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State v. Billiot

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

November 15, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
MELVIN R. BILLIOT

          ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 11-3801, DIVISION "M" HONORABLE HENRY G. SULLIVAN, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D. Connick, Jr. Terry M. Boudreaux

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, MELVIN R. BILLIOT Prentice L. White DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, MELVIN R. BILLIOT In Proper Person

          Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Fredericka Homberg Wicker, and Robert A. Chaisson

         CONVICTIONS AND SENTENCES AFFIRMED; MOTION TO WITHDRAW GRANTED

         SMC

         FHW

         RAC

          SUSAN M. CHEHARDY CHIEF JUDGE

         Defendant, Melvin R. Billiot, appeals his convictions and sentences for manslaughter and obstruction of justice. His appointed appellate counsel has filed a brief in conformity with the procedure outlined in State v. Bradford, 95-929 (La.App. 5 Cir. 6/25/96), 676 So.2d 1108, 1110-11, asserting that he has thoroughly reviewed the trial court record and cannot find any non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal. Accordingly, pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967) and State v. Jyles, 96-2669 (La. 12/12/97), 704 So.2d 241, appointed appellate counsel requests permission to withdraw as counsel of record for defendant. After a thorough review of the record, we agree with counsel's assessment of the case, affirm defendant's convictions and sentences, and grant counsel's motion to withdraw.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On October 13, 2011, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney filed a bill of information charging defendant with manslaughter, a violation of La. R.S. 14:31 (count one), and obstruction of justice, a violation of La. R.S. 14:130.1 (count two). Defendant was arraigned the next day and pled not guilty to both counts. After several years of pre-trial motions and continuances, defendant withdrew his pleas of not guilty and pled guilty as charged to both counts on July 13, 2016. The court sentenced him to twenty years imprisonment at hard labor on each count, to be served concurrently. On January 6, 2017, defendant filed an application for post-conviction relief which was construed as a request for an out-of-time appeal and was granted.

         FACTS

         Because defendant pled guilty, the underlying facts were not developed at a trial. Nevertheless, the State alleged in the bill of information that on or about July 19, 2011, in Jefferson Parish, defendant violated La. R.S. 14:31 in that he unlawfully killed Richard Barrios, and that on July 19, 2011, defendant violated La. R.S. 14:130.1 in that he obstructed justice by tampering with evidence. Also, during his plea colloquy, defendant indicated that by entering his guilty pleas, he was telling the court that he did, in fact, commit the crimes to which he was pleading guilty. With regard to the crime of manslaughter, defendant wrote on ...


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