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State v. Whitley

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

March 25, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
SHANTE N. WHITLEY

ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA. NO. 13-5424, DIVISION " G" . HONORABLE ROBERT A. PITRE, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING.

PAUL D. CONNICK, JR., DISTRICT ATTORNEY, Parish of Jefferson; TERRY M. BOUDREAUX, ANNE M. WALLIS, SCHWANNAH A. McCARTHY, MYLES D. RANIER, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEYS, Gretna, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT.

GWENDOLYN K. BROWN, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT.

Panel composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Robert M. Murphy, and Hans J. Liljeberg.

OPINION

[14-737 La.App. 5 Cir. 2] FREDERICKA HOMBERG WICKER, J.

The State of Louisiana appeals from a trial court's ruling that granted Defendant, Shante Whitley's, Motion to Quash the bill of information. For the following reasons, we vacate the judgment of the trial court

Page 659

and remand this matter for a reopening of the Motion to Quash hearing.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On October 24, 2013, the Defendant, Shante Whitley, was charged by bill of information with one count of knowingly and intentionally possessing a controlled dangerous substance, to wit, Promethazine with Codeine, by fraud and deceit, a violation of La. R.S. 40:971. Thereafter, Ms. Whitley filed a motion to quash the bill of information, alleging that the State failed to timely institute prosecution. On August 20, 2014, the trial court granted the motion. From that judgment, the State filed this timely appeal.

In her motion, Ms. Whitley argued that the bill of information conflicts with other official documents, namely the probable cause affidavit for arrest and the application for arrest warrant, which indicate the offense occurred at a much earlier date than what was alleged in the bill of information. Specifically, Ms. Whitley [14-737 La.App. 5 Cir. 3] argued in her motion that the probable cause affidavit for arrest stated that the offense occurred on November 9, 2007, while the application for arrest warrant stated that the offense occurred on December 12, 2008. Moreover, Ms. Whitley alleged that in other portions of the affidavit for arrest and the application for arrest warrant the State Trooper indicated the incident occurred on October 18, 2010. None of these dates match the date listed on the bill of information, which alleged Ms. Whitley committed the charged offense on October 19, 2010.

Ms. Whitley argued that if the offense was committed in 2007 or 2008, as she alleged was reflected by the probable cause affidavit for arrest and the application for arrest warrant, respectively, the four-year prescriptive period within which to file felony charges against her had expired. Alternatively, Ms. Whitley maintained that the bill as authored was inaccurate because none of the other dates, which she alleged were reflected in the various official documents, matched the date the State provided on the bill of information, warranting the granting of her motion to quash.

On August 20, 2014, the motion to quash was set for hearing. At that time, the State orally informed the trial court as follows:

Your Honor, I have to tell the Court I haven't had an opportunity to review this. We can take it up if the Court would like. My preference would be that we pass it for me to ...

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