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State v. Romious

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

April 11, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
CARLOS DUPREE ROMIOUS

          ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 16-3460, DIVISION "F" HONORABLE MICHAEL P. MENTZ, JUDGE PRESIDING

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

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, CARLOS DUPREE ROMIOUS Bertha M. Hillman

          Panel composed of Judges Marc E. Johnson, Robert A. Chaisson, and Marion F. Edwards, Judge Pro Tempore

          ROBERT A. CHAISSON JUDGE.

         Defendant, Carlos Dupree Romious, appeals his convictions and sentences for two counts of battery of a police officer. 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 June 3, 2016, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney filed a bill of information charging defendant with two counts of battery of a police officer, in violation of La. R.S. 14:34.2. Defendant pled not guilty at his arraignment. He thereafter filed a motion to appoint a sanity commission to determine his competency to proceed to trial. On September 14, 2016, after considering the report of the sanity commission, the trial court found defendant not competent to proceed to trial and committed him to the forensic unit at the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System. On July 19, 2017, the trial court, after reviewing a subsequent report by the sanity commission, determined that defendant was competent to proceed to trial.

         Following this determination, defendant withdrew his previous pleas of not guilty and, after being advised of his rights, pled guilty to both counts. In accordance with the plea agreement, the trial court sentenced defendant, on count one, to one year imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. On count two, the trial court sentenced defendant to one year imprisonment at hard labor, suspended all but thirty days of the sentence, and ordered the thirty days to be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. In addition, the trial court ordered that defendant be placed on one year active probation upon his release from prison and that his sentence on count one run consecutively with his sentence on count two.

         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 and notes the limited facts in light of defendant's guilty pleas. Appellate counsel asserts that before defendant's decision to change his pleas from not guilty to guilty, he was fully informed of the legal consequences of changing his pleas by both his trial counsel and the trial court. She avers that an examination of the plea colloquy reveals that the trial court explained to defendant each of the rights necessary to ensure a knowing and intelligent waiver of rights under Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23 L.Ed.2d 274 (1969). Furthermore, appellate counsel notes that defendant was informed of the sentences he would receive and was sentenced in accordance with the plea agreement, which restricts him from appealing his sentences. In addition to her brief, appellate counsel has filed a motion to withdraw as attorney of record for defendant on the basis that she has conducted a conscientious and thorough review of the trial court record and can find no non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal and no rulings of the trial court that arguably support the appeal.[2]

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


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