FROM THE THIRTY-FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
JEFFERSON DAVIS, NO. CR-716-15 HONORABLE CRAIG STEVE GUNNELL,
REMAND FROM THE SUPREME COURT
F. Boustany, II Boustany Law Firm, COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT: Kyvonte Latrell Eaglin.
Michael C. Cassidy District Attorney - 31st JDC Bennett R.
LaPoint Assistant District Attorney, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE.
composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Elizabeth A. Pickett, and
Phyllis M. Keaty, Judges.
ELIZABETH A. PICKETT JUDGE
defendant, Kyvonte Latrell Eaglin, attended a party at the
American Legion Hall in Jennings on August 8, 2015. An
altercation broke out, and a group moved outside. The
defendant went to his vehicle and retrieved a gun. Shots from
one or more firearms were fired, and the victim was killed.
defendant was convicted of manslaughter on November 18, 2016.
The trial court sentenced the defendant to twenty years at
hard labor on January 30, 2017. This court affirmed his
conviction and sentence. State v. Eaglin, 17-657
(La.App. 3 Cir. 3/28/18), 239 So.3d 1001, writ granted in
part, 18-822 (La. 3/18/19), 265 So.3d 761 (per curiam).
the issues on appeal addressed the introduction of an
inflammatory photograph into evidence. This court held the
photograph was in fact erroneously introduced, but we found
the error to be harmless. The Louisiana Supreme Court granted
the defendant's writ application in part and remanded the
matter, finding this court "applied the wrong standard
in determining whether the error was harmless."
Eaglin, 18-822 at 1. The supreme court instructed
this court to reevaluate the error according to the standard
set out in Chapman v. California, 386 U.S. 18, 87
S.Ct. 824 (1967).
trial, the state introduced, as evidence of the
defendant's bad character, a copy of a Facebook
photograph of the defendant, who was approximately thirteen
years old at the time. The photograph falsely portrayed the
defendant as a masked armed robber holding a dangerous pistol
to the back of a child's head, as though ready to shoot
the child. The trial court itself described the photograph as
"inflammatory." Later in the trial, the
defendant's sixteen-year-old cousin, Latavius Stewart,
testified the photograph was taken approximately four years
earlier. Mr. Stewart was the boy standing against the wall
while the defendant held a BB gun against his head. Another
cousin took the photo. Mr. Stewart said they were
"[j]ust having fun with it. We were being silly. Just
This photograph, Exhibit S-2, provided no useful purpose at
trial. Chief D'Albor's testimony did not show he
relied on it at the scene to identify the defendant. Even if
he had, it would still add nothing to help the jury reach a
verdict. The photograph depicted nothing related to the crime
for which the defendant was on trial. It did, however,
present a disturbing image to the jury that portrayed the
defendant as one who held a gun to a young boy's head.
Only later in the trial did ...