Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 355, 791 Honorable
Katherine Clark Dorroh, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Paula Corley Marx Counsel for
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
RICHARD S. FEINBERG JASON W. WALTMAN NANCY F.
BERGER-SCHNEIDER Assistant District Attorneys
WILLIAMS, COX, and STEPHENS, JJ.
criminal appeal arises from the First Judicial District
Court, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. The defendant, Craig Miller,
was found guilty of simple burglary following a jury trial
and was sentenced to eight years at hard labor. This out of
time appeal followed. For the following reasons, Miller's
conviction and sentence are affirmed.
March 19, 2018, Miller was charged by bill of information
with the simple burglary of 905 Francais Drive, Shreveport,
Louisiana, in violation of La. R.S. 14:62. The offense was
committed on February 18, 2018. In December 2018, a jury
trial was held, and the following evidence was adduced.
Cody Hyde, a patrol officer with the Shreveport Police
Department ("SPD"), testified he was working patrol
alone on February 18, 2018, when he received a dispatch call
at approximately 11:00 p.m. regarding a suspicious person or
possible burglary occurring at a business located at 905
Francais Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana. That business was
identified as being the office of Royal Contractors. Officer
Hyde testified he had been given the description of the
suspect's vehicle as a maroon Pontiac. As related by Ofc.
Hyde, while traveling southbound down Kingston Road en route
to 905 Francais Drive, he observed a late model maroon
vehicle he believed to be a Pontiac pull out of the parking
lot of 905 Francais Drive. The vehicle passed him traveling
northbound on Kingston. Officer Hyde further observed that
the vehicle was "loaded down with toolboxes and [had]
metal sticking out of the trunk with the trunk open."
Hyde described observing a "lifted" Ford truck
behind the maroon vehicle. He testified he turned behind the
maroon vehicle and engaged his audio and visual signals to
effect a traffic stop on the vehicle, which came to a stop.
Officer Hyde exited his patrol car, and the passenger exited
the vehicle a few seconds later. At trial, Ofc. Hyde
identified Miller as the passenger in the vehicle. According
to Ofc. Hyde, Miller immediately began talking about the
various items inside the car and said that the man in the
lifted truck was following them. Officer Hyde testified that
he had the driver exit the vehicle, and he identified the
driver as Michael Smith.
motor vehicle surveillance video from Ofc. Hyde's vehicle
was entered into evidence, and it depicted what Ofc. Hyde
described in his testimony regarding the stop of the maroon
vehicle. On the video, the two suspects stated, "It was
all in the dumpster." Officer Hyde testified he placed
Miller in the back of his patrol car, and another officer
went to retrieve Drew Ratley, the owner of Royal Contractors.
Officer Hyde recounted Ratley had witnessed Miller and
Smith's activities at the business.
Hyde testified that he had Ratley identify the items in the
trunk of the maroon vehicle. The items Ratley identified as
belonging to him or his employees were three toolboxes, a
DeWalt tool bag with an air gauge, rolls of painter plastic,
multiple water jugs, scrap metal wire, and a bag of tools.
Ratley also identified additional stolen items on the video.
On the video, Ratley stated all of the items had been located
inside the business except the scrap wire and metal and
several of the stolen items belonged to his employees.
Officer Hyde then advised Miller and Smith of their
Miranda rights and placed them under arrest.
Hyde testified that Ratley produced personal identification
and his truck was dark blue with a "Royal
Contractors" vinyl decal wrapping the entirety of the
truck. According to Ofc. Hyde, officers did not attempt to
get fingerprints or DNA from the Royal Contractors building.
At the scene, Ratley informed Ofc. Hyde there was no video
surveillance at the business. Officer Hyde testified that he
did not speak with Ratley's employees to determine if the
tools were theirs, and he noted the toolboxes and tool bags
did not have any identifying markings on them. Officer Hyde
noted he ...