Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Brown

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

December 13, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
JONAH D. BROWN

         ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 14-2187, DIVISION "N" HONORABLE STEPHEN D. ENRIGHT, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA PAUL D. CONNICK, JR.

          TERRY M. BOUDREAUX COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, JONAH D. BROWN, BERTHA M. HILLMAN

          Panel composed of Judges Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Robert M. Murphy, and Stephen J. Windhorst

          STEPHEN J. WINDHORST, JUDGE

         In this appeal, defense counsel for Defendant, Jonah Brown, concludes that there are no non-frivolous issues for review, and requests permission to withdraw. Defense counsel also requests that this Court conduct an errors patent review. For the following reasons, we affirm Mr. Brown's convictions and sentences and grant defense counsel's motion to withdraw.

         Factual and Procedural History

         Because Mr. Brown pled guilty, the facts of this case were not fully developed at the trial court. However, the record reflects that on or between March 7, 2014 and April 29, 2014, Mr. Brown and another codefendant conspired to commit armed robberies by using "ghost" phone numbers to place requests for cab service and then rob the drivers. The record also reflects that on or about April 29, 2014, Mr. Brown killed Blake Helmer during an attempted armed robbery.

         Mr. Brown was ultimately charged with the second degree murder of Blake Helmer. The State subsequently filed a superseding indictment, charging Mr. Brown with both the second degree murder of Mr. Helmer, as well as conspiracy to commit armed robbery and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Following the disposition of several pre-trial motions, the State amended the first count of the indictment to manslaughter, and Mr. Brown withdrew his not guilty pleas. Ultimately, Mr. Brown pled guilty to the amended charge of manslaughter, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The trial court sentenced Mr. Brown to forty years imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of probation or suspension of sentence on count one, forty years imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of probation or suspension of sentence on count two, and twenty years imprisonment at hard labor on count three, to run concurrently with one another.

         Under the procedure set forth in State v. Benjamin, 573 So.2d 528, 530 (La.App. 4 Cir. 1990), defendant's appointed appellate counsel has filed an Anders brief 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, 242 (per curiam), asserting that she has thoroughly reviewed the trial court record and could find no non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal. Accordingly, appointed counsel requests permission to withdraw as counsel of record.

         In Anders, the United States Supreme Court stated that appointed appellate counsel may request permission to withdraw if he or she finds the case to be wholly frivolous after a conscientious examination of it. In State v. Jyles, the Louisiana Supreme Court explained that an Anders brief must demonstrate by full discussion and analysis that appellate counsel "has cast an advocate's eye over the trial record and considered whether any ruling made by the trial court, subject to the contemporaneous objection rule, had a significant, adverse impact on shaping the evidence presented to the jury for its consideration." Jyles, 704 So.2d at 241.

         An appellate court must conduct an independent review of the trial court record to determine whether the appeal is wholly frivolous. If, after an independent review, the reviewing court determines there are no non-frivolous issues for appeal, it may grant counsel's motion to withdraw and affirm the defendant's conviction and sentence. However, if the court finds any legal point arguable on the merits, it may deny the motion and order the court-appointed attorney to file a brief arguing the legal point(s) identified by the court, or grant the motion and appoint substitute appellate counsel. State v. Dufrene, 07-823 (La.App. 5 Cir. 2/19/08), 980 So.2d 31, 33.

         Mr. Brown's appellate counsel asserts that after a detailed review of the record, she could find no non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal. Our independent review of the record supports appellate counsel's assertion that there are no non- frivolous issues to be raised on appeal. The bill of information in this case properly charged Mr. Brown and presents no non-frivolous issues supporting an appeal. As required, it plainly and concisely states the essential facts constituting the offense charged. It also sufficiently identifies defendant and the crimes charged. See La. C.Cr.P. arts. 464-466.

         Mr. Brown filed several pre-trial motions, and a hearing was held on his motion to suppress his statement, which was denied. Although the remainder of Mr. Brown's omnibus pretrial motions were not heard, when a defendant fails to object to the trial court's failure to hear or rule on a pre-trial motion before pleading guilty, the motion is considered waived. See State v. Corzo, 04-791 p. 2 (La.App. 5 Cir. 2/15/05), 896 So.2d 1101, 1102. Here, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.