APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 15-3758, DIVISION
"J" HONORABLE STEPHEN C. GREFER, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D.
Connick, Jr., Terry M. Boudreaux, Gail D. Schlosser, Matthew
R. Clauss Laura S. Schneidau
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, JACOBIE A. GREEN AKA
"COBIE" Meghan H. Bitoun
composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Marc E.
Johnson, and Robert A. Chaisson
A. CHAISSON JUDGE.
Jacobie A. Green a/k/a "Cobie," appeals his
convictions and sentences for two counts of second degree
murder and one count of attempted second degree murder. On
appeal, defendant contends that the trial court erred in
admitting his statement at trial, in denying his motion to
quash the indictment, in admitting speculative photographs,
and in including the State's requested jury charge.
Finding no merit to these arguments, we affirm
defendant's convictions and sentences.
was charged, by grand jury indictment, with the second degree
murders of Johnell Ovide a/k/a "Ruga" (count one)
and Trammel Marshall (count two), in violation of La. R.S.
14:30.1, and the attempted second degree murder of Blake
Lamb, in violation of La. R.S. 14:27 and La. R.S. 14:30.1
(count three). Defendant pled not guilty at his
arraignment. Following the resolution of some pre-trial
motions, the matter proceeded to trial before a twelve-person
jury on July 31, 2018. At the conclusion of the trial on
August 3, 2018, the jury unanimously found defendant guilty
September 12, 2018, following the denial of defendant's
motion for new trial, the trial court sentenced defendant to
life imprisonment on counts one and two and fifty years
imprisonment on count three, all without benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence, to run consecutively.
Defendant now appeals.
case involves a double homicide and an attempted homicide
that occurred on June 21, 2015, on the westbank of Jefferson
Parish. On that date, defendant, Dartanya Spottsville, and
Johnell Walker went to Reginald Henry's apartment where
they shot and killed Trammell Marshall and Johnell Ovide and
attempted to kill Blake Lamb.
trial, Reginald Henry testified about the circumstances
surrounding part of the shooting incident. According to Mr.
Henry, on June 21, 2015, he, his cousins - Johnell Ovide and
Trammell Marshall - and his friend, Blake Lamb, were at his
apartment located at 1617 Apache Drive in Harvey. At
approximately 10:00 p.m., as Mr. Henry was in his bedroom
getting ready to go to a party, he heard a knock at the door.
Mr. Henry came out of his bedroom, and Mr. Marshall opened
the door. Standing there were Jacobie Green (defendant),
Dartanya Spottsville (a/k/a "Lo"), and Johnell
Walker (a/k/a "Shadow"), whom Mr. Henry
three wanted to know the location of the party and were
allowed to enter Mr. Henry's apartment, at which point
Mr. Lamb placed a gun on top of a stool. Mr. Spottsville
reached for the gun. At that same time, Mr. Lamb also reached
for it saying, "nah, … they got one in the
head." Mr. Henry, who was walking toward his
bedroom, stopped and told Mr. Spottsville not to touch the
gun. According to Mr. Henry, Mr. Spottsville picked up the
gun, pointed it toward Mr. Ovide, and shot once, and then
pointed it toward Mr. Lamb and shot him. In an attempt to
save his life, Mr. Henry ran to his bedroom, "hit the
bed" and "went straight through the window."
escaped, Mr. Henry heard more gunshots and "ow's
from the shots, like it was hitting somebody." During
his testimony, when asked about the number of gunshots he
heard, Mr. Henry described that it "sounded like
warfare." Once Mr. Henry got outside, he ran through the
open gate of the apartment complex, asked someone to call the
police, and then sat down on the side of the stairwell until
the police arrived.
Lamb also testified at trial regarding the circumstances
surrounding the shooting. According to Mr. Lamb, on June 21,
2015, at approximately 10:00 p.m., he, Mr. Marshall, Mr.
Ovide, and Mr. Henry were at Mr. Henry's apartment where
they were making plans to go to a daiquiri shop. While they
were smoking marijuana and playing on their phones, there was
a knock at the door. Someone opened the door, and defendant,
Mr. Spottsville, and Mr. Walker were allowed inside.
Lamb described that Mr. Ovide had a gun sitting on his lap
and gave it to Mr. Spottsville when he asked for it. After
playing with the gun for a little while, Mr. Spottsville gave
it back to Mr. Ovide. Mr. Spottsville then asked Mr. Lamb for
his gun. Although Mr. Lamb let Mr. Spottsville take it, Mr.
