Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for
the Parish of Webster, Louisiana Trial Court No. 091986,
Honorable Michael Nerren, Judge.
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Peggy J. Sullivan Counsel for
SCHUYLER MARVIN District Attorney, JOHN MICHAEL LAWRENCE HUGO
A. HOLLAND, JR. Assistant District Attorneys Counsel for
MOORE, STONE, and STEPHENS, JJ.
defendant, Kevin Lacey Liker, pled guilty to negligent
homicide in violation of La. R.S. 14:32(A)(1). The trial
court imposed the maximum sentence allowed by law - five
years at hard labor. On appeal, Liker argues his sentence is
excessive. For the following reasons, we affirm his
conviction and sentence.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
21, 2016, Kevin Lacey Liker ("Liker") was
erratically driving his vehicle in Webster Parish at a high
rate of speed while under the influence of alcohol. In an
attempt to pass two vehicles in a no-passing zone, Liker
collided with an oncoming vehicle. The passenger in that
oncoming vehicle, Linda McCoy ("McCoy"), died as a
result of the collision. A chemical test revealed Liker's
blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was 0.32%.
October 20, 2016, Liker was charged by bill of information
with vehicular homicide in violation of La. R.S. 14:32.1. The
bill of information provided that Liker killed McCoy by
operating his vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic
beverages and having a blood alcohol content of more than
0.08%. Liker subsequently filed a motion to suppress the
chemical test results arguing the blood sample used to
conduct the test was obtained without a search warrant in
violation of his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable
searches and seizures. See Birchfield v. North
Dakota, __U.S.__, 136 S.Ct. 2160, 195 L.Ed.2d 560
(2016). The trial court granted Liker's motion and
suppressed the results of the chemical test.
March 24, 2017, the state charged Liker by amended bill of
information with negligent homicide in violation of La. R.S.
14:32(A)(1). The amended bill of information stated Liker
negligently killed McCoy by: 1)driving a motor vehicle under
the influence of an intoxicating beverage; 2)exceeding the
posted speed limit by more than 11 but less than 15 miles per
hour; and 3) passing in a no-passing zone.
April 3, 2017, after being informed of his rights pursuant to
Boykin v. Alabama, 395 U.S. 238, 89 S.Ct. 1709, 23
L.Ed.2d 274 (1969), Liker pled guilty to negligent homicide.
The state agreed not to file a multiple offender bill and
that the trial court would determine to Liker's sentence
after a presentence investigation ("PSI"). On July
3, 2017, the trial court sentenced Liker to the maximum
sentence allowed by law - five years at hard labor.
Thereafter, Liker filed a motion to reconsider sentence
arguing the trial court's consideration of his
intoxication was erroneous and that the imposed sentence was
excessive. The trial court denied the motion. Liker now
appeal, Liker challenges the constitutionality of the imposed
maximum sentence. He contends he is not the most blameworthy
or egregious offender and that the imposed sentence does not
further the ends of justice. Liker insists his expressions of
remorse and need for treatment, rather than incarceration,
justify a lesser sentence.
appellate court utilizes a two-pronged test in reviewing a
sentence for excessiveness. First, the record must show that
the trial court took cognizance of the criteria set forth in
La.C.Cr.P. art. 894.1. The trial court is not required to
list every aggravating or mitigating circumstance, so long as
the record reflects that it adequately considered the
guidelines of the article. State v. Smith, 433 So.2d
688 (La. 1983); S ...