Judge Scott Crichton – Sentencing Raymond Darnell – January 26, 2007

Judge Scott Crichton Sentencing of Raymond Darnell 1-26-07 for Attempted 1st Degree Murder

Convicted by a jury of the attempted first degree murder of Shreveport Police Officer Freddie Clinton and the attempted second degree murder of ex-girlfriend Arlicia McDonald, defendant Raymond Darnell was sentenced to the maximum of 150 years at hard labor (100 years hard labor as a multiple offender on the attempted first degree murder and 50 years hard labor on the attempted second degree murder, to be served consecutively). To listen to the sentencing of this violet offender, who tried to kill a law enforcement officer in the valiant line of duty and to hear of the heroic efforts of fellow officer Josh Feliciano, who saved the lives of both Clinton and McDonald, click below…To read the opinion of the Second Circuit Court of Appeal see State of Louisiana v. Raymond Darnell, 43,048, (La. App. 2d Cir. 8/13/08), 988 So.2d 870.

As set forth by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal, the shooting in this case was the culmination of a history of domestic abuse against Arlicia McDonald by defendant that included rape, trespass and harassment charges. Approximately two and a half months prior to this incident, in a paternity action, defendant was found to be the father of Ms. McDonald’s son and ordered to pay child support. On the evening of May 17, 2006, defendant followed Ms. McDonald from her place of employment at Mall St. Vincent in Shreveport, Louisiana. Turning off Greenwood Road onto Broadway, Ms. McDonald pulled alongside Shreveport Patrol Officer Freddie Clinton who was stopped for a red light on Broadway. Ms. McDonald told the officer that she was being followed by someone in a lime green SUV and then she drove away. Officer Clinton heard a crash, looked back and saw that a green SUV had struck Ms. McDonald’s car. Officer Clinton made a U-turn, activated his emergency lights and sirens, radioed for assistance, and pursued. Officer Clinton witnessed the green SUV push Ms. McDonald’s car into a pole. Ms. McDonald’s car caught fire and she ran across the street to where Officer Clinton had stopped, shouting that defendant had a gun. Officer Clinton, who had exited his vehicle, testified that Ms. McDonald was hysterical and was “glued” to his body. Defendant walked to Ms. McDonald’s burning car. Defendant was armed with a .410 gauge single shot sawed-off shotgun. When defendant saw Ms. McDonald and Officer Clinton across the street, he pointed the shotgun directly at both of them and fired. Officer Clinton testified that he heard shotgun pellets go by his head. Officer Clinton returned fire while at the same time pulling Ms. McDonald around the rear of his police vehicle to take cover on the passenger side. Defendant reloaded his shotgun and moved to the driver’s side of Officer Clinton’s marked unit. A second police vehicle driven by Officer Josh Feliciano arrived and stopped behind Officer Clinton’s unit. The video from this second police vehicle showed that the door on the driver’s side of Officer Clinton’s squad car was open and that defendant alternately pointed the weapon through the door and then over the hood of the police car attempting to get a clear shot. Officer Clinton returned fire with his pistol over the hood of his police car. Realizing that Officer Clinton had emptied his magazine, defendant ran around the front of the patrol unit and pointed his shotgun at both Officer Clinton and Ms. McDonald as they started to run away. Defendant shot at close range striking Ms. McDonald in the backside, rear upper thigh area. Ms. McDonald was only a step behind Officer Clinton at the moment defendant fired. Defendant then proceeded to hit Ms. McDonald in the head with his shotgun. Officer Feliciano fired several shots at defendant, one of which struck him in the chest and knocked him to the ground. At this point, defendant started screaming out his lawyer’s name. The subsequent police investigation located two spent shotgun casings, one in the street and one by Officer Clinton’s patrol unit. Investigators also retrieved two additional live shotgun shells from the street and three live shotgun shells from defendant’s SUV. Defendant initially pled not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, but after jury selection, changed his plea to not guilty. At the conclusion of a four-day trial, a jury found defendant guilty as charged on both counts: the jury voted 10 to 2 on the attempted first degree murder of a peace officer charge (count one) and was unanimous on the attempted second degree murder charge (count two).