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State v. Balach

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

November 5, 2014

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
JODY R. BALACH

APPEAL FROM THE THIRTIETH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF VERNON, DOCKET NO. 85196, DIV. C. HONORABLE JAMES R. MITCHELL, DISTRICT JUDGE.

Annette Roach, Louisiana Appellate Project, Lake Charles, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Jody R. Balach.

Asa A. Skinner, District Attorney - Thirtieth Judicial District, Terry W. Lambright, Assistant District Attorney, Leesville, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana.

Court composed of J. David Painter, James T. Genovese, and Phyllis M. Keaty, Judges.

OPINION

[14 539 La. 1] GENOVESE, Judge.

In this criminal case, Defendant, Jody R. Balach, pled guilty to illegal possession [14 539(La. 630] of stolen things valued at more than $1,500.00, a violation of La.R.S. 14:69(B)(1). As part of the plea agreement, the State dismissed two other pending charges (one a felony and one a misdemeanor) against Defendant and agreed not to pursue habitual offender enhancement. Defendant was sentenced to serve eight years at hard labor and pay a fine of $1,000.00 plus court costs.[1] Defendant's Motion to Reconsider Sentence was denied. He appeals, alleging excessive sentence. For the following reasons, we affirm Defendant's sentence.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

At Defendant's guilty plea hearing, the State presented the following factual basis:

[O]n or about April 30th, 2013, defendant did have in his possession, along with another defendant, certain property belonging to Mr. Jeane, which he had good reason to believe was stolen property. My understanding is that property was also subject of a theft, and he had -- would have had reasonable knowledge that the items were stolen property, and had a value of approximately $1800.

According to Detective Misti Bryant's interview with Defendant, Defendant admitted to the illegal possession of various stolen items, including a two-ton jack, three tackle boxes, a battery charger, a wet tile saw, and fishing rods and reels. The owner, Carlton R. Jeane, signed an affidavit stating the value of the items was $1,770.00, based on their purchase prices. Defendant sold the items to Harvey's Auto Parts in Vernon Parish.

[14 539 La. 2] ERRORS PATENT

In accordance with La.Code Crim.P. art. 920, all appeals are reviewed for errors patent on the face of the record. After reviewing the record, we find no errors patent.

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

Defendant contends his sentence is excessive, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, and violates federal and state constitutions. This court has previously discussed the ...


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