from the Fifth Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Richland, Louisiana Trial Court No. 2013237 Honorable Ann
Bolton McIntyre, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Carey J. Ellis, III Counsel
EDWARD HIGGINS Pro Se.
MCINTOSH LANCASTER District Attorney Counsel for Appellee.
KENNETH DOUGLAS WHEELER AMANDA MICHELE WILKINS Assistant
BROWN, MOORE, and STONE, JJ.
defendant, George Edward Higgins, pled guilty to forcible
rape and sexual battery, and agreed to 40 years at hard labor
for forcible rape and 50 years at hard labor for sexual
battery, to be served concurrently. Higgins requested and was
granted this appeal; however, appellate counsel filed a
motion to withdraw, together with a brief pursuant to
Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396,
18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), alleging there are no nonfrivolous
issues upon which to base an appeal. For the following
reasons, the motion to withdraw is granted, Higgins'
convictions are affirmed, and his sentences are vacated and
remanded for resentencing.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Edward Higgins ("Higgins") was indicted by a grand
jury for aggravated rape, aggravated incest, and aggravated
battery, based on egregious sexual conduct with his juvenile
daughter from 2007 to 2013. At the arraignment, Higgins pled
not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, to all
charges. Counsel for Higgins requested the trial court
appoint a sanity commission and make a determination about
Higgins' competency. The trial court signed an order
appointing two physicians to examine Higgins and render
reports concerning his mental condition at the time of the
alleged offenses, his capacity to understand the proceedings
against him, and his ability to assist in his defense.
pled guilty to the lesser charges of attempted aggravated
rape and sexual battery. The trial court accepted
Higgins' guilty pleas and sentenced him to 50 years at
hard labor, without the benefit of parole, probation, or
suspension of sentence, for the attempted aggravated rape
conviction and 50 years at hard labor, 25 years of which
would be served without probation, parole, or suspension of
sentence, for the sexual battery conviction. However, the
trial court failed to conduct a sanity hearing and this Court
was forced to vacate Higgins' convictions and sentences
and remand the matter.
remand, a sanity hearing was conducted and based on the
reports of the appointed physicians, the trial court found
Higgins was competent at the time of the alleged crimes, and
competent to stand trial. The state subsequently charged
Higgins by an amended bill of information with forcible rape
in violation of La. R.S. 14:42.1, and sexual battery, in
violation of La. R.S. 14:43.1. In exchange for his guilty
pleas, Higgins agreed to serve 40 years at hard labor for the
forcible rape conviction and 50 years at hard labor for the
sexual battery conviction, with the sentences to run
requested and was granted this appeal. His appellate counsel
has filed an Anders brief, seeking to withdraw, on
grounds that he could find no nonfrivolous issues to raise on
appeal. See Anders v. California, supra, State v.
Jyles, 96-2669 (La. 12/12/97), 704 So.2d 241; State
v. Mouton, 95-0981 (La. ...