Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Purvis

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

April 18, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
JACOB PURVIS AKA JACOB DEWAYNE PURVIS

          APPEAL FROM THE THIRTY-FIFTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF GRANT, NO. 15-0930 HONORABLE WARREN D. WILLETT, DISTRICT JUDGE

          James P. Lemoine District Attorney James D. White, Jr. Rhea Renee Nugent Assistant District Attorneys Thirty-Fifth Judicial District COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana

          Chad M. Ikerd Louisiana Appellate Project COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Jacob Purvis

          Court composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, John D. Saunders, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.

          JOHN D. SAUNDERS JUDGE

         Defendant, Jacob Purvis, was convicted of aggravated arson, a violation of La.R.S. 14:51, and sentenced to twelve years at hard labor, with the first two years of the sentence to be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, to run consecutively with any other sentence. Defendant was also ordered to pay a $5, 000.00 fine, court costs, and a $1, 000.00 fee to the Public Defender's Office. The Defendant's conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal. State v. Purvis, 16-816 (La.App. 3 Cir. 4/12/17), 217 So.3d 470.

         Defendant is before the court again as the result of a habitual offender proceeding. On October 4, 2016, the State filed a bill of information charging Defendant as a third felony offender pursuant to La.R.S. 15:529.1. Defendant was adjudicated a third offender at a hearing held on July 31, 2017. The trial court then vacated Defendant's twelve-year sentence and sentenced him to serve forty years at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, which was a deviation from the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. Written reasons for judgment were issued by the trial court on August 3, 3017. A motion to reconsider sentence was filed on August 21, 2017, and was denied. A motion for appeal was filed on August 21, 2017, and was granted.

         Defendant's appeal was lodged with this court on October 31, 2017. Therein, Defendant asserts that the trial court erred in sentencing him under the habitual offender sentencing scheme that was operative prior to November 1, 2017.

         FACTS:

         The facts supporting the underlying conviction of aggravated arson were set forth in Purvis, 217 So.3d at 472, as follows:

Defendant lived in a double-wide trailer with his mother, uncle, sister, and his sister's two daughters. During the morning of September 16, 2015, Defendant and his sister were arguing inside the trailer when he allegedly threatened to burn it down. He exited the trailer, threw a bug zapper against the wall on the front porch, and walked to the side of the house. A few minutes later, the trailer caught on fire and ended in a total loss. The occupants inside the trailer at the time, Defendant's sister, one of her daughters, and his uncle, exited before it burned down. Defendant's sister and her daughter received injuries from being burned as they exited the trailer.

         At the habitual offender hearing, the trial court found Defendant had previously been convicted of operation of a clandestine laboratory on March 20, 2009, and conspiracy to produce methamphetamine on May 3, 2012. He was then sentenced as a third offender on his conviction for aggravated arson. The trial court gave the following reasons for its deviation from the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment: "Mr. Purvis, due to your age and due to the current push to reduce the incarcerations . . . the Court does find that imprisonment for your natural life without benefit would be excessive." In its written reasons for judgment, the trial court additionally stated: "Considering the Defendant's age, his alleged addiction, combined with the fact that he has both the mental and physical ability to be a productive member of society, the trial court found that the mandatory life sentence would be constitutionally excessive under the circumstances."

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:

         In his only assignment of error, Defendant contends that the trial court erred in sentencing him under the prior version of La.R.S. 15:529.1. He argues that his conviction for aggravated arson was not final at the time of his habitual offender sentencing. Therefore, he should have been sentenced under the new version of the statute, which applies to offenders whose convictions "became final on or after November 1, 2017." We find merit to this contention.

         Habitual Offender Statute

         The habitual offender statute in effect at the time Defendant committed the offense of aggravated arson, was convicted thereof, and was adjudicated a habitual offender and sentenced accordingly provided, in pertinent part:

(3) If the third felony is such that upon a first conviction, the offender would be punishable by imprisonment for any term less than his natural life then:
(a) The person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a determinate term not less than two-thirds of the longest possible sentence for the conviction and not more than twice the longest possible sentence prescribed for a first conviction; or
(b) If the third felony and the two prior felonies are felonies defined as a crime of violence under R.S. 14:2(B), a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:540 et seq. when the victim is under the age of eighteen at the time of commission of the offense, or as a violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law punishable by imprisonment for ten years or more, or any other crimes punishable by imprisonment for twelve years or more, or any combination of such crimes, the person ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.