from the Twenty Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish
of Webster, Louisiana Trial Court No. 47509 Honorable Jeff
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT Chad Ikerd for Appellant
SCHUYLER MARVIN District Attorney for Appellee
MICHAEL LAWRENCE MELANIE FRYE MCCULLOUGH Assistant District
CLARK Assistant Attorney General.
PITMAN, STONE, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.
BLEICH, J. (PRO TEMPORE)
criminal appeal arises from the 26th Judicial District Court,
Webster Parish, Louisiana. In 1980, Jerome Hudson was
convicted of second degree murder, a violation of La. R.S.
14:30.1, and sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor
without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of
sentence. Hudson appealed directly to the Louisiana Supreme
Court, which affirmed Hudson's conviction and sentence.
On August 8, 2016, pursuant to Miller v. Alabama,
567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), and
Montgomery v. Louisiana, 577 U.S.___, 136 S.Ct. 718,
193 L.Ed.2d 599 (2016), Hudson was resentenced to life
imprisonment with benefit of parole. This appeal followed.
For the following reasons, we affirm Hudson's conviction
and amend the sentence.
October 18, 1979, Jerome Hudson, then a 16-year-old high
school student, informed Mr. Garfield Lewis and his wife that
they had been selected by a school club in Springhill to
receive free groceries and gasoline as part of the club's
project to assist older persons in the community. The next
morning Hudson arrived at the Lewis home and left with Mr.
Lewis in his car to pick up the prizes. Later that day,
Hudson returned to the Lewis home alone, and told Mrs. Lewis
he had left Mr. Lewis in town.
Lewis went into town to look for her husband, but when she
could not find him, reported his disappearance to the police.
Mrs. Lewis told the police about the school project and that
her husband was last seen driving off with Hudson. She also
informed the police that she noticed Hudson was wearing
different pants when he returned to her house later in the
the police investigation, officers found a pair of pants in
Hudson's room at his parents' home with a red stain,
and also found a butcher knife in one of the pockets of those
pants. During questioning, Hudson initially stated that Mr.
Lewis had gotten into a fight with a man who had flagged him
down while they were driving on the highway. Hudson led
police to the alleged scene of the fight where they found Mr.
Lewis' body. After further questioning, Hudson admitted
to killing Mr. Lewis.
of indictment was filed charging Hudson, who was under the
age of 18 at the time, with second degree murder. Hudson
entered a plea of not guilty. Motions to suppress physical
evidence were denied by the trial court. A three-day trial
commenced on April 22, 1980, after which the jury found
Hudson guilty of second degree murder. The trial court
sentenced Hudson to life imprisonment at hard labor without
the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
The Louisiana Supreme Court affirmed Hudson's conviction
and sentence on appeal.
February 28, 2013, Hudson filed a pro se motion to
correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Miller,
supra. Upon motion by the state, the trial court stayed
the matter pending a ruling by the Louisiana Supreme Court
regarding the issue of the retroactivity of Miller.
In 2016, ...