Appeal from the 21 st Judicial District Court In and for the
Parish of Livingston State of Louisiana Trial Court No. 36170
M. Perrilloux District Attorney Patricia Amos Assistant
District Attorney Amite, Louisiana Attorneys for Appellee,
State of Louisiana
Gwendolyn K. Brown Baton Rouge, Louisiana Attorney for
Defendant/Appellant, Ollie Montrell Selders, Jr.
BEFORE: HIGGINBOTHAM, PENZATO, AND LANIER, J J.
defendant, Ollie Montrell Selders, Jr., was charged by grand
jury indictment with second degree murder, a violation of La.
R.S. 14:30.1 (count I); and obstruction of justice, a
violation of La. R.S. 14:130.1 (count II). He pled not guilty
on both counts. He filed a pre-trial motion in limine, which
was denied. Following a jury trial, he was found guilty as
charged on both counts. He moved for a post-verdict judgment
of acquittal, but the motion was denied. On count I, he was
sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit
of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. On count II,
he was sentenced to two years imprisonment at hard labor to
run concurrently with the sentence imposed on count I. He now
appeals, challenging the denial of his motion to present
impeachment evidence at trial and the rulings on the motion
in limine and for a post-verdict judgment of acquittal. For
the following reasons, we affirm the convictions and
27, 2017, the defendant called 911 and asked for an ambulance
because the victim, Letisha Rheams, his "old lady,"
had a hole in her back. Livingston Parish Sheriff's
Office deputies arrived at the defendant's trailer in
Livingston Parish. There was a pool of blood by the stove in
the kitchen, which was smeared out to the front porch in a
dragging pattern. There was blood splatter on the wall by
the stove. There was a suitcase in the kitchen by the washing
machine. A 20-gauge shotgun shell casing was on top of a pile
of clothes next to the washing machine. Three additional
20-gauge shotgun shell casings were in the area of the master
bedroom. A fifth 20-gauge shotgun shell casing was on the
ground by the steps to the rear door. There were three holes
in the wall of the master bedroom caused by shotgun blasts
that exited the exterior of the trailer, and two cell phones
on the ground outside the master bedroom window. There was no
rust or weather damage around the holes in the bedroom wall.
The defendant told the police at the scene that he had put
the shotgun in the woods. The shotgun was recovered from an
area of tall grass approximately forty-five feet from the
rear of the trailer. The defendant speculated that the victim
may have accidentally shot herself after "grabbing"
the shotgun while dragging a clothes basket.
July 6, 2017 videotaped interview concerning the incident,
the defendant claimed the victim was alive and uninjured when
he left to meet his mother and run some errands for about
forty-five minutes on the day of the incident. A friend,
Jerry Addison, picked up the defendant and drove him back to
the defendant's trailer after completing the errands. The
defendant stated he opened the door of his trailer and
immediately saw smoke from the toaster. He indicated he found
the victim on the floor, thought she may have had a seizure,
and was unable to revive her. He claimed he only discovered
the victim had been shot when the 911 operator asked him to
look at the victim's body to see if he could tell what
was wrong with her. According to the defendant, his shotgun
was on the floor pointing straight at the victim. The
defendant claimed he took the weapon outside to keep it away
from his children or anyone else that came into the trailer.
The defendant speculated the victim had been accidentally
shot after propping the shotgun on a wire used to secure the
back door and turning her back on the weapon. He stated there
was no trigger guard on the shotgun and "it is easy,
too, too easy for an accident to happen." The defendant
also indicated he was aware the victim had been "messing
with" Eric Charles for about four months. He claimed,
however, he was not bothered by the affair.
testified at trial that he had known the defendant since they
were "kids in school." Addison denied shooting the
victim. According to Addison, on June 27, 2017, the defendant
called and asked him for a ride to pick up a pack of
cigarettes. Addison had taken Percocet and Xanax that morning
before going to a doctor's appointment, and picked up the
defendant between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. from the
defendant's parents' house. The defendant's
parents' house was located at the front of Selders Lane
while the defendant's home was located at the back of
drove the defendant to meet his mother, to Dollar General, to
a double-wide trailer, and then back to the defendant's
trailer. The defendant got out of Addison's vehicle and
started walking toward his trailer while Addison stayed in
the vehicle listening to loud music. After the defendant had
walked approximately twenty to twenty-five feet to his front
door, Addison exited his vehicle to urinate by the right side
of the trailer. According to Addison, as he was walking back
to his vehicle, he heard the defendant shouting, "Tish,
what did you do," "what have you done," and
"Jerry, help me." Addison turned to look at the
trailer and saw smoke coming from it. He walked into the
trailer and saw the victim laying on the floor and the
defendant trying to pick her up. He helped the defendant move
the victim out to the front porch. Addison indicated the
defendant was on the phone "with 911" and gave his
shirt to Addison to put pressure on the victim's wound.
Jimmie Smith, forensic pathologist at the East Baton Rouge
Coroner's Office, conducted an autopsy of the victim. Dr.
Smith concluded the victim died as a result of a shotgun
wound to her back, which perforated her spleen, left lung,
and heart. She died less than ten minutes after being shot.
Based upon the autopsy, Dr. Smith estimated that the victim
was two to three feet from the muzzle of the shotgun when she
was struck in the left lower back.
Swearinger of the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory was
accepted as an expert in the field of firearms and ballistics
analysis. She examined the shotgun recovered from the scene
of the incident. The weapon was a "break action,"
"hinge action," or "crack barrel"
shotgun, meaning one shotgun shell could be placed in the
barrel at a time. The weapon could then be closed, the hammer
cocked back, and the trigger pulled to fire the shotgun. The
weapon could not be fired unless the hammer was pulled back.
Swearinger intentionally attempted to cause an accidental
firing of the weapon, but was unsuccessful. The weapon did
not have a "trigger guard," but Swearinger
testified the hammer served as a "safety" and