APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 98-6122, DIVISION
"I" HONORABLE NANCY A. MILLER, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, STATE OF LOUISIANA, Paul D.
Connick, Jr., Terry M. Boudreaux, Darren A. Allemand
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, JOHN ESTEEN, III Bertha M.
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, JOHN ESTEEN, III In Proper Person
composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Stephen J. Windhorst,
and John J. Molaison, Jr.
J. MOLAISON, JR. JUDGE
appeals his sentences, which were imposed by the trial court
following remand from the Louisiana Supreme Court. For the
reasons that follow, we affirm.
case comes before us for the second time on appeal.
John Esteen, was convicted by a jury in the Twenty-Fourth
Judicial District Court on October 27, 2000, of two counts of
possession of cocaine over 400 grams (Counts 2 and 5),
conspiracy to possess cocaine over 400 grams (Count 8), and
attempted possession of cocaine over 400 grams (Count 10). On
November 3, 2000, the trial judge sentenced defendant to 50
years imprisonment at hard labor on Count 2, 50 years on
Count 5, 25 years on Count 8, and 25 years on Count 10. All
sentences were ordered to run consecutively, for a total of
150 years of imprisonment at hard labor. On November 9, 2000,
the State filed a habitual offender bill of information,
alleging that defendant had pled guilty on April 15, 1992, to
possession of cocaine over 400 grams in violation of La. R.S.
40:979 and 40:967(F) in case number 92-083, Division
"K," of the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Louisiana. After the hearing on December
11, 2000, the trial judge found defendant to be a habitual
offender, vacated the Count 8 sentence of 25 years and
sentenced the Defendant to 25 years of imprisonment at hard
labor. On appeal, this Court affirmed defendant's
convictions and sentences and we remanded the matter to the
trial court with an order to send written notice of the
prescriptive period for filing an application for
post-conviction relief. State v. Esteen, 01-879
(La.App. 5 Cir. 5/15/02), 821 So.2d 60, writ denied,
02-1540 (La. 12/13/02), 831 So.2d 983.
filed a motion to correct illegal sentences in 2016, in which
he argued that he was entitled to be sentenced under the more
lenient penalty provisions that were enacted by the
legislature in 2001 La. Acts 403, which the legislature later
declared in La. R.S. 15:308(B) "shall apply to the class
of persons who committed crimes, who were convicted, or who
were sentenced" in accordance with enumerated
provisions, including those pursuant to which relator was
sentenced on three counts. The trial court denied
defendant's motion on February 2, 2016, and this Court
subsequently denied writs. Esteen v. State, 16-158
(La.App. 5 Cir. 4/05/16) (unpublished writ). Thereafter, in
State ex rel. Esteen v. State, 16-0949 (La.
1/30/18), 239 So.3d 233, (per curiam), the Louisiana Supreme
Court held that because three of defendant's sentences
were for terms of imprisonment no longer authorized by law,
and the more lenient penalty provision of La. R.S. 15:308(B)
applied retroactively, defendant's "remedy is by
resentencing in the district court pursuant to his motion to
correct illegal sentences." Id. at 238.
remand, the trial court resentenced defendant on March 22,
2018. For Counts 2 and 5, defendant was sentenced to 30 years
at hard labor for each count, with the sentences to run
consecutively. He was given credit for time served pursuant
to La. C.Cr.P. 880 from the date of arrest. On Count 10, the
trial court sentenced defendant to a 15-year consecutive
sentence at hard labor with credit for time served. The
25-year sentence for Count 8, previously imposed for
defendant's status as a multiple offender, was further
ordered to run consecutively to the sentences for Counts 2, 5
and 10. Defendant objected to the sentences.
April 18, 2018, defendant filed a motion for reconsideration
of sentence. However, defendant also filed a motion for
appeal, which was granted on May 2, 2018. At the June 21,
2018 hearing on defendant's motion for reconsideration,
the trial court declined to rule on defendant's motion
upon finding that it no longer had jurisdiction, in light of
defendant's pending appeal. Thereafter, on July 18, 2018,
this Court ordered the trial court to rule on defendant's
motion for reconsideration of sentence, which was then set
for a hearing on August 1, 2018. The trial court denied
defendant's motion without reasons on August 1, 2018, and
defense counsel noted his objection.