Appealed from the 32" d Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of Terrebonne State of Louisiana Case No.
735365 The Honorable Juan W. Pickett, Judge Presiding
L. Waitz, Jr. District Attorney Ellen Daigle Doskey Assistant
District Attorney Houma, Louisiana Counsel for Appellee State
M. Hillman Covington, Louisiana Counsel for
Defendant/Appellant Walter Rosario-Colon
BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, PENZATO AND LANIER, JJ.
defendant, Walter Rosario-Colon, was charged by grand jury
indictment with second degree murder, a violation of La. R.S.
14:30.1. He pled not guilty. Following a jury trial, he was
found guilty as charged by unanimous verdict. He moved for a
post-verdict judgment of acquittal and a new trial, but the
motions were denied. He was sentenced to life imprisonment at
hard labor without the benefit of parole, probation, or
suspension of sentence. He now appeals, contending the
evidence was insufficient to support the verdict. For the
following reasons, we affirm the conviction and sentence.
September 18, 2016, the defendant struck the victim, Antonio
Aguado, with a pool cue/pool stick at Los Amigos, a bar in
Houma. The pool cue entered the victim's skull and brain.
Dr. Charles Joseph Ledoux, deputy coroner for Terrebonne
Parish, performed the autopsy of the victim. Dr. Ledoux
listed the victim's cause of death as severe open head
injury, depressed skull fracture, and destruction of cerebral
time of his death, the victim was thirty-three years old,
5' 10" tall, and weighed 220 lbs. Dr. Ledoux
indicated the victim had a 3 cm. (approximately 1.25 inch)
"circular defect, " above and behind his left ear
extending three or four inches into the intracranial cavity.
Dr. Ledoux opined that the injury was consistent with being
stabbed with a pool cue, adding that the victim's brain
"kind of fell apart from the trauma." Dr. Ledoux
did not find any evidence of injury consistent with being
struck by a pool cue on the side of the victim's head.
Ledoux testified that at the time of this incident, the
victim had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.237 milligrams
per deciliter. He indicated that this was not a lethal level,
but would have resulted in impaired judgment, reduced
alertness, and impaired muscular coordination.
Ledoux agreed with the defense hypothetical that multiple
blows to or dropping of the victim's head after the pool
cue strike could have increased his chance of death, but only
"if ... accompanied by brain damage." Dr. Ledoux
also agreed, however, that if the victim's head had been
pounded on the ground sufficient to cause additional brain
damage, he would have suffered additional external injuries
to his head. Dr. Ledoux found no additional external injuries
to the victim's head.
trial court permitted Steven Gregory Lee to give general
information on behalf of the defendant in the field of
pathophysiology-the study of what happens to cells and
tissues in disease states or secondary to trauma. After
reviewing the victim's autopsy, Lee indicated the
victim's brain was injured on the border of the parietal
and temporal areas. Lee testified the parietal lobe is
responsible for understanding language, behavior, memory, and
hearing, but does not control any "life critical
features." Lee indicated the victim's brainstem,
however, appeared normal, noting that the brainstem controls
breathing, blood pressure, heart beat, and swallowing. Dr.
Ledoux explained that the "[b]rainstem is roughly
speaking, where the brain goes into the spinal cord, at the
base of the skull."
also testified that "predictable behavior" for
someone with the victim's blood alcohol level of 0.237
would include judgment impairment, loss of balance, anger,
possibly combativeness, lack of inhibition, and poor decision
making. He also indicated, however, that alcohol affects
people differently, and that drowsiness was also a general
characteristic at the victim's blood alcohol level.
Joseph Jurado was working as a DJ at the bar on the night of
the incident. He exited the DJ booth when the defendant was
screaming loudly at the victim. Jurado did not see the victim
"swing at, or provoke" the defendant. According to
Jurado, "[the victim] started to laugh and turned around
to head towards the entrance door. [The defendant] raised the
pool [cue] and he stuck it in his head. ... The cue-tip broke
in half. It fell on the floor. The sticker [sic] part fell on
the floor. The skinny part was inside his head."
Laria Mendez and his girlfriend, Anna Seguna, were with the
victim at Los Amigos on the night of the incident. When they
arrived at the bar, they sat at a table with Katherine
Batista, the defendant's girlfriend, and bought a bucket
of six beers. Mendez only heard the victim say
"cheers" to Batista. He saw the defendant leave the
pool table, talk to the victim at the table, and then return
to the pool table. He denied the victim confronted the
defendant, stating, "do we have a problem here?"
Mendez indicated when they were about to leave, Nicia
Fernandez, the owner of Los Amigos, came to the table, asked
if everything was okay, and they answered affirmatively. He
denied that the victim hit or pushed Fernandez, as the
defendant claimed. Thereafter, the victim went to the
defendant to say goodbye. Mendez stated the defendant did not
want to say goodbye to the victim and hit the victim with the
pool cue "from behind." He claimed the defendant
hit the victim with the small end of the pool cue, and the