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State v. Stevenson

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

July 26, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
COREY STEVENSON

          APPLICATION FOR WRITS EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION DIRECTED TO CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 544-339, SECTION "J" HONORABLE DARRYL A. DERBIGNY, JUDGE.

          LEON CANNIZZARO DISTRICT ATTORNEY DONNA ANDRIEU SCOTT G. VINCENT ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS COUNSEL FOR RELATOR/STATE OF LOUISIANA

          JAMES HOEFFGEN ORLEANS PUBLIC DEFENDERS COUNSEL FOR RESPONDENT/DEFENDANT

          (Court composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay, III, Judge Paula A. Brown, Judge Dale N. Atkins)

          Dale N. Atkins Judge.

         Relator, the State of Louisiana, seeks expedited review of the trial court's May 10, 2019 ruling, which partially granted a motion to suppress filed by Defendant, Corey Stevenson, and found no probable cause to substantiate the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. We grant the writ and reverse the trial court's ruling.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 31, 2019, Defendant, Corey Stevenson, was charged by bill of information with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and distribution of marijuana in an amount less than 2.5 pounds, in violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1 and La. R.S. 40:966(B)(2(A), respectively.

         Defendant appeared for arraignment on February 4, 2019, and entered a plea of not guilty. Thereafter, Defendant filed several pre-trial motions, including a motion to suppress the evidence and a motion for preliminary examination. The matter came before the trial court on April 8, 2019. After hearing testimony from Detective Rayvon Souffrant and arguments from counsel, the trial court permitted Defendant to brief his arguments and reset the matter for a ruling on the motion.

         On May 10, 2019, the trial court granted the motion to suppress evidence in part and denied the motion in part. The trial court granted the motion as to the handgun recovered during the search of Defendant's backpack, but denied it as to the marijuana recovered during the search of Defendant's momentary companion, Willie Wallace. The trial court thereafter found insufficient probable cause to support the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon against Defendant and sufficient probable cause to support the distribution of marijuana charge.

         The State objected to the trial court's ruling as to the partial granting of the motion to suppress evidence and the finding of insufficient probable cause for the firearm charge and noticed its intent to seek supervisory review. The State also moved for a stay of the proceedings pending a resolution of its writ application, which the trial court denied.

         The State filed a writ application with this Court on July 22, 2019, seeking expedited consideration.[1] The same date, this Court ordered that the trial court file a per curiam and that Defendant file a response to the State's writ application by 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 24, 2019. On July 24, 2019, this Court received both the per curiam and Defendant's opposition to the writ application.

         Trial is currently set on August 5, 2019.

         FACTUAL ...


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