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State v. Griffin

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

September 1, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
CHRISTOPHER LEE GRIFFIN Appellant

         Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Bossier, Louisiana Trial Court No. 194657 Honorable Jefferson R. Thompson, Judge.

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Peggy J. Sullivan Counsel for Appellant

          J. SCHUYLER MARVIN District Attorney JOHN M. LAWRENCE SANTI A. PARKS Assistant District Attorneys Counsel for Appellee

          Before WILLIAMS, PITMAN, and STONE, JJ.

          WILLIAMS, J.

         The defendant, Christopher Lee Griffin, was charged by bill of information with one count of aggravated incest, a violation of La. R.S. 14:78.1. The defendant pled guilty as charged and was sentenced to serve 20 years at hard labor with a $25, 000.00 fine. Defendant was subsequently adjudicated a second-felony offender and sentenced to serve 40 years at hard labor. On remand after an appeal, the district court resentenced defendant to serve a term of 40 years at hard labor, with the sentence to be served without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Defendant's motion to reconsider sentence was denied. Defendant appeals his sentence as excessive. For the following reasons, we amend the sentence to delete the denial of parole eligibility and affirm as amended. This matter is remanded to the trial court with instructions to provide the defendant with written notice of the sex offender registration requirements.

         FACTS

         The record shows that the defendant was charged with one count of aggravated incest of his 14-year-old daughter for acts occurring in June 2012. Defendant pled guilty as charged. He was adjudicated a second-felony offender and sentenced to serve 40 years at hard labor. On appeal, defendant's conviction and adjudication as a second-felony offender were affirmed. However, this court remanded for resentencing, finding that the sentencing judge should have recused himself because he had worked on the case as an assistant district attorney. State v. Griffin, 50, 265 (La.App. 2 Cir. 11/18/15), 183 So.3d 585.

         On remand, another judge of the district court imposed a sentence of 40 years at hard labor, to be served without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence, and denied defendant's motion to reconsider sentence. This appeal followed.

         DISCUSSION

         The defendant contends the trial court erred in imposing an excessive sentence. Defendant urges that the record does not support the sentence imposed.

         In reviewing a claim of excessive sentence, the appellate court first considers whether the record shows the trial court took cognizance of the sentencing guidelines in La. C.Cr.P. art. 894.1. State v. Jackson, 51, 011 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1/11/17), 211 So.3d 639; State v. Taylor, 49, 467 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1/14/15), 161 So.3d 963. The trial court is not required to list every aggravating or mitigating circumstance so long as the record reflects adequate consideration of those guidelines. Id.

         The reviewing court next determines whether the sentence is constitutionally excessive by considering whether the sentence is grossly out of proportion to the seriousness of the offense or nothing more than a purposeless infliction of pain and suffering. La. Const. art. I, § 20; State v. Dorthey, 623 So.2d 1276 (La. 1993); State v. Lindsey, 50, 324 (La.App. 2 Cir. 2/24/16), 189 So.3d 1104. A sentence is considered grossly disproportionate if, when the crime and punishment are viewed in light of the harm done to society, it shocks the sense of justice. Id.

         The trial court has wide discretion in the imposition of sentences within the statutory limits and such sentences should not be set aside as excessive in the absence of a manifest abuse of that discretion. State v. Williams, 2003-3514 (La. 12/13/04), 893 So.2d 7; State v. Washington, 50, 337 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1/13/16), 185 So.3d 852. On review, an appellate court does not determine whether another sentence may have been more ...


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