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State v. Wright

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Second Circuit

July 8, 2015

STATE OF LOUISIANA, Appellee
v.
LEROY WRIGHT, Appellant

Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 14F1103. Honorable Benjamin Jones, Judge.

AFFIRMED.

LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, By: Douglas L. Harville, Counsel for Appellant.

JERRY L. JONES, District Attorney, ELLEN R. EADE, JOHN F. APLIN, Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for Appellee.

Before STEWART, MOORE and PITMAN, JJ.

OPINION

Page 836

[49,882 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] STEWART, J.

Defendant Leroy Wright appeals from his conviction for purse snatching and 15-year hard labor sentence. He argues that the trial court erred in imposing a sentence that is unconstitutionally excessive. Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

The defendant was charged by bill of information with purse snatching, a violation of La. R.S. 14:65.1, and resisting an officer, a violation of La. R.S. 14:108. On April 14, 2014, the defendant followed the victim while she was grocery shopping in a

Page 837

Super One Foods in Monroe. When the victim reached to get a grocery item from the shelf, the defendant snatched her wallet from her purse, which was placed in the shopping cart. The defendant then ran from the store. While en route to the grocery store, officers with the Monroe Police Department were advised that a man matching the suspect's description was seen running on Louisville Avenue. An officer observed the defendant, who matched the suspect's description, and gave chase. Upon apprehending the defendant, officers noticed a wallet tucked into the defendant's waistband. Though the defendant claimed the wallet was his, all the items in the wallet belonged to the victim of the purse snatching. The victim identified the wallet as hers and identified the defendant as the person who snatched her wallet and ran from the store. The victim's $30 was still in the wallet when it was recovered from the defendant.

On July 1, 2014, pursuant to a plea agreement, the defendant pled guilty to the purse snatching charge in exchange for the state not filing an [49,882 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] habitual offender bill and with a sentencing cap of 19 1/2 years. The defendant affirmed in open court that he understood the agreement and that, upon pleading guilty, he would not have the right of appeal. After accepting the defendant's plea, the trial court ordered a presentence investigation (" PSI" ).

At sentencing on September 4, 2014, the trial court considered the defendant's personal history and extensive criminal history. The trial court noted that the defendant, then age 54, was raised by an older sister and that he claimed he began stealing to survive. Eventually, thievery became a habit. The defendant obtained a GED while incarcerated. He claimed he was unable to find a job due to his ...


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