APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 15-570, DIVISION
"L" HONORABLE DONALD A. ROWAN, JR., JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA Paul D.
Connick, Jr. Terry M. Boudreaux Thomas J. Butler Andrew
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, KEITHEN D. NELSON Bruce G.
composed of Judges Jude G. Gravois, Robert A. Chaisson, and
Marion F. Edwards, Judge Pro Tempore
G. GRAVOIS JUDGE
AFFIRMED; SENTENCE VACATED; REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING
Keithen D. Nelson, appeals his conviction and sentence of
armed robbery with a firearm, in violation of La. R.S. 14:64
and 14:64.3. Specifically, defendant argues that the trial
court erred in denying his motion to suppress statement
because the evidence showed that he was too intoxicated to
waive his right to remain silent. For the reasons that
follow, we affirm defendant's conviction, vacate his
sentence, and remand for resentencing.
March 12, 2015, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney filed
a bill of information charging defendant, Keithen D. Nelson,
with first degree robbery, in violation of La. R.S.
14:64.1. On that same date, defendant pled not
guilty at his arraignment. On March 13, 2015, defendant filed
omnibus motions, including motions to suppress statement and
February 18, 2016, the State filed a superseding bill of
information amending the charge to armed robbery with a
firearm, in violation of La. R.S. 14:64 and La. R.S. 14:64.3,
defendant entered a plea of not guilty. On that same date,
the trial court heard defendant's motion to suppress
evidence, but held the hearing open for testimony on the
motion to suppress statement. On March 28, 2017, defendant
filed a pro se motion to suppress
evidence. On April 26, 2017, the trial court resumed
the February 18, 2016 hearing and heard defendant's
motion to suppress statement. At the hearing's
conclusion, the trial court denied defendant's motions to
suppress evidence and statement.
August 29, 2016, defendant filed a motion seeking the
appointment of a sanity commission to determine his
competency to proceed to trial. On October 12, 2016, after
considering the opinion of the appointed sanity commission,
the trial court found defendant competent to proceed to
August 14, 2017, defendant withdrew his plea of not guilty
and pled guilty as charged to armed robbery with a
firearm under North Carolina v. Alford,
400 U.S. 25, 91 S.Ct. 160, 27 L.Ed.2d 162 (1970). After
defendant waived delays, the trial court sentenced him to
twenty years imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit
of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence, to run
concurrently with the sentences in district court case
numbers 15-461 and 15-462.
one month later, on September 12, 2017, defendant filed a
"Motion for Reconsideration of Sentence" under La.
C.Cr.P. art. 881.1, advising the trial court that he had
intended to enter his plea under State v. Crosby,
338 So.2d 584 (La. 1976). On September 15, 2017, following a
hearing, the trial court advised defense counsel that it
would grant the motion for reconsideration of sentence.
September 16, 2017, defendant filed a "Motion and Order
for Appeal Pursuant to State vs. Crosby, "
noting his right to appeal the April 26, 2017 denial of the
motions to suppress evidence, statement, and
identification. On September 18, 2017, the trial court
issued an "Order Amending Commitment and Sentence,
" wherein it granted defendant's motion for
reconsideration of sentence and ordered that the sentence and
commitment be amended solely to reflect that defendant's
right to timely appeal under Crosby be
"reserved unto him commencing on the date of this
order." Also, on September 18, 2017, defendant's
motion for appeal pursuant to Crosby was granted.
Defendant's appeal followed.
defendant pled guilty, the facts were not fully developed at
trial. However, the superseding bill of information alleged
that on or about January 9, 2015, defendant violated La. R.S.
14:64 and La. R.S. 14:64.3 by robbing Chen Yizi and/or Irene
Yu while armed with a firearm in ...