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State v. Richter

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

August 9, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
ROBERT RICHTER Appellant

         Appealed from the Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of Claiborne, Louisiana Trial Court No. 28, 571 Honorable Jenifer Ward Clason, Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT Carey J. Ellis, III Counsel for Appellant

          DANIEL W. NEWELL District Attorney Counsel for Appellee

          TERESA C. CARROLL CARY T. BROWN Assistant District Attorneys

          Before BROWN, GARRETT, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.

          BROWN, C.J.

         Defendant, Robert Richter, pursuant to a plea bargain agreement, entered a Crosby plea to contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, a violation of La. R.S. 14:92(A)(7). As agreed, he was sentenced to serve two years' imprisonment at hard labor, suspended, five years' supervised probation, and a fine of $1, 000 or serve six months' default time in the parish jail. The trial court applied time served (August 2011 to February 2012) to the default time. Defendant appeals, arguing that the state did not timely bring him to trial. For the following reasons, defendant's conviction and sentence are affirmed.

         FACTS

         On July 13, 2011, defendant, Robert Richter, was charged by indictment with aggravated incest, a violation of La. R.S. 14:78.1.[1] On November 19, 2013, defendant filed a motion to quash the indictment, arguing that the state failed to commence trial within the delays established by La.C.Cr.P. art. 578(2). The state opposed the motion, asserting that the time limit was suspended when the defense either moved to continue the trial of this matter or joined the state in continuing the trial.

         The motion to quash came before the trial court for hearing on July 8, 2014. The parties agreed to stipulate as to what defense attorney H. Paul Garner's testimony would be, but the state did not agree to stipulate to the veracity of the testimony. Defendant argued that he did not file any motions that would have suspended the running of the time delay, and attorney Garner specifically did not seek a continuance of the trial.

          According to defendant, on three occasions, the defense was prepared for trial but the state was unprepared. The state denied defendant's assertions that it was unprepared for trial on multiple occasions, urging that Attorney Garner was unavailable for trial on at least one occasion, March 11, 2013, and defendant was not present on May 8, 2013. Defendant's motion to quash was denied.

         On May 5, 2015, the trial court accepted defendant's guilty plea to the responsive verdict of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, in violation of La. R.S. 14:92(A)(7), with an agreed-upon sentence. Defendant's guilty plea was made pursuant to State v. Crosby, 338 So.2d 584 (La. 1976), which reserved his right to appeal the trial court's denial of his motion to quash the indictment. On November 3, 2015, defendant filed a motion to appeal. However, the record reflected that defendant was never sentenced subsequent to the trial court's acceptance of his guilty plea. As such, the matter was remanded to the trial court for sentencing.

         On April 18, 2016, defendant was sentenced in accordance with the agreement to serve two years' imprisonment at hard labor, suspended, five years' supervised probation, and pay a fine of $1, 000 or, in default thereof, serve six months in the parish jail. The trial court indicated that defendant's time served, August 6, ...


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