State v. Louding

Full title: STATE OF LOUISIANA v. MICHAEL LOUDING

Court: STATE OF LOUISIANA COURT OF APPEAL FIRST CIRCUIT

Date published: Jun 5, 2015

Facts

On October 21, 2009, Terry Boyd was shot and killed as he sat inside a home at 16837 Vermillion Drive in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Detectives who were investigating a string of unsolved homicides in the Baton Rouge area received tips that led to the defendant being identified as a suspect in the Boyd homicide, as well as several others.

The defendant was arrested on a warrant issued as the result of unrelated aggravated assault and terrorizing charges. Following his arrest, the defendant gave a series of videotaped statements to investigators wherein he admitted to his participation in the Boyd shooting, along with other homicides.

Defendant described that in the hours leading up to the Boyd shooting, he, Torrance “Lil Boosie” Hatch, Adrian Pittman, and Michael “Ghost” Judson were discussing a letter written to Pittman from an Angola inmate, Lee Lucas. Lucas’s letter purportedly stated that before Boyd’s recent release from prison, he had been making threats about what he was going to do to Hatch upon his release. Hatch told the others that he would pay $25,000.00 to have Boyd killed.

Later that night, Pittman drove the defendant and Judson to North Stevendale Road, in the area of Vermillion Drive. Pittman waited closely in his van while the defendant and Judson attempted to find Boyd. Once Judson identified Boyd inside a house, the defendant began to shoot through the window, ultimately striking Boyd and killing him. Pittman picked up the defendant and Judson and drove them back to Hatch’s residence. There, Hatch gave the defendant $2,800.00 for his participation in the shooting. Pittman testified at trial, confirming his, Judson’s, and the defendants’ involvement in the Boyd shooting. At trial, the State also introduced other criminal evidence, which demonstrated the defendant’s involvement in four other ambush-type shootings.

Issue

Decision

We find that the trial court did not err or abuse its discretion in denying the defendant’s motion to suppress. Defendant was informed of his Miranda rights on multiple occasions, including on videotape before his May 14 and May 17 statements, and he demonstrated an understanding of those rights before intelligently waiving them. The gap between the last recorded administration of those rights and the last interaction the defendant had with police (two days) is not itself sufficient to negate the free and voluntary nature of the May 18 and May 19 statements. See State v. McKinnie, 36,997, p. 13 (La. App. 2 Cir. 6/25/03), 850 So.2d 959, 966 (finding a four-day gap between the advice of rights and a subsequent confession did not render the confession inadmissible). Similarly, the one-day and two-day gaps were not attributable to any special circumstances that required the police to readminister the Miranda rights to the defendant. Further, the defendant’s actions at the time of the May 18 and May 19 statements indicate a willingness to speak with the police. Taken as a whole, the facts and circumstances indicate that all of the defendant’s statements were freely and voluntarily made.

This assignment of error is without merit.

For the above-cited reasons, we affirm the defendant’s conviction and sentence. CONVICTION AND SENTENCE AFFIRMED.

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