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State v. Guidry

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

June 19, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
JERMAINE D. GUIDRY

          ON APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY WRITS FROM THE FIFTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF VERMILION, NO. 63032 HONORABLE EDWARD B. BROUSSARD, DISTRICT JUDGE

          JoVonna R. Charles-Young COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT/DEFENDANT: Jermaine D. Guidry

          Keith Stutes District Attorney Craig Bordolon, II Assistant District Attorney Fifteenth Judicial District COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana

          Court composed of John D. Saunders, John E. Conery, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.

          VAN H. KYZAR, JUDGE.

         The defendant, Jermaine D. Guidry, has filed the instant application for supervisory writs from the trial court's January 30, 2019 ruling denying his motion to suppress evidence. For the following reasons, we deny the writ.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Defendant was charged by bill of information that on April 9, 2018, he committed four felony counts in violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substance Law, as follows: possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance, in violation of La.R.S. 40:967; possession of Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance, in violation of La.R.S. 40:967; possession of Hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance, in violation of La.R.S. 40:967, and that he willfully, knowingly, unlawfully and intentionally received or acquired proceeds derived from a violation of the Controlled Dangerous Substance Law, in violation of La, R.S. 40:1041(D). Defendant was also charged with one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana, a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance, in violation of La.R.S. 40:966. He was arraigned and pled not guilty on May 31, 2018.

         On July 25, 2018, Defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence of the drugs seized from his vehicle without a warrant on April 9, 2018, asserting that the search of the vehicle was unconstitutional. The State opposed the motion, specifically alleging that the inventory search, search incident to arrest, and inevitable discovery exceptions, as well as abandonment, were applicable. Following a hearing on January 30, 2019, the trial court denied Defendant's motion to suppress.

         According to the State, Defendant was wanted via a fugitive warrant posted on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) when he was spotted in Vermilion Parish and pursued by law enforcement officers. A high-speed vehicle chase ensued, resulting in the deployment of spike strips. After losing control of his vehicle, Defendant drove into a sugarcane field and then fled on foot. He was apprehended and then placed under arrest.

         Sergeant James Martin, of the Vermilion Parish Sheriffs Department, testified at the hearing on the motion to suppress that Defendant lost control of his vehicle after driving nearly half a mile in a sugarcane field while fleeing from officers, who were pursuing him in multiple police units. He stated that the front end of Defendant's vehicle hit a cane row after traveling over a headland in the field and that Defendant then "got out of the vehicle and took off running." When asked if there were any passengers in the vehicle, Sergeant Martin stated, "No, the vehicle was abandoned," During direct examination of Sergeant Martin, the following colloquy occurred as to the events:

Q. So at that point, you have this abandoned vehicle. What do you do?
A. Well, the vehicle was stuck in the field. There was no way for us to get it out. So a tow truck had to be called. And then including the fact that he led us on a pursuit and he had active felony warrants and then decided to get out the car and run and abandon vehicle, we towed it. We were going to tow it so it was searched. A vehicle inventory was completed and turned in.
Q. Okay. And among the things that were inventoried, were there any things that led to ...

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