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State v. Martin

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

March 14, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
JAVONE D. MARTIN

         ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 13-4562, DIVISION "O" HONORABLE DANYELLE M. TAYLOR, JUDGE PRESIDING

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

          FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, JAVONE D. MARTIN Cynthia K. Meyer.

          Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Marc E. Johnson, and Robert A. Chaisson

          ROBERT A. CHAISSON JUDGE

         Defendant, Javone D. Martin, appeals several narcotics convictions and sentences, as well as the enhanced sentence imposed pursuant to his stipulation to the multiple offender bill of information. For the reasons that follow, we affirm defendant's convictions and sentences, and we further grant appellate counsel's motion to withdraw as attorney of record for defendant.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On September 10, 2013, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney filed a bill of information charging defendant with three counts of distribution of cocaine within 2, 000 feet of Jesse Owens Playground, in violation of La. R.S. 40:981.3 (counts one, two, and five) and two counts of distribution of cocaine, in violation of La. R.S. 40:967(A) (counts three and four). At the November 6, 2013 arraignment, defendant pled not guilty. On June 29, 2016, defendant withdrew his not guilty pleas and, after being advised of his rights, pled guilty as charged. On July 18, 2016, in accordance with the plea agreement, the trial judge sentenced defendant, on each count, to imprisonment at hard labor for fifteen years with the first two years to be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence, to run concurrently.

         The State then filed a bill of information, pursuant to the provisions of La. R.S. 15:529.1, seeking to have defendant adjudicated a second felony offender on count three. After being advised of his rights, defendant stipulated to the allegations in the multiple offender bill. The trial court then vacated defendant's sentence on count three and resentenced him, in accordance with the plea agreement, to imprisonment at hard labor for fifteen years with the first two years of the sentence to be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence and the remainder of the sentence to be served without benefit of probation or suspension of sentence. Defendant was subsequently granted an out-of-time appeal.

         ANDERS BRIEF

         Under the procedure adopted by this Court in State v. Bradford, 95-929 (La.App. 5 Cir. 6/25/96), 676 So.2d 1108, 1110-11, [1] appointed appellate counsel has filed a brief asserting that she 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 (per curiam), appointed appellate counsel requests permission to withdraw as attorney of record for defendant.

         When conducting a review for compliance with Anders, an appellate court must conduct an independent review of the 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. State v. Bradford, 676 So.2d at 1110.

         In this case, defendant's appellate counsel has complied with the procedures for filing an Anders brief. She sets forth the procedural history of the case as well as the circumstances surrounding defendant's guilty pleas and sentencing. She particularly notes that defendant entered unqualified guilty pleas, thereby waiving any pre-plea non-jurisdictional defects. Further, defendant's appellate counsel acknowledges that defendant was fully advised of his rights and the consequences of his guilty pleas to both the original and multiple offender bills of information. Also, counsel notes that defendant was advised of the sentences he would receive in exchange for the guilty pleas and was sentenced in accordance with the plea agreements. Defendant's appellate counsel concludes that after a conscientious and thorough review of the appellate court record, she can find no non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal and can find no ruling of the trial court that arguably supports an appeal. Therefore, she requests permission to withdraw as attorney of record for defendant.[2]

         This Court has performed an independent, thorough review of the pleadings, minute entries, bills of information, and transcripts in the appellate record. Our review supports appellate counsel's assertion ...


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