FROM THE THIRTIETH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF VERNON,
NO. 88403 HONORABLE VERNON B. CLARK, DISTRICT JUDGE.
Annette Fuller Roach Louisiana Appellate Project, COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Blake Allen Shell
Skinner District Attorney Terry W. Lambright First Assistant
District Attorney, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana.
composed of Marc T. Amy, Billy Howard Ezell, and Shannon J.
T. AMY JUDGE.
State charged the defendant with negligent homicide following
an automobile accident that resulted in the death of the
passenger. After the defendant entered a no-contest plea to
the charge, the trial court sentenced the defendant to four
years at hard labor. The trial court further imposed
restitution costs to the victim's family. On appeal, the
defendant asserts that the imposed sentence is excessive and
that the trial court failed to establish a payment plan for
the restitution costs. For the following reasons, we affirm.
and Procedural Background
State charged the defendant, Blake Allen Shell, with
negligent homicide, a violation of La.R.S. 14:32, alleging by
bill of information that, on or about February 20, 2015,
defendant did kill Abigail Marlene Welch by criminal
negligence, in violation of R.S. 14:32 (felony)."
At the resulting plea hearing, at which the defendant entered
a plea of no contest, the State entered the following factual
background to the trial court:
[O]n February the 20th, 2015, that this defendant was
operating a motor vehicle and through his criminal
negligence, did leave the roadway, flip his vehicle and
strike a tree causing his passenger, Abigail Welch, to be
ejected from the vehicle. Uh, when troopers arrived on the
scene, spoke with this defendant, smelled alcohol on his
breath, this court is aware, that because of a death
involved, his blood was drawn at the -- at the hospital where
it was sent to the Louisiana Crime Lab where it was
determined that his blood alcohol content was at .05. Also,
his toxicology report showed that there were amphetamines in
his blood -- in his urine. Uh, all of these events occurred
in Vernon Parish, State of Louisiana.
trial court subsequently sentenced the defendant to four
years at hard labor for the negligent homicide conviction. It
also ordered the defendant to pay $13, 374.56 in restitution
to the victim's family and to pay $150.00 to the
Department of Public Safety for the completion of the
pre-sentence investigation report. The trial court ordered
that the sentence be served concurrently with a three-month
sentence imposed for a conviction of operating a motor
vehicle while intoxicated, a violation of La.R.S.
the trial court denied the defendant's motion to
reconsider sentence, the defendant filed this appeal. He
assigned the following as error:
1) The sentence imposed by the trial court is excessive, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the
United States and La. Const[.] Art. I, § 20, and is
nothing more than the needless infliction of pain and
2) The trial court failed to determine a periodic payment
plan consistent with the financial ability of Appellant, as
permitted by La. Code Crim. P. art. 883.2(D) and as
appropriate under the circumstances of this case.
review of the record pursuant to La.Code Crim.P. art. 920
reveals no errors patent on the face of the record.