APPEAL FROM THE FORTIETH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 15, 42, DIVISION
"C" HONORABLE J. STERLING SNOWDY, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Bridget A.
Dinvaut, Justin B. LaCour.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, HENRI LYLES Bertha M.
composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Jude G. Gravois, and
Stephen J. Windhorst.
STEPHEN J. WINDHORST JUDGE.
criminal appeal, defendant, Henri Lyles, appeals his sentence
to life imprisonment without the benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence as a third felony
offender with the third underlying conviction for aggravated
battery. Without considering the merits of the assignment of
error contending that the habitual offender sentence was
excessive, we vacate defendant's sentence and remand for
resentencing for the following reasons.
jury trial on November 15-16, 2016, defendant was convicted
of aggravated battery in violation of La. R.S. 14:34. On
November 18, 2016, the State filed an habitual offender bill
of information against defendant, alleging that he was a
third felony offender with a 1990 predicate conviction of
distribution of cocaine and a 2004 predicate conviction of
manslaughter. The hearing on defendant's habitual
offender bill was held on February 13, 2017. During the
course of this hearing, the trial court sentenced defendant
for the aggravated battery conviction to eight (8) years
imprisonment with the Department of Corrections and imposed a
$1, 000 fine. After an evidentiary hearing on the habitual
offender bill, the trial court found defendant to be a third
felony offender and sentenced him to life imprisonment
without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of
sentence in accordance with La. R.S. 15:529.1(A)(3)(b).
Defendant filed a motion to reconsider his sentence, which
the trial court denied. This appeal followed.
and Imani Wilson met in 1992 and were involved in a
relationship off and on for several years. In 2014, Ms.
Wilson agreed to allow defendant to stay with her for a
limited period of time. In January 2015, Ms. Wilson asked
defendant to leave and offered to help him find work and a
new residence. On February 1, 2015, defendant, Ms. Wilson,
and her two (2) children from another relationship were at
Ms. Wilson's home, and defendant informed Ms. Wilson that
he would move out that week. That same day, while Ms. Wilson
was in the kitchen cooking, defendant began staring at her
and continued to do so for an extended period. Eventually,
Ms. Wilson asked defendant why he was staring at her, and he
did not respond. Because defendant continued to stare at her,
she became nervous and warned her children who were home that
they should call 9-1-1 if they heard anything.
some time had passed, defendant began to approach Ms. Wilson
and grabbed her by the throat with his left hand while
simultaneously reaching for a knife with his other hand. Ms.
Wilson pried defendant's fingers from her throat and ran
from him. She fell and defendant held her down and grabbed
her around the throat again. Defendant attempted to stab Ms.
Wilson, and she tried to block the knife. She eventually
blacked out and could not remember additional details. One of
Ms. Wilson's children heard the commotion and called
9-1-1. The police arrived at the house before defendant was
able to get away and arrested him for aggravated battery.
assigns as error that his sentence is unconstitutionally
excessive. Because there are errors patent which necessitate
that we vacate defendant's sentence and remand this
matter for resentencing, we do not address whether
defendant's sentence is unconstitutionally excessive.
State v. Netter, 11-202 c/w 203 (La.App. 5 Cir.
11/29/11), 79 So.3d 478, 483-483, writ denied,
12-0032 (La. 8/22/12), 97 So.3d 357.
reviewed the record for errors patent as required by La.
C.Cr.P. art. 920, and find the following which requires
attention. See State v. Oliveaux, 312 So.2d 337 (La.
1975) and State v. Weiland, 556 So.2d 175 (La.App. 5
Cir. 1990). In this case, the record indicates that the trial
court did not vacate defendant's original sentence for
aggravated battery prior to imposing his enhanced sentence as
an habitual offender. When a defendant's original
sentence on an underlying offense has not been vacated by the
court at the time of defendant's sentencing as an
habitual offender, the original sentence remains in effect
and the subsequent sentence as an habitual offender is null
and void. State v. Netter, supra. Because
defendant's underlying sentence for the aggravated
battery conviction was not vacated, we find that
defendant's habitual offender sentence is null and void.
Accordingly, we vacate defendant's habitual offender
sentence and remand this matter to the trial court for
resentencing. The trial court is instructed to vacate
defendant's sentence for aggravated battery before
sentencing him as an habitual offender. State v.
Wise, 13-247 (La.App. 5 Cir. 11/19/13), 128 So.3d 1220,
light of our finding that defendant's habitual offender
sentence is null and void, we cannot address defendant's
assignment of error ...