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State v. Woods

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

January 16, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
JAMIE ROSHARD WOODS Appellant

          Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Bossier, Louisiana Trial Court No. 226, 180 Honorable Michael Owens Craig, Judge

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Mary Constance Hanes Counsel for Appellant

          J. SCHUYLER MARVIN District Attorney ALEXANDRA AIELLO JOHN MICHAEL LAWRENCE Assistant District Attorneys Counsel for Appellee

          Before STONE, McCALLUM, and BLEICH (Pro Tempore), JJ.

          STONE, J.

         The defendant, Jamie Roshard Woods, pled guilty to one count of illegal possession of stolen goods in excess of $1, 500 pursuant to La. R.S. 14:69(B)(1). He was sentenced to 8 years at hard labor with credit for time served. The defendant now appeals his sentence on the grounds of constitutional excessiveness. For the following reasons, we affirm his conviction, vacate his sentence and remand for resentencing in accordance with the penalty provisions in effect at the time of the commission of the offense.

         FACTS

         On November 5, 2017, Jamie Roshard Woods attempted to sell a stolen four-wheeler to law enforcement officers in Bossier Parish. Woods was arrested and charged with one count of illegal possession of stolen things valued over $1, 500. On February 27, 2018, Woods pled guilty as charged after being informed of and waiving his constitutional rights with no agreement as to sentencing, and the trial court ordered a presentence investigation report.

         Woods appeared for sentencing on May 22, 2018.[1] Prior to imposing sentence, the trial court noted its review of the presentence investigation report and consideration of the guidelines of La.C.Cr.P. art. 894.1, which required the court to balance aggravating and mitigating factors to determine Woods' overall sentencing exposure.

         During sentencing, the trial court noted that consideration was given to the defendant's social history, including upbringing, education and background, and that "a lot of weight" was given to criminal history. To that point, the trial court expressed that Woods lacked "a good criminal history." Although the present offense is Woods' only crime in Louisiana, the trial court noted Woods' criminal history began in 2004 and even spanned across "several cities throughout Oklahoma and Texas."

         After reviewing Woods' criminal history, the trial court determined that Woods was not eligible for probation, had several previous crimes of violence on his record and that any lesser sentence than the one imposed would deprecate the seriousness of the present offense. The trial court considered the "repetitive nature" of Woods' criminal history and imposed a sentence of 8 years at hard labor, with credit for time served.

         Thereafter the trial court informed Woods of his appellate delays including delays for seeking post-conviction relief."[2] On May 24, 2018, Woods filed a motion to reconsider sentence raising only an excessive sentence claim, but without any specific argument. On May 24, 2018, the trial court summarily denied Woods' motion. This appeal ensued.

         DISCUSSION

         On appeal, Woods argues that his 8-year sentence for illegal possession of stolen things with a value of $1500 or more is excessive under the circumstances pointing out that under the current version of La. R.S. 14:69(B), the maximum sentence exposure is only 5 years with or without hard labor. For this reason, Woods asserts that the penalty change is dramatic because it reduces the maximum sentence that can now ...


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