Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Barker

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

December 11, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
KEVIN BARKER

          ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 18-6405, DIVISION "B" HONORABLE CORNELIUS E. REGAN, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D. Connick, Jr. Terry M. Boudreaux Andrea F. Long Meredith Hearn.

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, KEVIN BARKER Davidson S. Ehle, III.

          Panel composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Jude G. Gravois, and Hans J. Liljeberg

          JUDE G. GRAVOIS, JUDGE.

         Defendant, Kevin Barker, appeals his conviction and sentence for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine weighing less than twenty-eight grams, following the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence. For the following reasons, we affirm defendant's conviction and sentence.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND FACTS

         On October 23, 2018, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney filed a bill of information charging defendant, Kevin Barker, with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine weighing less than twenty-eight grams, in violation of La. R.S. 40:967(A). Derrick Jones was charged as a co-defendant in the same bill of information. Defendant entered a plea in absentia of not guilty at his arraignment on November 19, 2018.[1] On that same date, defendant filed omnibus motions, including a motion to suppress evidence. On February 11, 2019, the trial court heard only defendant's motion to suppress evidence.[2] On February 19, 2019, the trial court denied the motion to suppress.

         On March 14, 2019, defendant withdrew his not guilty plea and pled guilty as charged pursuant to State v. Crosby, 338 So.2d 584 (La. 1976). After informing defendant of his Boykin[3] rights and accepting his Crosby plea, the trial court sentenced defendant to four years imprisonment at hard labor, suspended the sentence, and placed him on three years of active probation. On March 20, 2019, defendant filed a motion for an appeal, which was granted on March 21, 2019. Defendant's appeal follows where he challenges the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence.

         Because defendant pled guilty, the facts of his case were not fully developed at a trial. The bill of information provides that on or about October 4, 2018, defendant knowingly or intentionally possessed with intent to distribute methamphetamine weighing less than twenty-eight grams.

         At the February 11, 2019 suppression hearing, Detective Allan Doubleday with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office testified that on October 4, 2018, at approximately 11:00 a.m., he went to the Boomtown Casino located on Peters Road in Jefferson Parish after he received information that morning from a known confidential informant ("CI").[4] The CI provided that defendant would deliver "a quantity of methamphetamine and liquid methamphetamine" to the casino and that he would arrive at approximately 11:00 a.m. in an Uber accompanied by a black male. The CI did not know the name of the black male, but he or she provided screenshots of both individuals.[5]

         With this information and due to time constraints, Detective Doubleday went to the casino and established surveillance. As he waited for the suspects to arrive, Detective Doubleday was able to monitor their Uber on the Uber app, and the CI also sent Detective Doubleday a text message indicating that the suspects would be arriving at the casino soon. Detective Doubleday then observed defendant and the black male from the previously provided screenshots arrive in an Uber. Both defendant and the black male carried backpacks, and as predicted by the CI, walked to the lobby of the casino near the elevator "where the meet was supposed to happen." At that point, the suspects were detained and brought outside of the casino to the parking lot.[6] Based on the CI's information and his corroboration of that information, Detective Doubleday believed that defendant was about to commit a crime. Detective Doubleday Mirandized[7] both defendant and the black male, who was identified as Derrick Jones (the co-defendant).

         Detective Doubleday testified that Mr. Jones waived his Miranda rights and elected to speak with him while defendant remained silent. Mr. Jones proceeded to inform Detective Doubleday that he had arrived in Louisiana from Oklahoma a few weeks earlier and was living with defendant in an apartment. During that time, he learned that defendant was distributing methamphetamine from that location. He further provided that defendant had asked him that morning to travel with him to deliver a quantity of methamphetamine, and when they went to leave their apartment, defendant asked Mr. Jones to hold the methamphetamine while they traveled to the casino. Mr. Jones stated that he had placed the methamphetamine in a candy box inside of his backpack. Detective Doubleday testified that after Mr. Jones said that the methamphetamine was in a candy box inside of the backpack, the backpack was searched.[8] Detective Doubleday subsequently discovered a bag of crystal methamphetamine and also liquid methamphetamine.[9] Defendant did not have any contraband in his backpack or on his person.

         After Detective Doubleday's testimony concluded, defendant argued that there was not any corroboration of the information provided by the CI. He averred that defendant was arrested without any probable cause when he was stopped at the elevator in the casino lobby before any true corroboration of the tip occurred. He urged that the arrest was illegal and that the evidence seized thereafter should be suppressed. The State responded that the CI's specific information as to the drug deal provided Detective Doubleday with probable cause to arrest defendant and that Mr. Jones did not need to consent to a search of his backpack as the backpack was searched incident to Mr. Jones' arrest.

         The trial court took the matter under advisement. On February 19, 2019, the trial court denied the motion to suppress evidence, noting that it had listened to the testimony of Detective Doubleday. Defendant objected to the ruling, but stated no particular grounds for his objection.

         In his only assignment of error on appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence. Defendant argues that Detective Doubleday did not have reasonable suspicion to detain him, nor did he have probable cause to effectuate an arrest. More specifically, defendant argues that the tip provided by the CI did not establish reasonable suspicion to detain defendant, nor was there probable cause for his arrest. Defendant alleges that although some predicative information was correct, none of his behavior was suspicious, there was no corroborating behavior, and the CI's veracity and reliability are unknown. Defendant additionally argues that the searches of his and Mr. Jones' backpacks were illegal and therefore the evidence seized from Mr. Jones' backpack should be suppressed.

         The State responds that the trial court properly denied the motion to suppress evidence, as the suppression hearing testimony shows that the CI's tip accurately predicted defendant's future conduct in sufficient detail to justify an investigatory stop. The State avers that Detective Doubleday's reasonable suspicion ripened into probable cause to arrest upon a statement made by Mr. Jones. Lastly, the State asserts that the searches of the backpacks were lawfully conducted ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.