Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 344844 Honorable
John D. Mosely, Jr., Judge.
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Holli A. Herrle-Castillo
Counsel for Appellant
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney WILLIAM J. EDWARDS BRITNEY
A. GREEN CHARLES K. PARR Assistant District Attorneys Counsel
WILLIAMS, MOORE, and McCALLUM, JJ.
defendant, Sirdetrick Samuels, was charged by bill of
indictment with second degree murder, in violation of La.
R.S. 14:30.1. Following a jury trial, he was found guilty of
the responsive verdict of manslaughter, La. R.S. 14:31. The
defendant was adjudicated a third-felony offender and was
sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment at hard labor without
the benefit of probation or suspension of sentence. For the
following reasons, we affirm.
November 8, 2016, at approximately 11:00 p.m., 16-year-old
Tremon Jackson was shot multiple times while standing outside
his grandmother's house located on Boss Street in
Shreveport, Louisiana. Tremon's uncle, 20-year-old Quincy
Jackson, and a friend, Kenlya Patrick Alford, were witnesses
to the incident, and they identified the defendant,
Sirdetrick Samuels, as the shooter. The defendant was
arrested and charged by bill of indictment with the second
degree murder of Tremon.
the defendant's trial, Quincy Jackson testified as
follows: he and Alford were standing near the driveway of the
residence when the defendant walked up and asked,
"What's up?"; when Tremon exited the residence,
the defendant asked him, "What's up?"; Tremon
did not respond; the defendant then asked Tremon if they
"were good," and Tremon ignored the inquiry; he
(Quincy) turned his back and heard gunshots; he and Alford
ran into the garage to avoid the bullets; he looked out and
saw the defendant firing a black gun; he did not see the
bullets strike Tremon, but he saw Tremon run in the direction
of "the gate"; he was unsure how many shots were
fired; he saw the defendant flee in the same direction from
which he had arrived; he went inside the house to see if
Tremon had run inside; he and Alford found Tremon lying in
the yard, bleeding from several gunshot wounds; Timothy
Stewart, his sister's boyfriend, was down the street when
he heard gunshots; when Stewart drove up to the house, he and
others placed Tremon inside Stewart's vehicle to drive
Tremon to the hospital; Stewart's vehicle "broke
down" before they reached the hospital; he called 911
from the car; EMS arrived and transported Tremon to the
hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival; when he
was initially questioned by police officers, he refused to
provide them with the name of the shooter; he identified the
defendant as the shooter after he was transported to the
police station; and neither he nor Tremon had been smoking
marijuana on the night of the shooting.
Patrick Alford testified as follows: on the night of the
incident, he and Quincy were standing outside Quincy's
house when the defendant approached them and spoke to them;
when Tremon walked outside, the defendant asked him if they
"were good"; Tremon did not reply; the defendant
reached in a downward direction and came up with a gun; he
"ducked" when he heard gunshots; he ran into the
garage to hide beside a parked car; he knew it was safe to
come out and look for Tremon when he saw the defendant flee
the scene; he and Quincy found Tremon on the side of the
house near the front yard; Stewart arrived and attempted to
drive Tremon to the hospital; and Stewart's car
"broke down" on Texas Street.
Joshua testified as follows: he was the boyfriend of Lisa
Jackson, who is the mother of Quincy and the grandmother of
Tremon; he was in the bathroom of the residence when he heard
gunshots; he ran to the back door of the house; when he
reached the door, Quincy and Alford were entering the house,
asking if he knew the whereabouts of Tremon; he, Quincy and
Alford ran outside and found Tremon in the front yard; Quincy
and Alford initially told him that "somebody"
walked up to them, asked for a cigar, and began shooting;
Alford was "acting strange" and was exhibiting an
"unusual" response to the shooting; and he did not
see the defendant in front of the house that night.
Stewart testified as follows: his mother lived down the
street from the scene of the shooting; he was leaving his
mother's house when he heard gunshots; he drove to the
Jacksons' house and saw that Tremon had been shot and was
not breathing; he rushed to drive Tremon to LSU Medical
Center; he bypassed Willis-Knighton Hospital because it did
not "handle" gunshot wounds; his car "broke
down" on Texas Street; Quincy called 911 and the
paramedics transported Tremon to the hospital; and Quincy and
Alford told him that "Detrick" shot Tremon.
