from the Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Bienville, Louisiana Lower Court Case No. 44-318 Honorable C.
Glenn Fallin, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Peggy J. Sullivan Counsel for
W. NEWELL District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
L. GANTT JUMP Assistant District Attorney
BROWN, DREW, and MOORE, JJ.
convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and
sentenced to 15 years at hard labor, Raymond Casaday was
adjudicated a fourth felony offender and sentenced to 30
years at hard labor. He now appeals that adjudication and
sentence. For the reasons expressed, we affirm the conviction
but vacate the adjudication as a fourth felony offender and
remand for further proceedings.
November 2009, the Bienville Parish Sheriff's Office
arranged for an undercover agent to buy an eight-ball
(3½ grams) of methamphetamine from Tenia "Dee
Dee" Kelley in a designated location in Jamestown,
Louisiana. The agent gave her $300 and she drove off, not
returning for several hours; deputies determined that she was
at Raymond Casaday's house, about a mile away. Ms. Kelley
eventually returned and gave the undercover agent a plastic
bag containing methamphetamine. After being arrested, charged
and pleading guilty to distribution of methamphetamine, Ms.
Kelley testified at Casaday's trial that she had carried
the money to his house and that he actually procured the
eight-ball that she delivered to the undercover agent.
Casaday was charged with conspiracy to distribute a Schedule
II CDS, convicted in a jury trial in 2013, and sentenced to
15 years at hard labor. This court affirmed his conviction
and sentence, State v. Casaday, 49, 679 (La.App. 2
Cir. 2/27/15), 162 So.3d 578, writ denied, 2015-0607
(La. 2/5/16), 186 So.3d 1162.
state then charged Casaday as a fourth felony offender. It
alleged three predicate convictions:
(1) February 25, 1985 - guilty plea to burglary of a
habitation, in 13th Judicial District Court, Navarro County,
Texas, for which he received a sentence of six years;
(2) February 26, 1986 - guilty plea to theft of an
automobile, in 10th Judicial District Court, Natchitoches
Parish, La., for which he received a sentence of six years;
(3) October 24, 1991 - guilty pleas to attempted capital
murder, burglary of a motor vehicle and burglary of a
building, in 9th Judicial District Court, Trinity County,
Texas, for which he received a sentence of 35 years.
appointed counsel, Casaday moved to quash the habitual
offender bill on grounds that he had not been fully advised
of his rights when he entered the guilty pleas to the
predicate offenses. At a hearing in December 2015, Casaday
accused his new appointed counsel, Mary Ellen Halterman, of
"threatening" him, colluding with the prosecutor,
and "doing nothing" on his case. He asked the court
to remove her; the court refused.
hearing on the habitual offender bill, the state offered
various documents to prove the predicate offenses:
(1)1985 conviction - certified copy of the true judgment,
application to waive trial by jury, stipulation of evidence,
order granting probation;
(2)1986 conviction - certified copies of bill of information
and of guilty plea, and affidavit waiving trial rights; and
(3)1991 conviction - copies of indictment, court minutes and
judgment on plea of guilty.
state also called a fingerprint expert, Owen McDonnell, who
took Casaday's exemplar prints in open court. He compared
these with the latent prints on the records from the 1985 and
1991 convictions (there were no fingerprints in the file for
the 1986 conviction) and confirmed they were from the same
person. The defense put on no evidence, but counsel argued
that because all the predicates were over 10 years old, the
state was required to prove that they had not "aged
off." By post-trial memo, she argued the state offered
no evidence to show when Casaday had been released from
custody and supervision on any of the predicates. She ...