Appeal from the 17th Judicial District Court,
Parish of Lafourche, State of Louisiana Trial Court No.
574960 The Honorable F. Hugh Larose, Judge Presiding
Kristine Russell District Attorney Joseph S. Soignet
Assistant District Attorney Thibodaux, Louisiana Attorneys
for the State of Louisiana
T. Vo Clark Mandeville, Louisiana Attorney for
Defendant/Appellant, Cody C. Dantin
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., GUIDRY AND CRAIN,  JJ.
defendant, Cody Dantin, was convicted of possession of a
firearm by a person convicted of certain felonies (count
one), and armed robbery with a firearm (count two).
See La. R.S. 14:95.1, 14:64, and 14:64.3. On count
one, the trial court sentenced the defendant to twenty years
imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of probation,
parole, or suspension of sentence. On count two, the trial
court sentenced the defendant to ninety-nine years
imprisonment at hard labor, plus an additional five years at
hard labor pursuant to the enhancement provision of Louisiana
Revised Statute 14:64.3, all to be served without the benefit
of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. The sentences
were to be served consecutively. We affirm the convictions,
amend the sentence on count one and affirm as amended, and
affirm the sentence on count two.
March 8, 2018, Amber Scott, the mother of the defendant's
children, used a cell phone to access her Facebook account
and received a message from Ryan Kraemer, the victim.
According to Amber, she replied to the message, then the
defendant took the cell phone and began messaging Ryan while
posing as Amber. Ryan was asked to pick up Amber at a given
address to give her a ride. When Ryan arrived, Amber opened
the door and let him into the residence, then left him in the
living room while she tended to her dog. Two men with
their faces covered entered the living room armed with a gun
and a bat and began beating and threatening to kill Ryan.
identified the defendant as the man armed with the gun. Ryan
testified the defendant removed his mask during the incident,
allowing Ryan to see his face. Ryan explained he and the
defendant knew each other, having served time together at a
detention center. The defendant's friend, Preston Law,
testified at trial and admitted he participated in the attack
and the defendant was armed with a gun.
defendant held the gun to Ryan's head and demanded Ryan
give him money. Ryan removed his wallet from his back pocket
and threw it on the floor. Ryan testified the men continued
beating and threatening to kill him, pressing the barrel of
the gun against his head. Ryan stated he felt the trigger
being pulled and heard the gun click two or three times, but
it failed to fire. Preston explained the defendant
"obviously" did not know how to operate the
gun's safety lock feature, which prevented the defendant
from shooting Ryan.
defendant then began fighting to remove Ryan's new tennis
shoes, resulting in Ryan's shoes and pants coming off.
Ryan was finally able to escape to his truck, wearing only
his sweatshirt. The defendant followed him to his truck,
still pointing the gun at him and pulling the trigger. While
Ryan was looking for the keys he left in the truck console,
the defendant reached into the truck, attempting to remove a
speaker box located under the back seat. Ryan was able to
start his truck and leave the residence, driving into the
front porch in the process. Ryan drove to a nearby
convenience store where he put on some work pants he kept in
his truck and asked someone to call the police because the
defendant, who he identified by name, and another guy just
robbed him. Ryan eventually went to the hospital and was
treated for his injuries, which included a broken jaw.
ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL
assignment of error number one, the defendant argues the
trial court erred in denying his motion for new trial in
which he claimed he was denied a fair trial due to
ineffective assistance of counsel. The defendant argues his
defense counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the
admission of (1) hearsay testimony, (2) other crimes
evidence, and (3) the firearm. The defendant further contends
his defense counsel was ineffective in failing to (1) call a
witness to present forensic testimony, (2) file a motion for
the release of the victim's medical records, (3) impeach
Preston, and (4) prepare and advise the
defendant is entitled to effective assistance of counsel
under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution
and Article I, § 13 of the Louisiana Constitution. A
claim of ineffective assistance of counsel is analyzed under
the two-part test of Strickland v. Washington, 466
U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984); State v.
Fuller, 454 So.2d 119, 125 n.9 (La. 1984). The defendant
must show (1) his attorney's performance was deficient,
and (2) the deficiency prejudiced him. Strickland,
466 U.S. at 687, 694, 104 S.Ct. at 2064. Counsel's
performance is deficient when it can be shown that he made
errors so serious that he was not functioning as the
"counsel" guaranteed to the defendant by the Sixth
Amendment. Strickland, 466 U.S. at 687, 104 S.Ct. at
2064. To show prejudice, the defendant must demonstrate that
but for the counsel's unprofessional errors, there is a
reasonable probability the outcome of the trial would have
been different. Strickland, 466 U.S. at 694, 104
S.Ct. at 2068. It is unnecessary to address the issues of
both counsel's performance and prejudice to the defendant
if the defendant makes an inadequate showing on one of the
components. State v. Mills, 13-0573 (La.App. 1 Cir.
8/27/14), 153 So.3d 481, 497, writs denied, 14-2027
(La. 5/22/15), 170 So.3d 982 and 14-2269 (La.
9/18/15), 178 So.3d 139.
of ineffective assistance of counsel is generally relegated
to postconviction relief, unless the record permits
definitive resolution on appeal. State v. Bright,
98-0398 (La. 4/11/00), 776 So.2d 1134, 1157. Decisions
relating to investigation, preparation, and strategy cannot
possibly be reviewed on appeal. State v. Robinson,
18-1005 (La.App. 1 Cir. 4/10/19), 275 So.3d 938, 946. The
defendant's allegations of ineffective assistance of
counsel with respect to the admission of the firearm, failing
to obtain the victim's medical records or a forensic
witness, and failing to advise and prepare the defendant for
trial cannot be sufficiently investigated from an inspection
of the record alone. Accordingly, these allegations are more
properly reserved for an application for post-conviction
relief, subject to the requirements of Louisiana Code of
Criminal Procedure articles 924 through 930.9. However, the
record is adequate to resolve the remaining allegations.