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State v. Wesley

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit

February 26, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA, Appellee
v.
CHRISTEPHAN M. WESLEY (A.K.A. Christopher Wesley), Appellant

Page 1040

Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 11-F-3328. Honorable B. Scott Leehy, Judge.

CONVICTION AND SENTENCE AFFIRMED.

LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, By: Carey J. Ellis, Counsel for Appellant.

JERRY L. JONES, District Attorney, MICHAEL J. FONTENOT, GEORGE M. CAMPBELL, JR., Assistant District Attorney, Counsel for Appellee.

Before WILLIAMS, MOORE and GARRETT, JJ.

OPINION

Page 1041

[49,438 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] MOORE, J.

After rejecting a guilty plea offer from the state that included a 10-year sentence agreement, the defendant, Christephan Wesley, was tried and convicted by a unanimous jury for attempted armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The state filed an habitual offender bill, and Wesley was subsequently sentenced as a third-felony offender to concurrent sentences totaling 65 years. He now appeals, challenging the habitual offender adjudication as a product of prosecutorial vindictiveness. Finding no merit in this allegation, we affirm the conviction and sentence.

FACTS

On November 25, 2011, Wesley tried to wrestle two pairs of jeans from the victim, Henry D. Johnson. When Johnson would not let go of the jeans, Wesley pointed a gun at Johnson and fired, hitting Johnson in the left arm. He was charged by bill of information with attempted armed robbery

Page 1042

and aggravated second degree battery. Those charges were later amended to attempted armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Trial commenced on September 23, 2013. The record reflects that, just before trial, the state tendered a plea offer to Wesley including an agreement to a ten-year sentence, but Wesley rejected the offer. At the commencement of trial, the following exchange took place in open court:

D.A.: Your Honor, if you please, for the record, we'd just like to note that the State had made an offer to Mr. Christephan Wesley concerning this case, however, all offers have been rejected and, of course, the State removed its last offer from the ...

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