Louisiana v. Quinn
Opinion Date: September 9, 2020
Judge: Per Curiam
Areas of Law: Constitutional Law, Criminal Law
In 2015, fishermen in Cocodrie, Louisiana noticed a large Rubbermaid tote floating near a dock. The next day, they called the police after they spotted clothing and a human arm sticking out of it. Inside the tote, police found a decomposing body, which was later identified as Robbie Coulon, the victim and a lifelong friend of defendant Simon Quinn. The victim lived in defendant’s Houma apartment, in apparent violation of the rental agreement. Friction between the two developed as the victim repeatedly ignored defendant’s instructions to refrain from doing anything that could draw the attention of the property manager to the victim’s unauthorized presence. In addition, the victim pawned some of defendant’s belongings, including an Xbox belonging to defendant’s son. Defendant would ultimately be indicted for the second degree murder of Coulon, and for obstruction of justice by tampering with evidence of Coulon’s murder. A jury found defendant guilty as charged; he was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor without eligibility for parole (for murder), and a consecutive term to 50 years imprisonment for second-felony offender obstruction of justice. A divided court of appeal reversed the conviction for second degree murder and affirmed the conviction for obstruction. Defendant appealed, but finding no reversible error, the Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the court of appeal, which reversed defendant’s conviction for second degree murder, and affirmed defendant’s conviction for obstruction of justice, his habitual offender adjudication, and his sentence for obstruction.
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