FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 507-511,
SECTION "L" Honorable Franz Zibilich, Judge
Cannizzaro District Attorney Donna Andrieu Assistant District
Attorney, Chief of Appeals Christopher J. Ponoroff Assistant
District Attorney ORLEANS PARISH COUNSEL FOR
Katherine M. Franks LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT JASON M ROE.
Constance Hanes LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT JOSHUA A. WATSON.
Watson Main/Prison Walnut Louisiana State Penitentiary Jason
Roe General Delivery Louisiana State Penitentiary.
composed of Judge Roland L. Belsome, Judge Rosemary Ledet,
Judge Tiffany G. Chase).
Tiffany G. Chase Judge.
Jason Roe (hereinafter "Roe") and Joshua Watson
(hereinafter "Watson"), appeal the resentencing of
their convictions. Anders briefs were filed by
defendants' appellate counsels 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. Appellate counsels assert that they have
conducted a thorough review of the record and cannot find any
non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal and as such, seeks to
withdraw as counsel of record. The State filed a response
arguing that no assignments of error were briefed and thus
are waived on appeal. After consideration of the record
before this Court and the applicable law, we affirm Roe and
Watson's resentencing and grant appellate counsels'
motions to withdraw.
of the Case
facts of this case have previously been set out in
considerable detail by this Court. On July 18, 2011, the State
charged defendants Roe and Watson jointly with committing
armed robbery (count one) and charged Roe individually with
committing a second armed robbery (count two), possession of
a firearm by a convicted felon (count three) and possession
of a stolen firearm (count four). A jury subsequently
returned a verdict finding the defendants guilty as charged.
On May 14, 2013, the trial court sentenced Watson to fifty
years imprisonment at hard labor and sentenced Roe to seventy
years imprisonment at hard labor on each armed robbery count
and to fifteen years on the felon in possession of a firearm
count and four years on the stolen firearm count.
November 20, 2013, defendants' appeal was lodged in this
Court. While their appeal remained pending, defendants both
admitted to their status as recidivists; Watson as a second
felony offender and Roe as a third felony offender. On
December 2, 2013, the trial court resentenced Watson to sixty
years imprisonment and on January 6, 2014, it resentenced Roe
to seventy years imprisonment at hard labor.
October 8, 2014, this Court reversed the conviction on count
two and affirmed the remaining convictions. This Court also
vacated the (unenhanced) sentences on count one because they
did not reflect that the trial court had imposed the firearm
enhancement. This Court also ordered that the trial court
impose the mandatory fine required by R.S. 14:95.1 as to
defendant Roe. Defendants sought review in the Louisiana
Supreme Court, which denied writs to Watson but granted
limited relief to Roe, finding that his convictions for
possession of a stolen firearm and armed robbery violated
double jeopardy principles and vacating the less serious
to this Court's order following defendants' appeal,
on November 9, 2015, the trial court vacated the originally
imposed sentences and resentenced Watson to forty-five years
imprisonment at hard labor and added a consecutive five-year
enhancement for the use of a firearm and resentenced Roe to
sixty-five years imprisonment and added a consecutive
five-year enhancement for the use of a firearm. Both
defendants filed motions to reconsider their sentence and the
trial court conducted a hearing on June 10, 2016.
hearing, the trial court acknowledged that when it
resentenced the defendants in compliance with this
Court's opinion on appeal, it imposed sentences below the
mandatory minimums required by law based on defendants'
recidivist statuses. Moreover, the trial court was clearly
not convinced ...