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Defendant fired a gun earlier that day and the bullet grazed the trees near Mr.Friday’s residence. On that date, Defendant resided in a tent located on the back five acres of the property, about eight hundred yards from Mr. Friday’s residence.mr. friday called the rapides parish sheriff's office and deputy scotty paul responded -
Deputy Paul then drove out to where Defendant’s tent was set-up and as he approached the tent, Defendant stepped out from beside his truck with a black pistol in his hand, a Glock 9 millimeter, automatic, and fired one shot in the air.EXTERNAL LINK
Deputy Paul exited his vehicle, drew his weapon and ordered the Defendant to put down the gun and lay down on the ground.
Defendant immediately cooperated with Deputy Paul’s order, was then handcuffed, patted down for weapons and placed in the unit.
Defendant was charged by bill of information with illegal use of a weapon, first offense, a violation of La.R.S. 14:94.
[T]he record is void of evidence that one could foresee Defendant’s actions could result in death or great bodily harm. According to Deputy Paul, there was no one else around.
Defendant was facing toward Mr. Friday’s house, but fired straight up into the air, not in the direction of Mr. Friday’s home or in the direction of Deputy Paul’s person or vehicle.
There is no evidence Defendant pointed the weapon at anyone or anything when he fired it in Deputy Paul’s presence.
Deputy Paul was still in his vehicle and testified he did not hear or see where the bullet came down and the bullet impact did not cause him to flinch or take cover.
Additionally, Defendant and Mr. Friday lived on land composed of many acres, with Defendant living on the back five acres of the jointly owned property.
The record indicates there were trees on the property and Defendant and Mr. Friday and his wife were the only residents on the property.
As such, the likelihood that the bullet Defendant fired in the air would hit anyone was negligible and unlikely to cause bodily harm or death.
Therefore, we find the State did not meet the burden of proving it was foreseeable that Defendant’s shot fired into the air could have resulted in death or great bodily harm as required by La.R.S. 14:94.
Accordingly, the evidence was insufficient and the Defendant’s conviction and sentence are reversed.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendant’s conviction and sentence for illegal use of a weapon is reversed.
Posted by wst... at 07:01