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State v. Barrett

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

April 11, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
JADERRICK BARRETT Appellant

          Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 321, 908 Honorable John D. Mosely, Jr., Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT Counsel for Appellant, Peggy J. Sullivan

          JAMES E. STEWART, SR. Counsel for Appellee

          District Attorney REBECCA A. EDWARDS BRITNEY A. GREEN HOLLY McGINNESS Assistant District Attorneys

          Before WILLIAMS, GARRETT, and STONE, JJ.

          WILLIAMS, J.

         The defendant, Jaderrick Barrett, was charged by bill of indictment with the aggravated rape of G.K., [1] in violation of La. R.S. 14:42, and the molestation of A.C., in violation of La. R.S. 14:81.2. Following a jury trial, the defendant was found guilty as charged. He was sentenced to serve life in prison without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence for the aggravated rape conviction, and a concurrent sentence of 10 years at hard labor for the molestation conviction. The trial court also imposed 30 days' "default time in lieu of court costs" for both sentences. For the following reasons, we affirm the defendant's convictions. We amend the defendant's life sentence to provide that he is eligible for parole consideration under the criteria set forth in La. R.S. 15:574.4(D). Additionally, we amend the defendant's sentences to delete those portions that impose default jail time in lieu of payment of court costs. Further, we remand this matter to the trial court with instructions to provide the defendant with the appropriate written notice with regard to the sex offender registration requirements.

         FACTS

         In 2008, the defendant, Jaderrick Barrett (also known as "J.D."), was 16 years old.[2] He entered an abandoned house with G.K., [3] a 12-year-old mentally challenged girl, pulled down her panties and engaged in vaginal and anal sexual intercourse with her.[4] The Shreveport Police Department investigated the matter but the police officers were unable to locate the defendant. Subsequently, the active investigation stalled.

         In December 2013, the defendant, who by then was 22 years old, was spending the night at the home of a family friend. A.C., [5] his friend's 13-year-old daughter, was asleep in a bedroom of the house. A.C. stated that the bedroom contained bunk beds; she and her five-year-old brother were sleeping on the bottom bunk, and her mother instructed the defendant to sleep on the top bunk. According to A.C., the defendant entered the bedroom, lay on the floor next to her bed and began to touch her breasts and insert his finger inside her vagina. When the defendant heard A.C.'s mother near the door of the bedroom, he stopped his actions and climbed onto the top bunk of the bed. A.C.'s mother entered the bedroom and asked if she was alright; A.C. stated that she told her mother that she was "fine" because she was afraid to tell her what the defendant was doing to her. After A.C.'s mother left the room, the defendant pulled A.C. onto the floor, pulled her shorts down and partially penetrated her vagina with his penis until she was able to push him off of her. During the investigation, A.C. revealed prior acts of molestation against her by the defendant. Additionally, while investigating A.C.'s allegations, the police department determined that the defendant was the same individual implicated in the 2008 case regarding G.K.[6]

         The defendant was subsequently arrested and charged by bill of indictment with the aggravated rape of G.K., in violation of La. R.S. 14:42, and the molestation of A.C., in violation of La. R.S. 14:81.2. Following a trial, a unanimous jury found the defendant guilty of the molestation charge; the same jury found him guilty of aggravated rape by a vote of 11-1. The trial court denied the defendant's motion for post-verdict judgment of acquittal and summarily sentenced him to the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence for the aggravated rape conviction. With regard to the molestation conviction, the defendant was sentenced to serve 10 years at hard labor; the sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. Further, the trial court imposed 30 days' default time in lieu of the payment of court costs for both sentences. Subsequently, the trial court denied the defendant's motion to reconsider sentence.

         The defendant appeals.[7]

         DISCUSSION

         The defendant contends the trial court erred in sentencing him to serve life in prison without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence for the aggravated rape conviction. He argues that the sentence is constitutionally excessive because the offense was committed when he was a juvenile. Therefore, according to the defendant, the trial court was mandated to sentence him according to the principles set forth in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), and Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 130 S.Ct. 2011, 176 L.Ed.2d 825 (2010). Further, the defendant argues as follows: the trial court erroneously failed to explore some of the "challenges" he experienced in his life prior to imposing his sentence; the trial court failed to consider his "potential for reform"; the trial court failed to craft a particularized sentence based upon his personal history and his "situation in life"; the trial court failed to order or consider a presentence investigation ("PSI") report; his sentence should not have been imposed without the benefit of parole pursuant to Graham v. Florida, supra; and he should have been sentenced under the responsive verdict of attempted aggravated rape because, at the time he committed the offense, there was no constitutional penalty for aggravated rape committed by a person under the age of 18. See, State v. Valentine, 364 So.2d 595 (La. 1978); State v. Bryant, 347 So.2d 227 (La. 1977), and State v. Craig, 340 So.2d 191 (La. 1976).

         The penalty for a conviction of aggravated rape[8] is a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. La. R.S. 14:42. However, in Graham v. Florida, supra, the United States Supreme Court held that "for a juvenile offender who did not commit a homicide, the Eighth Amendment forbids the sentence of life without parole." Id., 560 at 74, 130 S.Ct. at 2030. The Court further stated:

A State is not required to guarantee eventual freedom to a juvenile offender convicted of a nonhomicide crime. What the State must do, however, is give defendants like Graham some meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation. It is for the State, in the first instance, to explore the means and mechanisms for compliance. It bears emphasis, however, that while the Eighth Amendment prohibits a State from imposing a life without parole sentence on a juvenile nonhomicide offender, it does not require the State to release that offender during his natural life. Those who commit truly horrifying crimes as juveniles may turn out to be irredeemable, and thus deserving of incarceration for the duration of their lives. The Eighth Amendment does not foreclose the possibility that persons convicted ...

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