jonathan
Nelson drove up to Brue's trailer in New Roads. The
defendant's grandmother lived across the street, and as
Brue and Nelson approached Brue's trailer, Brue noticed
the gold Chevrolet Trailblazer the defendant usually drove
parked on the side of his grandmother's house. Brue
exited the vehicle and leaned back into the vehicle to
continue talking to Nelson. He then heard someone approach
him and say, "Come off it. Come off it. Let me get it.
Let me get it," and a gun went off, and he began
"scuffling" with the defendant. The defendant fired
about seven times and shot Brue twice before running away. By
the time Brue was placed into Nelson's vehicle to go to
the hospital, the Trailblazer was gone. Dr. Admir Seferobic,
Brue's treating physician in the emergency room,
testified that Brue's injuries were life-threatening.
Powell, Brue's fiancee, saw the fight and saw the
defendant flee into a gold Trailblazer after the last shot
was fired. Another witness, Desarell Lacour, testified that
she saw the fight and stated it "looked like a drug deal
gone bad." Powell later saw the gold Trailblazer on the
adjacent street and informed police that the defendant had
gotten into that vehicle after the shooting. The police
traced the vehicle in question to Brittany Hill, the
defendant's cousin. Police then located the defendant and
arrested him only several streets away from the crime scene.
Guyton, Brue and Powell's neighbor, reported to police
that two bullets "whip[ped] through her trailer"
while she was sleeping; police also observed bullet holes
from the fight between Brue and the defendant in Guyton's
trailer, in addition to finding bullets on Guyton's bed.
Although police did not find any DNA evidence from the shell
casings found at the crime scene, police found evidence of
only one gun for the shots recovered from Brue's body and
the shots fired into Guyton's trailer. Shell casings
recovered at the scene indicated they were from a forty
caliber gun. The State and the defense also stipulated that
the casings came from the same gun.
first assignment of error, the defendant claims the trial
court "erred by considering improper factors when
tailoring a sentence for this young defendant." In his
second assignment of error, the defendant claims the trial
court erred by imposing an excessive sentence. In his third
assignment of error, the defendant claims the trial court
erred by imposing the sentences consecutively. In his fourth
assignment of error, the defendant claims he was denied
effective assistance of counsel because his counsel failed to
file timely a motion to reconsider sentence.
address the defendant's excessive sentence claim, even
though no timely motion to reconsider the sentence imposed or
contemporaneous objection was made before the trial court,
since it would be a necessary part of his assigned error as
to ineffective assistance of counsel, and to do so is in the
interest of judicial economy. ...