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State v. Melancon

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

April 18, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
DUDLEY MELANCON, JR. -AKA- DUDLEY MELANCON

          APPEAL FROM THE FOURTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF CALCASIEU, NO. 15271-14 HONORABLE DAVID ALEXANDER RITCHIE, DISTRICT JUDGE

          John F. DeRosier Fourteenth Judicial District Attorney Carla S. Sigler Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Brooks Hollins Assistant District Attorney COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana

          Paula C. Marx Louisiana Appellate Project COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Dudley Melancon, Jr.

          Court composed of Shannon J. Gremillion, Phyllis M. Keaty, and D. Kent Savoie, Judges.

          SHANNON J. GREMILLION JUDGE

         Defendant, Dudley Melancon, Jr., and Jeremiah Christopher Jones were charged with first degree robbery, a violation of La.R.S. 14:64.1, on June 11, 2014, as the result of an incident on May 7, 2014, in which Defendant robbed the victim of a bank bag. Defendant pled not guilty and requested a jury trial. The charges against Defendant and Jones were severed, and Defendant was tried by himself. Defendant never contested the fact that he committed a simple robbery.

         A jury convicted Defendant of the lesser charge of simple robbery, a violation of La.R.S. 14:65. The trial court sentenced Defendant to the maximum sentence of seven years at hard labor, to run consecutively to any other time being served. That sentence has since been vacated, and Defendant has been adjudicated a third felony offender. The appeal of that adjudication is before this court in docket number 17-944.

         Appellate counsel has filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396 (1967), alleging no non-frivolous issues exist on which to base an appeal and seeking to withdraw as Defendant's counsel. Defendant was notified of the filing and given until January 22, 2018, to file a pro se brief. Defendant has not filed a brief. We grant the motion to withdraw, and Defendant's conviction is affirmed.

         ANALYSIS

         Pursuant to Anders, 386 U.S. 738, Defendant's appellate counsel filed a brief stating she could find no errors on appeal that would support reversal of Defendant's conviction or sentence. Thus, counsel seeks to withdraw.

         In State v. Benjamin, 573 So.2d 528 (La.App. 4 Cir. 1990), the fourth circuit explained the Anders analysis:

When appointed counsel has filed a brief indicating that no non-frivolous issues and no ruling arguably supporting an appeal were found after a conscientious review of the record, Anders requires that counsel move to withdraw. This motion will not be acted on until this court performs a thorough independent review of the record after providing the appellant an opportunity to file a brief in his or her own behalf. This court's review of the record will consist of (1) a review of the bill of information or indictment to insure the defendant was properly charged; (2) a review of all minute entries to insure the defendant was present at all crucial stages of the proceedings, the jury composition and verdict were correct and the sentence is legal; (3) a review of all pleadings in the record; (4) a review of the jury sheets; and (5) a review of all transcripts to determine if any ruling provides an arguable basis for appeal. Under C.Cr.P. art. 914.1(D) this Court will order that the appeal record be supplemented with pleadings, minute entries and transcripts when the record filed in this Court is not sufficient to perform this review.

Id. at 531.

         Pursuant to Anders and Benjamin, we have performed a thorough review of the record, including pleadings, minute entries, the charging instrument, and the transcripts. Defendant was properly charged in the bill of information, he was present and represented by counsel at all crucial stages of the proceedings, the jury composition and verdict ...


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