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State v. Presentine

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

April 5, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
RANDY E. PRESENTINE Appellant

         Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 329, 673 Honorable Brady O'Callaghan, Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Peggy J. Sullivan Counsel for Appellant.

          JAMES E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney MONIQUE YVETTE METOYER ERICA N. JEFFERSON Assistant District Attorneys Counsel for Appellee.

          Before BROWN, PITMAN, and STONE, JJ.

          PITMAN, J.

         Defendant Randy Presentine pled guilty to vehicular homicide, and the district court sentenced him to 25 years at hard labor, with the first 3 years to be served without benefits, and to pay a fine of $2, 000. Defendant appeals, arguing that his sentence is excessive. For the following reasons, we affirm Defendant's conviction and sentence.

         FACTS

         On March 3, 2015, the state filed a bill of information charging Defendant with vehicular homicide in violation of La. R.S. 14:32.1. The bill of information alleged that, on or about January 31, 2015, Defendant killed seven-year-old D.H. while Defendant was engaged in the operation of a motor vehicle and had a blood alcohol level concentration of 0.10 percent or more.

         On January 14, 2016, Defendant pled guilty to vehicular homicide. In exchange for his guilty plea, the state agreed to dismiss all other charges in the matter and not to file a habitual offender bill. The state and defense did not agree to a sentence, and the district court ordered a presentence investigation ("PSI") report.

         A sentencing hearing was held on May 11, 2016. Corporal Dianna Sanchez of the Shreveport Police Department testified that, at 2:14 p.m. on January 31, 2015, she was dispatched to investigate a car crash. She noted that she arrived at the scene approximately 40 minutes to an hour after the crash occurred and observed a vehicle on its rooftop in the intersection of Youree Drive and Herndon Avenue. She stated that she was aware that there was a victim suffering from serious, potentially life-threatening, injuries, and that, in such a case, the police department performs a mandatory blood draw from the driver of the vehicle. After speaking with several witnesses of the crash, it was determined that Defendant was the driver of the vehicle. Defendant's blood was drawn, and a toxicology report stated that his blood alcohol content was 0.120.

         Cpl. Sanchez testified that she interviewed Defendant after he waived his Miranda rights, and he stated that he was driving his wife to work when the crash occurred. He admitted that he purchased a pint of Jack Daniels that morning. She also testified that she spoke to Defendant's friend who told her that Defendant was at his house between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. on the day of the crash and that he witnessed Defendant drink a mixture of Paul Masson and Sprite. She stated that another police officer searched the hotel room where Defendant and his wife were staying and recovered an empty pint of Jack Daniels. The crash chip from Defendant's vehicle was recovered, and it indicated that five seconds before the airbags deployed the vehicle was traveling 60 miles per hour.

         Cpl. Sanchez stated that she set up an interview at the Gingerbread House for D.H.'s cousin, who witnessed the crash, and learned that D.H. and her cousin were standing with their bicycles near the intersection of Youree Drive and Herndon Avenue when her cousin saw Defendant's car coming toward them. He was able to get out of the way of the vehicle, but D.H. was not.

         Cpl. Sanchez also testified about crime scene photographs, including one that showed the handlebars of a child's bicycle underneath the vehicle and a pool of blood underneath the bicycle from where D.H. was pulled out. She stated that D.H. passed away on February 2, 2015, and that an autopsy report determined her cause of death was blunt force injuries from being struck as a pedestrian by a motor vehicle.

         Cpl. Sanchez further testified that she requested a report on Defendant's criminal history and learned that he had numerous prior arrests, including possession of a Schedule II, crack cocaine, in 1995; driving while intoxicated ("DWI") in 1996; DWI and driving with a suspended license in 1997; a stop sign violation in 2005; domestic abuse ...


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