FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
CALCASIEU, NO. 13232-16 HONORABLE GUY E. BRADBERRY, JUDGE.
Katherine M. Franks Louisiana Appellate Project Counsel for
Defendant-Appellant: Stacy Tyrone Johnson, Jr.
F. DeRosier District Attorney Fourteenth Judicial District
Jacob Johnson Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth B.
Hollins Assistant District Attorney Counsel for Appellee:
State of Louisiana.
composed of Shannon J. Gremillion, Candyce G. Perret, and
Jonathan W. Perry, Judges.
JONATHAN W. PERRY JUDGE.
Stacy Tyrone Johnson, Jr., appeals his conviction for first
degree murder, a violation of La.R.S. 14:30. We affirm
Defendant's conviction and remand to the trial court for
Sunday afternoon, June 5, 2016, the Lake Charles City Police
were called to a reported car crash at the intersection of
Macy and Hodges Streets, involving Robert Colston ("Mr.
Colston"). T.Z. and J.L., two juvenile witnesses, told
the police that they observed the victim, Mr. Colston,
seventy-nine years of age, driving northbound on Bilbo Street
before turning eastbound on Macy Street. According to these
witnesses, they observed a black male juvenile acquaintance,
known to them as Stacy and later identified as Defendant,
prior to the accident traveling on a bicycle; he was cycling
westbound on Macy Street and then he was observed turning
southbound on Bilbo Street toward N. Railroad Avenue. Shortly
after Defendant left their sight, the juvenile witnesses
heard a single gunshot. T.Z. ran inside to wake her mother
and then called 9-1-1 to report the accident.
emergency medical personnel removed Mr. Colston from the
truck, it became apparent he had suffered a gunshot wound in
his upper back. About an hour later, Mr. Coltson died at the
hospital. When his personal belongings were inventoried, it
was discovered Mr. Colston had over $1, 300.00 in cash on his
police then transported the witnesses to the police station.
After looking at a laptop, the witnesses navigated the
internet, where they identified Defendant on a Facebook page.
The witnesses later confirmed that after the shooting on June
5, at approximately 5:57 p.m., Defendant contacted them via
cell phone, advising them to keep quiet and not to tell
anyone about him having been in the area. Defendant, whose
date of birth is January 11, 2000, was then arrested.
jury first indicted Defendant, who was sixteen years of age
at the time of this crime, with second degree murder.
Subsequently, the grand jury issued an amended indictment,
charging Defendant with first degree murder. On September 15,
2017, the State filed notice not to seek capital punishment;
rather, it sought life imprisonment at hard labor without the
possibility of parole pursuant to La.Code Crim.P. art. 878.1.
to trial, the State provided notice to use multiple videos-a
phone video taken about two days before the murder which
showed Defendant apparently rehearsing an armed robbery and
pretending to shoot someone, and videos from Facebook posted
several months prior to the charged offense, showing him
posing with firearms. After the trial court ruled the State
could not introduce this evidence as either "integral
act evidence" or "other crimes evidence," this
Court granted the State's writ application, in part, and
denied it in part, stating, in pertinent part:
With respect to the "fake shooting" videos, this
court finds the trial court abused its discretion in finding
the videos inadmissible where the State's theory of the
case offered at the hearing on September 19, 2017 is the
alleged first degree murder occurred during the commission of
an attempted armed robbery. It is, however, important to note
that this court is merely ruling on the preliminary
admissibility of this evidence. "[T]he admissibility of
this [integral act] evidence is always subject to change if
any of these relevant considerations change." State
v. Taylor, 16-1124, p. 19 (La. 12/1/16), 217 So.3d 283,
296. Should the trial court find during trial that evidence
of an attempted armed robbery is not at issue, the trial
court may exclude the "fake shooting" videos.
