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State v. Bias

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit

April 24, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
DAVID DIANTE BIAS

On Appeal from the 16th Judicial District Court, In and for the Parish of St. Mary, State of Louisiana. No. 2010-183268, Div.H. The Honorable Lori A. Landry, Judge Presiding.

CONVICTIONS, HABITUAL OFFENDER ADJUDICATION, AND SENTENCES AFFIRMED.

Page 1013

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1014

J. Phil Haney, District Attorney, Walter J. Senette, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, Franklin, Louisiana, Attorney for Appellee, State of Louisiana.

Christopher J. Washington, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Attorney for Defendant/Appellant, David Diante Bias.

BEFORE: GUIDRY, THERIOT, AND DRAKE, JJ. J. Theriot, concurs.

OPINION

Page 1015

[2014 1588 La.App. 1 Cir. 2] DRAKE, J.

The State charged the defendant, David Diante Bias, by bill of information with one count of armed robbery, a violation of La. R.S. 14:64 (count I); one count of armed robbery with the use of a firearm, a violation of La. R.S. 14:64.3(A)

Page 1016

(count II); and one count of a convicted felon possessing a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon, a violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1 (count III). At arraignment, the defendant pled " not guilty" on all counts. The defendant filed a motion to form a sanity commission. On joint motion of counsel, the sanity hearing was submitted on the reports of the commission's members, with the trial court subsequently ruling that the defendant had the capacity to proceed to trial. Following trial, a unanimous jury found the defendant guilty as charged.

The State thereafter filed a habitual offender bill of information, seeking enhancement of the defendant's armed robbery conviction, alleging he was a fourth-felony habitual offender. Prior to the habitual offender hearing and adjudication, the trial court sentenced the defendant to imprisonment for thirty years at hard labor, without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence on count I, with an additional five years at hard labor, without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, due to his use of a firearm in connection with the armed robbery on count II, to run consecutive to the sentence imposed on count I. The trial court also sentenced the defendant to fifteen years at hard labor on count III, to run concurrent with his sentences on counts I and II. Thereafter, pursuant to an amended habitual offender bill of information, which alleged the defendant was a third-felony habitual offender,[1] the defendant [2014 1588 La.App. 1 Cir. 3] withdrew his " not guilty" plea and, after a Boykin [2] examination, entered a guilty plea as a second-felony habitual offender,[3] in accordance with La. R.S. 15:529.1(A)(1)(a) (prior to its amendment by 2010 La. Acts Nos. 911, § 1 and 973, § 2). The trial court vacated the defendant's previous sentence and subsequently sentenced him to imprisonment for forty-nine and one-half years at hard labor, without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, with credit for time served. The defendant filed a motion to reconsider sentence, which the trial court denied. The defendant now appeals, assigning error to the sufficiency of the evidence, the effectiveness of his counsel, and his sentence.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

On May 21, 2010, at 5:00 a.m., the victim, Leo Mitchell, was preparing to begin his shift as a truck driver for Southern Scrap in Morgan City, when he noticed a gray Pontiac Trans Am approaching " real, real slow." Mitchell testified that at first, based on the circumstances, he believed he was about to be robbed, however, the car passed his location, and stopped behind him. As he began to drive away, Mitchell noticed an individual, whom he described as " dark looking," short, with " dread[s] in his hair," and weighing approximately one hundred and ...


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