FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 275-987,
SECTION "0" Honorable Karen K. Herman, Judge
A. Cannizzaro, Jr., District Attorney Donna Andrieu,
Assistant District Attorney William R. Dieters, Assistant
District Attorney ORLEANS PARISH COUNSEL FOR STATE OF
Watters LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT COUNSEL FOR
composed of Judge Terri F. Love, Judge Sandra Cabrina
Jenkins, Judge Regina Bartholomew-Woods
CABRINA JENKINS, JUDGE
appeal arises from a resentencing pursuant to Miller v.
Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407
(2012). Based on applicable law and jurisprudence, we find
that the trial court imposed a legal sentence of life
imprisonment with the possibility of parole. Accordingly,
defendant's sentence is affirmed.
Williams ("Williams") and two others - Alonzo
Walton and Lester R. Allen - were charged with the March 16,
1980 first degree murder of Charles Millet, a violation of
La. RS. 14:30. Williams was a minor on the date of the
murder. On August 28, 1980, a jury found Williams guilty as
charged. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without
benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence on
September 12, 1980. This Court affirmed his conviction and
sentence on direct appeal. State v. Williams,
So.2d(La.App. 4 Cir. 1980) (unpub.). Williams was
unsuccessful in his efforts to obtain collateral relief until
the U.S. Supreme Court issued Montgomery v.
Louisiana, U.S., 136 S.Ct. 718, 193 L.Ed.2d 599 (2016),
holding that its previous holding in Miller, supra,
applied retroactively. Miller held that "the
Eighth Amendment forbids a sentencing scheme that mandates
life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile
offenders" absent taking "into account how children
are different, and how those differences counsel against
irrevocably sentencing them to a lifetime in prison."
567 U.S. at 479-80, 132 S.Ct. at 2469.
filed a motion to correct illegal sentence based on
Miller on September 11, 2012. After the Louisiana
Supreme Court granted writs to deny relief, see State v.
Williams, 2013-0100 (La. 6/20/14), 141 So.3d 805
(rejecting relief based on finding Miller did not
apply retroactively), Williams filed an application for writ
of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He also
filed another motion to correct illegal sentence based on
Miller and Montgomery on May 2, 2016.
Subsequent to staying the federal suit, pending the issuance
of Montgomery, on July 18, 2016, the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued the
For the reasons stated above, the Court finds that Petitioner
is entitled to relief from his unconstitutional sentence.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the State's objection is
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Court ADOPTS the Magistrate
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner Reginald Williams's
application for habeas corpus relief is GRANTED, that his
sentence of life imprisonment without benefit of probation,
parole or suspension of sentence is VACATED, and that the
state trial court is ORDERED to resentence Petitioner in
conformity with Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct. 2455