Although the State offered a theory that the murder occurred
during an attempted armed robbery during the September 19,
2017 hearing, it is impossible for this court to determine
the exact nature of the State's case from the bill of
indictment, which simply charges that Defendant
"committed First Degree Murder of Robert Colston, Sr.,
in violation of LSA R.S. 14:30." Additionally, while
Defendant has stated intent is not an issue, but rather
identity is the only issue for trial, this court recognizes
"Defendant is not bound by a pre-trial statement that
intent will not be contested." Taylor, 217
So.3d at 295. In the event Defendant presents evidence there
was an accidental shooting or an alternative scenario which
makes the videos relevant, the State may introduce the
"fake shooting" videos as rebuttal evidence.
With respect to the remaining videos, this court cannot say
the trial court abused its discretion in finding the
prejudicial effect outweighs the probative value to the
extent the videos should be deemed inadmissible as integral
act or other crimes evidence under La.Code Evid. arts. 403
[E]ven when the other crimes evidence is offered for a
purpose allowed under Article 404(B)(1), the evidence must
have substantial relevance independent from showing
defendant's general criminal character and thus is not
admissible unless it tends to prove a material fact at issue
or to rebut a defendant's defense.
Taylor, 217 So.3d at 292.
Accordingly, the trial court's ruling that the
"fake shooting" videos are inadmissible is
vacated. The State's writ is denied in all other
State v. Johnson, 17-851 (La.App. 3 Cir. 9/20/17)
after the trial court interpreted this court's pre-trial
writ ruling to mean all of the videos were admissible,
Defendant sought a writ, seeking clarification of this
Court's prior writ ruling. In this latter ruling, this
Court stated the fake shooting video was "admissible as
integral act evidence in the State's case-in-chief if the
State offered evidence that the first degree murder occurred
during the commission of an attempted armed robbery of the
victim" and could be admissible as rebuttal evidence if
relevant to a defense presented by Defendant; this Court
further stated, "the trial court did not abuse its
discretion in ruling the videos of the Defendant taken from
Facebook . . . were not admissible." State v.
Johnson, 17-859 (La.App. 3 Cir. 9/21/17) (unpublished
opinion). Ultimately, all of the videos would be admitted at
trial was held from September 18, 2017 through September 26,
2017. On September 20, 2017, Defendant moved to quash the
petit jury venire or, in the alternative, sought a subpoena
duces tecum and recess to conduct an inquiry into the jury
selection process. In his motion, Defendant voiced concern
that over 25% of the Calcasieu Parish residents were African
American, yet the first thirty-one jury veniremen called
included only two African American females and two African
American males. Finding no merit to Defendant's motions,
the trial court found Defendant failed to prove "fraud
has been practices [sic], or some great wrong committed that
would work irreparable injury to this defendant" under
La.Code Crim.P. art. 419.
unanimous jury convicted Defendant of first degree murder. On
March 14, 2018, the trial court sentenced Defendant as
I understand in this case the gravity in considering what was
set forth in Miller [v. Alabama, 567 U.S.
460, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012)] and Montgomery [v.
Louisiana, __U.S.__, 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016)], and consider
it -and the Court did consider Blakely v.
Washington, [545 U.S. 296');">545 U.S. 296, 124 S.Ct. 2531 (2004)] and
did consider its progeny in determining the extent to which a
juvenile offender would be subject under R.S. 14:30. And
that's mandatory life without imprisonment - without
benefit of parole or probation.
This Court can only conclude - Mr. Stacy Tyrone Johnson,
would you please stand? This Court can only conclude that
after the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken and the Louisiana
legislature has adopted, although clearly without much
guidance, that the mandate set forth in Miller vs
Alabama, Montgomery vs Louisiana, and Blakely vs
Washington, that as a result of this sentence
-considering the sentencing range without an investigation
that life imprisonment with the benefit of parole or
probation after 25 years is warranted. As a result, this
Court is going to rule the same.
now appeals his conviction and sentence, arguing two
assignments of error. First, the trial court erred in denying
his motion to quash the jury venire or alternatively to issue
subpoenas duces tecum. Secondly, the trial court erred in
admitting the evidence discussed in the two emergency writs
sought during trial without the State presenting a theory of
murder during an attempted armed robbery.
accordance with La.Code Crim.P. art. 920, we review all
appeals for errors patent on the face of the record. We find
the trial court's statement that it was going to
"rule the same" was ...