John Madjerick, a crime scene investigator with the
Shreveport Police Department ("SPD"), testified as
follows: when he arrived at the hospital, he was informed
that Tremon was deceased; he collected the plaid shorts that
Tremon had been wearing at the time of the shooting; he also
collected a small "baggy" of suspected marijuana
that the medical staff had found in Tremon's sock; he
processed the scene of the shooting and took photographs; and
he collected five expended 9 millimeter casings from the
scene and a projectile that was found under the vehicle
parked in the garage.
William Moak, of the SPD, testified that he interviewed
Alford on the night of the shooting. According to Agent Moak,
Alford initially denied having any knowledge of the incident.
He also testified that Alford denied knowing the identity of
the shooter, and claimed that the shooter "came out of
nowhere" wearing a black hoodie. The agent further
testified that Alford eventually identified the defendant as
Logan McDonald testified that he interviewed Quincy and
Alford. He stated that he showed both men a
"confirmation photograph" of the defendant, and
they both positively identified the defendant as the person
who shot Tremon. Det. McDonald also testified that he
obtained a warrant for the defendant's arrest. He stated
that three days after the warrant was issued, the defendant
turned himself in accompanied by his attorney.
witnesses testified for the defense. Lamaria Cooper testified
that she was with Stewart the night Tremon was shot. She
stated that she heard gunshots but did not see the person who
was shooting. According to Cooper, she saw Alford running
down the street, but she did not see the defendant.
Bryant, the defendant's great-aunt, testified that she
learned that the defendant was wanted in connection with a
murder from watching a "story on the news." She
stated that she drove the defendant to the police station,
where he met with an attorney and turned himself over to law
evidence presented at the defendant's trial demonstrated
that approximately one month prior to the shooting, the
defendant committed a drive-by shooting from a stolen truck.
Tremon had been one of the victims of that drive-by shooting.
The police officers learned that the defendant was a
passenger in the stolen vehicle and that he had been dropped
off at the hospital after shooting himself in the hand while
committing the drive-by shooting. Blood evidence, which
contained the defendant's DNA, was discovered in the
backseat of the stolen vehicle.
conclusion of the trial, a jury found the defendant guilty of
manslaughter, a responsive verdict to the charged offense of
second degree murder. The trial court denied the
defendant's motions for new trial and post-verdict
judgment of acquittal. The defendant was adjudicated a
third-felony offender and was sentenced to 50 years'
imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of probation
or suspension of sentence.
defendant now appeals.
defendant contends the trial court erred in excusing for
cause one of the alternate jurors after the trial commenced.
He argues that there was no evidence to demonstrate that the
alternate juror was incompetent to serve. The defendant also
argues that the trial court failed to provide the attorneys
with the opportunity to question the excused alternate juror
to explore the basis for the dismissal. According to the
defendant, the proper remedy for the trial court's error
is to set aside his conviction.
jury has been selected and sworn, the accused has a right to
have his fate decided by the particular jurors selected to
try him. State v. Cass, 356 So.2d 396 (La. 1977);
State v. Traylor, 51, 901 (La.App. 2 Cir. 2/28/18),
246 So.3d 665, 669, writ denied, 2018-0493 (La.
2/11/19), 263 So.3d 893. If it is discovered after a juror
has been accepted and sworn, that he is incompetent to serve,
the court may, at any time before the first witness is sworn,
order the juror removed and the panel completed in the
ordinary course. La.C.Cr.P. art. 796.
trial court has the discretion to decide whether a juror has
become disqualified to perform his or her duties and, if so,
what action to take. State v. Fuller, 454 So.2d 119
(La. 1984); State v. Bass, 52, 014 (La.App. 2 Cir.
5/23/18), 248 So.3d 639, writ denied, 2018-0939 (La.
3/6/19), 266 So.3d 896. Absent a clear showing of abuse of
discretion, the trial court's ruling as to the