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State v. Hudson

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

May 23, 2018

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
TERRANCE P. HUDSON A.K.A. "PEPPER"

          ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 15-1806, DIVISION "O" HONORABLE DANYELLE M. TAYLOR, JUDGE PRESIDING

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

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, TERRANCE P. HUDSON A.K.A. "PEPPER" Jane L. Beebe

          DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, TERRANCE P. HUDSON A.K.A. "PEPPER" In Proper Person

          Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Marc E. Johnson, and Hans J. Liljeberg

          MARC E. JOHNSON JUDGE.

         Defendant/Appellant, Terrance P. Hudson a/k/a "Pepper, " appeals his sentences for manslaughter, attempted second degree murder, and intimidation of a witness from the 24th Judicial District Court, Division "O". For the following reasons, we affirm Defendant's convictions and sentences on counts one and two, vacate Defendant's sentence on count three, and remand the matter for resentencing consistent with this opinion. Additionally, we remand the matter for correction of the uniform commitment order.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On March 26, 2015, a Jefferson Parish Grand Jury indicted Defendant with second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1. Defendant was arraigned on March 27, 2015, and pleaded not guilty. On January 12, 2017, a Jefferson Parish Grand Jury returned a superseding indictment charging Defendant with second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1 (count one), attempted second degree murder, in violation of La. R.S. 14:30.1 and La. R.S. 14:27 (count two), and intimidation of a witness, in violation of La. R.S. 14:129.1 (count three). Defendant was re-arraigned on January 13, 2017, and pleaded not guilty. On September 11, 2017, the State amended the indictment as to the dates of occurrence in count three. On September 12, 2017, the State amended count one of the indictment to manslaughter, in violation of La. R.S. 14:31.

         Afterward, on that same date, Defendant withdrew his not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty as charged. Because Defendant pleaded guilty, the underlying facts were not fully developed at a trial. Nevertheless, the State alleged in the amended superseding indictment that on or about December 7, 2014, Defendant, in Jefferson Parish, violated La. R.S. 14:31, in that he committed the manslaughter of Maurcell Mitchell (count one). The State also alleged in that same indictment that on or about December 7, 2014, Defendant, in Jefferson Parish, violated La. R.S. 14:30.1 and La. R.S. 14:27, in that he attempted to commit the second degree murder of Kentrell Riley (count two). The State further alleged that on or between December 7, 2014 and September 11, 2017, Defendant, in Jefferson Parish, violated La. R.S. 14:129.1, in that he "intimidate[d], impede[d], by force or threats of force to Israel Jones" with the intent to influence his testimony in a judicial proceeding, reporting of criminal conduct, or appearance at a judicial proceeding (count three).[1]

         During the colloquy, the State provided the following factual basis:

Your Honor, if this matter would go to trial, the State would be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt as to count 1, that on or about December the 7th of 2014, the defendant violated Revised Statute 14:31, in that he did commit manslaughter, being responsible for the murder of Marcel Mitchell.
As to count 2, that on that same date of December the 7th, 2014, the defendant violated Revised Statute 14:2730.1 [sic] in that he did attempt to commit second degree murder of Kentrell Riley.
And as to count 3, on or between December the 7th, 2014, and September the 11th of 2017, the defendant violated Revised Statute 14:129.1 in that he did intimidate, impede by force or threats of force Israel Jones with the intent of influencing his testimony in judicial proceedings reporting criminal conduct or appearance at a judicial proceeding.

         After hearing the factual basis, Defendant indicated that he committed those crimes. The trial judge, thereafter, sentenced Defendant to imprisonment at hard labor for 30 years on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently with each other and with any other sentence Defendant may have been serving at the time. On September 13, 2017, the trial judge vacated those sentences, resentenced Defendant to imprisonment at hard labor for 30 years on each count to run concurrently with each other and with any other sentence Defendant may have been serving at the time, and gave him credit for time served. The trial judge also ordered the sentence on count two to be served without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. On October 10, 2017, Defendant filed a timely pro se motion for appeal, which was granted. The instant appeal followed.

         ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR

         In his counseled assignment of error, Defendant requests that this Court review the record for any errors patent. In pro se assignments of error, Defendant alleges the trial court erred in imposing three concurrent 30-year sentences for his convictions, as those sentences were not in conformity with his plea agreement; his sentence for the intimidation of a witness conviction is illegal; and, the trial court erred in restricting parole for his attempted second degree murder conviction.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         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, [2] 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 counsel requests permission to withdraw as counsel of record.

         In Anders, supra, the United States Supreme Court stated that appointed appellate counsel may request permission to withdraw if she finds her case to be wholly frivolous after a conscientious examination of it.[3] The request must "be accompanied by 'a brief referring to anything in the record that might arguably support the appeal'" so as to provide the reviewing court "with a basis for determining whether appointed counsel have fully performed their duty to support their clients' appeals to the best of their ability" and to assist the reviewing court "in making the critical determination whether the appeal is indeed so frivolous that counsel should be permitted to withdraw." McCoy v. Court of Appeals of Wisconsin, Dist. 1, 486 U.S. 429, 439, 108 S.Ct. 1895, 1902, 100 L.Ed.2d 440 (1988) (quotation omitted).

         In Jyles, supra at 241, the Louisiana Supreme Court stated that an Anders brief need not tediously catalog every meritless pretrial motion or objection made at trial with a detailed explanation of why the motions or objections lack merit. The supreme court explained that an Anders brief must demonstrate by full discussion and analysis that appellate counsel "has cast an advocate's eye over the trial record and considered whether any ruling made by the trial court, subject to the contemporaneous objection rule, had a significant, adverse impact on shaping the evidence presented to the jury for its consideration." Id.

         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. Bradford, supra at 1110. 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. However, if the court finds any legal point arguable on the merits, it may either deny the motion and order the court-appointed ...


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