Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No. 11F3271
Honorable Carl Van Sharp, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT Carey J. EllisCounsel for
STEPHEN TEW District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
SHIRLEY M. WILSON DAVIS Assistant District Attorney
MOORE, GARRETT, and STEPHENS, JJ.
criminal appeal by Troy Donell Gaines arises from the Fourth
Judicial District Court, Ouachita Parish, State of Louisiana.
Following a jury trial, Gaines was convicted of manslaughter,
in violation of La. R.S. 14:31, and subsequently adjudicated
a second-felony habitual offender and sentenced to 50 years
at hard labor without the benefit of probation, parole or
suspension of sentence. Gaines filed a motion to reconsider
sentence, which was denied by the trial court. On appeal,
Gaines challenges the imposed habitual offender sentence,
claiming it is excessive. For the following reasons,
Gaines's sentence, as amended, is affirmed.
December 6, 2011, Chandrikia Green was found shot to death
and barricaded in the closet of the apartment she shared with
Gaines at Glenwood Townhomes in West Monroe, Louisiana.
Gaines was subsequently arrested and charged by bill of
indictment with second degree murder, in violation of La.
R.S. 14:30.1. Following a jury trial, on March 27, 2017,
Gaines was found guilty of the responsive verdict of
manslaughter and subsequently sentenced to the maximum
sentence of 40 years at hard labor. Gaines's conviction
and sentence were affirmed in State v. Gaines, 51,
985 (La.App. 2 Cir. 4/11/18), 247 So.3d 1061. On June 6, 2017,
the state filed a habitual offender bill of information based
upon Gaines's manslaughter conviction and a prior simple
burglary conviction on April 21, 2005, for which Gaines
received a sentence of five years at hard labor, suspended,
and five years' probation.
habitual offender adjudication hearing began on June 29,
2018. The state presented testimony from Eddie Keyes, one of
the Probation and Parole officers who had supervised Gaines
in the past. Officer Keyes identified Gaines in open court
and testified that Gaines was placed on probation for a
period of five years on April 21, 2005, in Madison Parish
docket number 106294, after receiving a five-year, hard labor
sentence for simple burglary that was suspended. He further
testified that Probation and Parole issued a warrant for
Gaines's arrest on August 24, 2009, for absconding
supervision. The warrant as well as the bill of information
for the prior simple burglary conviction referenced by Ofc.
Keyes were offered by the state and admitted into evidence. A
certified copy of the court minutes of Gaines's guilty
plea to simple burglary was also offered and admitted. The
state had requested a Boykin transcript for
Gaines's simple burglary plea, but it was not ready at
the time of the hearing, so the trial court left the record
open to allow the state to introduce additional information,
and the matter was reset.
25, 2018, the state resumed the habitual offender hearing and
the Boykin transcript of the simple burglary charge
was offered and admitted into evidence. The trial court
subsequently adjudicated Gaines a second-felony offender,
vacated the previous 40-year sentence for manslaughter, and
sentenced Gaines as a second-felony offender to 50 years at
hard labor without the benefit of parole, probation or
suspension of sentence.
motion to reconsider sentence, Gaines asserted the trial
court did not adequately consider that the jury's verdict
was based upon evidence presented at trial that Chandrikia
was having an affair and that provocation is a mitigating
factor for sentencing. The trial court denied the motion to
reconsider sentence without reasons. This appeal by Gaines
sole assignment of error is that the sentence imposed on him
as a second-felony offender is cruel and excessive.
Specifically, Gaines argues that the trial court failed to
consider mitigating factors during sentencing ...