Lamb told Mr. Spottsville to give him back his gun as he had
"one in the head." Mr. Spottsville then pointed the
gun at Mr. Ovide and fired it. Next, Mr. Spottsville pointed
the gun at Mr. Lamb and shot him in the shoulder. Mr. Lamb
asserted that when Mr. Spottsville started shooting,
defendant and Mr. Walker also started shooting, and Mr.
Walker shot at him.
Lamb recalled that when the shooting started, Mr. Marshall
"dove" into the kitchen and Mr. Henry ran to his
bedroom. Mr. Spottsville went out the front door followed by
Mr. Ovide. Defendant and Mr. Walker went into the kitchen,
stood over Mr. Marshall, and started shooting Mr. Marshall.
While Mr. Lamb was sitting on the floor, he heard a lot of
screaming and gunshots and asked defendant what he was doing.
According to Mr. Lamb, defendant came up to him, put the gun
to his face, told him to "shut the f*ck up," and
shot him in his mouth. Defendant and Mr. Walker subsequently
ran out of the apartment. Mr. Marshall, who was crying, got
up from the kitchen and walked out the front door. Mr. Lamb
walked in Mr. Henry's bedroom but did not see anyone in
there, at which point he walked back to the front room and
slid down the front door, thinking he was about to die.
Christian Dabdoub of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's
Office was the first officer to respond to the scene of the
shooting. Upon his arrival, Deputy Dabdoub saw three victims,
who were later identified as Mr. Marshall, Mr. Ovide, and Mr.
Lamb. Deputy Dabdoub described that Mr. Marshall was lying on
the grass, writhing in pain, and covered in blood,
that Mr. Ovide was lying still on the ground and did not
appear to be breathing,  and that Mr. Lamb was sitting upright
and leaning against the doorframe of the apartment bleeding
heavily from his face and neck. Deputy Dabdoub noticed that
the window to one of the rooms was broken and that the blinds
and curtains were hanging outside. Further, he noted that the
front door was open revealing the "chaos" inside,
which included furniture moved "all over the
place," bullet casings on the floor, and blood
everywhere. Deputy Dabdoub spoke to Mr. Lamb, who had been
shot in the face, and asked him who had done this, and Mr.
Lamb replied, "Cobie from Betty Street." Deputy
Dabdoub then asked Mr. Marshall who had done this to him, and
he said, "Cobie from the Marrero
his testimony, Deputy Dabdoub also relayed his interaction
with Mr. Henry at the scene of the shooting. He noted that
Mr. Henry was hiding behind a vehicle across the street, that
he was crying, terrified, distraught, and shaking, and that
he had blood on his arms. Deputy Dabdoub testified that Mr.
Henry described the three men that came to the apartment that
night, that Mr. Henry identified one suspect as defendant and
a second suspect by the nickname "Shadow," and also
identified the 1900 block of Betty Street as the possible
location of the suspects.
Henry was eventually brought to the detective bureau, at
which time he was interviewed by Detective Jean Lincoln of
the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office. Based on the
preliminary information given by Mr. Henry, Detective Lincoln
prepared photographic lineups of defendant and Mr. Walker.
Mr. Henry positively identified these two individuals as
being present at the time of the shootings. Mr. Henry also
showed Detective Lincoln the addresses for those three
individuals who were inside his apartment at the time of the
murders. With Mr. Henry's assistance, Detective Lincoln
identified 1909 Betty Street as defendant's residence and
learned that the residence next door, 1911 Betty Street, was
associated with the third perpetrator, later learned to be
Mr. Spottsville. Detective Lincoln also learned that 1477
Lincoln Avenue was the address associated with Mr. Walker.
They went back to the bureau, at which point Mr. Henry
positively identified Mr. Spottsville as the third
on the information learned through her investigation,
Detective Lincoln prepared a search warrant for Mr.
Spottsville's address, but no items were collected from
there. While there, the officers saw Denise Buras,
defendant's mother, outside of 1909 Betty Street. Ms.
Buras said that she was a resident of that address and gave
her consent to search it.
the search, the officers identified a bedroom belonging to
defendant.In that bedroom, Detective Lincoln and
other officers observed two shooting targets with holes in
them hanging on the wall. The officers also located and
retrieved a Glock .40 caliber magazine, a box of Blazer .40
caliber ammunition, an empty box for a Glock model 22
handgun, and an empty box for a Glock model 23 handgun. The
officers also found, in one of the Glock boxes, a receipt
dated June 15, 2015, for a Glock model 23 handgun with a
customer name of "J. Green" on it. They also found
inside the other Glock box a receipt dated February 5, 2015,
with "J. Green" on it for a Glock model 22 .40
caliber handgun. Detective Lincoln asserted that .40 caliber
casings were recovered from the crime scene and that no
Glock handguns, boxes, or .40 caliber ammunition were located
in Mr. Spottsville's bedroom.
approximately 10:00 a.m. on June 23, 2015, defendant appeared
at the front desk of the detective bureau and initially spoke
to Detective Gabriel Faucetta to attempt to provide an
explanation about the whereabouts of the firearms from the
empty Glock boxes that were collected from his bedroom. When
Detective Lincoln joined them approximately ten minutes
later, defendant indicated that he did not have possession of
either of those weapons and had lost possession of at least
one of the guns several days before the shootings in the
instant case, which was several days after he bought it.
