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State v. Thompson

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

November 15, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
FREDERICK THOMPSON, JR. Appellant

         Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 161, 650 Honorable Brady O'Callaghan, Judge

          IBRAHIM & ASSOCIATES, LLC Mummi S. Ibrahim for Appellant

          JAMES E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney for Appellee

          LAURA W. FULCO ERICA N. JEFFERSON Assistant District Attorneys

          Before BROWN, WILLIAMS, and MOORE, JJ.

          MOORE, J.

         Frederick Thompson Jr. appeals a judgment that resentenced him to life imprisonment at hard labor, with the benefit of parole eligibility, for a homicide committed in 1992, when he was 17 years old. We affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On the afternoon of September 20, 1992, Steven Potter was emptying trash into a Dumpster on Norris Ferry Road, in Caddo Parish. Someone came up behind him, shot him in the back of the head with a .38 caliber revolver, dragged his body to a nearby road, and drove off in his car. The next day, police spotted Thompson riding around in Potter's car. They stopped and questioned him, and, based on information he provided, arrested him and two accomplices for the first degree murder of Potter. At the time of the crime, Thompson was 17 years old.

         The state indicted Thompson for first degree murder. He initially pled not guilty, but when the state filed notice of intent to seek the death penalty, he entered a best-interest plea of guilty without capital punishment, pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160 (1970). In September 1993, the district court sentenced him to the mandatory life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Thompson did not appeal.

         Nearly 20 years later, the United States Supreme Court held that the Eighth Amendment forbids a sentencing scheme that mandates life in prison without the possibility of parole for juvenile homicide offenders. Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012). Thompson filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, pursuant to Miller, in October 2012.

         Four years later, the United States Supreme Court held that Miller applied retroactively. Montgomery v. Louisiana, 577 U.S., 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016). Thompson filed an amended motion to correct an illegal sentence, pursuant to Montgomery, in April 2016.

         Thompson proceeded to a hearing on his motions on September 26, 2016. The state did not express intent to make a showing, pursuant to La.C.Cr.P. art. 878.1 B, that Thompson was a rare juvenile offender whose crime reflects irrevocable corruption. The district court resentenced him to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, pursuant to La. R.S. 15:574.4 E.

         Thompson filed an application for supervisory review, which this court granted as a timely motion for appeal. Through counsel, Thompson has designated three ...


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