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State v. Casaday

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

May 17, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
RAYMOND CASADAY Appellant

         Appealed 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 Appellant

          DANNY W. NEWELL District Attorney Counsel for Appellee

          TAMMY L. GANTT JUMP Assistant District Attorney

          Before BROWN, DREW, and MOORE, JJ.

          MOORE, J.

         Originally 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.

         FACTS

         In 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.

         The 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; and
(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.

         Through 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.

         At the 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.

         The 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 ...


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