Defendant claimed that he was sitting outside his residence
with a weapon in his lap when a stranger walked up and asked
to see it. He further claimed that he let the stranger see
it, after which the stranger allegedly pointed the weapon at
him and then ran away with it.
Lincoln noted suspicious similarities between that story and
Mr. Henry's statement as to how the shootings first
began. Detective Lincoln testified that defendant initially
told them he was not at the apartment that evening and that
he was with Archie Hulbert, who could corroborate his alibi.
She further testified that when she asked defendant about his
whereabouts during the shootings, he lost eye contact,
distanced himself from looking at her, became nervous, and
started sweating. As Detective Lincoln believed defendant was
withholding information, she moved him to an interview room
to videotape his statement. She read defendant his rights,
and defendant waived them.
statement,  defendant denied being at the scene of
the shootings for many hours. At some point, he admitted
being present at the scene at the time of the shootings but
insisted he did not have a gun. Later on, he admitted that he
had a gun and that he shot it three or four times during the
incident. He claimed that his head was turned while he was
shooting, and therefore, he did not know who or what he was
trial, there was also testimony from some expert witnesses.
Detective Solomon Burke, who worked for the Jefferson Parish
Sheriff's Office digital crimes unit, testified as an
expert in the field of mobile device forensics. Detective
Burke relayed to the jury that he examined six mobile devices
in connection with the instant case and was able to extract
data from defendant's cell phone. He identified three
images that were extracted from that device (which are the
subject of defendant's argument in Assignment of Error
Number Three and will be discussed therein). Detective Burke
also testified that in February of 2015, there were web
searches for Glock products and a Google search for a thirty
round magazine for a Glock 22 on defendant's phone.
Tran, who was employed by the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs
Office as a firearm examiner, testified as an expert in the
field of firearm ballistic identification and analysis. Ms.
Tran asserted that specimens/casings 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11,
and 23 recovered from the crime scene were consistent with
having been fired by the same Glock firearm. Further, she
stated that specimens/casings 9, 22, and 48 recovered from
the crime scene were fired in a different weapon, noting that
those specimens had teardrop firing pin impressions which
were unique to the Smith and Wesson pistol, mainly the
M&P model. Ms. Tran indicated that specimens 12, 24, 38,
and 49 recovered from the crime scene were projectiles with
polygonal rifling, which was one of the features of a Glock
pistol. She also testified that specimen 38, which caused Mr.
Ovide's fatal wound, was consistent with having been
fired "in" a Glock firearm and that specimen 49, a
projectile removed from Mr. Lamb's jaw, was consistent
with having been fired "in" a Glock firearm. Ms.
Tran testified that specimen 46 was a projectile recovered
from Mr. Marshall's chest and that specimen had ballistic
similarities with specimen 48 that were consistent with a
Smith and Wesson firearm.
OF MOTION TO SUPPRESS STATEMENT (Assignment of Error Number
first assigned error, defendant challenges the trial
court's denial of his motion to suppress statement. He
maintains that his statement was not given pursuant to a
valid waiver of rights and was not freely and voluntarily
to trial, defendant filed a motion to suppress statement on
the basis that it was illegally and unlawfully obtained. In
his memorandum in support thereof, defendant maintained that
his statement was not freely and voluntarily given based on
the length of the interrogation, the coercive tactics
employed by the detectives, and the failure to re-advise him
of his Miranda rights once the interview turned into
a custodial interrogation.
suppression hearing, Detective Faucetta testified that on
June 23, 2015, defendant voluntarily came to the detective
bureau and informed the receptionist that he wanted to speak
to someone in the homicide section. Detective Faucetta walked
to the front desk reception area and proceeded with defendant
to his office. Defendant advised Detective Faucetta that
during a search of his residence, a box for a pistol had been
collected and that the gun that belonged in the box had been
stolen from him. However, defendant claimed he had not
reported the gun as stolen and gave a vague story about the
circumstances under which the gun had been taken. According
to Detective Faucetta, during this initial voluntary