Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Trial Court No. 330, 810,
Honorable Ramona L. Emanuel, Judge.
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Annette F. Roach, Counsel for
E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney, TOMMY J. JOHNSON WILLIAM
C. GASKINS Assistant District Attorneys, Counsel for
PITMAN, COX, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.
criminal appeal arises from the First Judicial District
Court, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Trevor Edden appeals the
sentence imposed after a jury convicted him of domestic abuse
battery, fourth or subsequent offense. Edden was sentenced to
37 years' imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit
of probation or suspension of sentence. Pro se and counseled
motions for reconsideration of sentence were denied by the
trial court. For the following reasons, Edden's
conviction and sentence are affirmed.
and his live-in girlfriend, Jakia Norris, had been a couple
for six years, lived together for three years, and had two
children together. Around midday on October 19, 2014, Edden
and Ms. Norris left their home by car to get something to
eat. Ms. Norris was the passenger in the car and Edden drove.
As the two left a gas station, they got into an argument for
an undisclosed reason. During the verbal altercation, Edden
struck Ms. Norris in the jaw causing her lip to bleed. Edden
pulled the car over and the couple continued to fight. Ms.
Norris fought back in self-defense, striking Edden in his
face. Thereafter, Edden bit Ms. Norris on her left arm, right
pinkie finger, and right leg.
Norris was able to get out of the car and run down the
street. About five minutes later, Ms. Norris got a ride to
her home and called police. The police photographed Ms.
Norris to document the injuries she sustained. An emergency
medical team was dispatched to her home, but no treatment was
provided to her. At the time of the trial, Ms. Norris had a
scar on her arm from the bite mark. She stated that she still
lived with and had feelings for Edden.
October 9, 2010, and March 14, 2012, Edden was placed on
probation for domestic abuse battery convictions against a
different complainant. In 2014, Edden pled guilty to two
separate charges of domestic abuse battery against Ms.
Norris. For these guilty pleas, he received 48 hours in jail
and was placed on one-year probation for each conviction.
was arrested on the instant offense and ultimately charged
with one count of domestic abuse battery, fourth or
subsequent offense, in violation of La. R.S. 14:35.3(F). He
was tried by a jury and unanimously convicted as charged.
16, 2017, the State filed a second-felony habitual bill of
information against Edden, based upon a prior felony
conviction in Caddo Parish, Docket No. 284, 739, unauthorized
entry of an inhabited dwelling on March 22, 2010. For that
conviction, he received a suspended sentence of one year at
hard labor and was placed on one year of supervised
probation. Prior to hearing the habitual offender proceedings
on September 18, 2017, the trial court denied Edden's
motions for new trial and post-verdict judgment of acquittal.
After hearing the testimony of one of the State's
witness, the trial court adjudicated Edden as a second-felony
presentence investigation report was ordered. On October 19,
2017, Edden submitted a statement on sentencing. He stated
that he was 28 years old and admitted his prior felony and
misdemeanor convictions, in addition to his four prior
convictions for domestic abuse. Edden admitted that he had
also pled guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession in
August of 2012. Edden requested that the trial court consider
an attached letter written by Ms. Norris and asked the trial
court to "exercise as much mercy as possible" in
letter, Ms. Norris indicated that "we have been
blessed" that Edden's most recent troubles and
period of incarceration had "truly allowed" Edden
to understand "what it takes to be a productive member
of society." Ms. Norris did not attempt to argue that
Edden's offense qualified as a misdemeanor, but asked the
court to consider his "lack of any prior criminal
activity," as well as the "pronounced improvements
we have seen" in him. Ms. Norris insisted that
Edden's "domestic abuse was left behind while
incarcerated in the Caddo Parish Jail," and that the
system had helped him through anger management. Ms. Norris