Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 346, 592 Honorable
Ramona Emanuel, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Douglas Lee Harville Counsel
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
K. WILLIAMS CHARLES K. PARR Assistant District Attorneys
MOORE, PITMAN, and STEPHENS, JJ.
defendant, Dana Combs, was charged by bill of information
with attempted second degree murder and possession of a
firearm or carrying a concealed weapon by a convicted felon,
having previously been convicted of simple robbery. After the
preliminary examination where the court found no probable
cause for the attempted second degree murder charge, the
state amended the bill of information to charge only
possession of a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon by a
convicted felon, in violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1. A jury
unanimously convicted Combs as charged. The trial court
sentenced Combs to 10 years at hard labor without the benefit
of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, and ordered
the sentence to be served consecutively with any other
sentence. Combs's motion to reconsider sentence was
denied. Combs now appeals, urging that the trial court erred
by imposing a harsh and excessive sentence.
January 29, 2017, Corporal Jesse Alexander of the Shreveport
Police Department responded to a reported shooting at the La
Tierra Apartments located at 6121 Tierra Drive in Shreveport.
When he arrived at the complex, Cpl. Alexander found Jaldell
Riley lying in the parking lot suffering from gunshot wounds
to his leg and back.
victim, Riley, testified at trial that he and Combs got into
a verbal altercation, and Riley asked Combs if he wanted to
fight. Combs declined, saying that Riley was too big. Combs
left the scene and returned. Combs's mother stepped in
between Combs and Riley to break it up. Combs then pulled out
a gun. Riley ran and Combs began shooting. Riley was hit and
fell to the ground. When Riley looked up, he saw Combs
standing with a gun in his hand. Riley testified that he did
not have a weapon, say he had a weapon, or make any movements
to suggest that he had a weapon.
did not live in the La Tierra Apartments, and denied that he
had followed Combs to a store on the day in question. He also
denied that he threatened Combs by telling him, "this is
my area," "these are my bricks," and "you
better have your gun." He admitted that he is a
convicted felon and was incarcerated at the time of trial.
Logan McDonald of the Shreveport Police Department's
homicide unit also responded to the shooting. He identified
evidence from the crime scene at trial, and testified
regarding video surveillance footage of the incident that he
viewed. He said he observed Combs walk toward the victim,
Riley, who was wearing a red jacket, exchange words with him,
make hand gestures, and then Combs began shooting at Riley,
chasing him around a vehicle while continuously firing. Det.
McDonald testified that Combs's mother, Felecia
Alexander, attempted to intervene.
jury unanimously convicted Combs as charged.
to sentencing, defense counsel made three filings seeking to
raise certain mitigating circumstances for the court's
consideration when imposing sentence. In the first, styled
"Defendant's Statement on Sentencing," counsel
asked the court to consider that Combs was only 21 years old
and had only one prior felony conviction, for simple robbery.
The victim, Riley, was older, taller, and heavier than Combs,
and he had bullied and threatened him, thereby provoking him
to the point that his actions were justified. Additionally,
Combs's mother received so many ...