FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 206-569,
SECTION "A" HONORABLE LAURIE A. WHITE, JUDGE.
CANNIZZARO DISTRICT ATTORNEY DONNA ANDRIEU ASSISTANT DISTRICT
ATTORNEY SCOTT G. VINCENT ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY PARISH
OF ORLEANS COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE/STATE OF LOUISIANA
CHRISTOPHER A. ABERLE LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT JAMES
PRESTON, LOUISIANA STATE PENITENTIARY DEFENDANT/APPELLANT/IN
composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Joy Cossich
Lobrano, Judge Tiffany G. Chase
L. DYSART JUDGE.
LOBRANO, J., CONCURS IN THE RESULT
appeal concerns the trial court's re-sentencing of the
defendant, James Preston, following a hearing held pursuant
to Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455
(2012). For the reasons that follow, we affirm Mr.
1968, then sixteen-year-old James Preston was charged by a
grand jury with two counts of murder and two counts of
aggravated rape. In May of 1969 and September of 1970, Mr.
Preston pled guilty to those charges and was sentenced to
life imprisonment at hard labor on each count.
April 4, 2016, Mr. Preston filed a Motion to Correct Illegal
Sentence in which he maintained that his sentence to life
without the benefit of parole, imposed when he was a minor,
was illegal based upon the United States Supreme Court
decisions of Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132
S.Ct. 2455 (2012) and Montgomery v. Louisiana, 577
U.S.___, 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016). On May 2, 2017, the trial
court conducted a hearing on Mr. Preston's motion, at the
conclusion of which, the trial court re-sentenced Mr. Preston
to life with the benefit of parole on each of his
convictions, further ordering that:
. . . [I]n order [for Mr. Preston] to have a meaningful
opportunity to be heard, . . . [his] sentences will run
concurrent with each other and [he will be] given credit for
time served on each of those cases from [his] original arrest
December 5, 2017, Mr. Preston filed several pro se
motions: a Motion to Reconsider Sentence; a Motion for
Appointment of Appellate Counsel; and a Notice of Appeal. The
trial court denied the motion to reconsider sentence, but
granted Mr. Preston an appeal and appointed the Louisiana
Appellate Project to represent Mr. Preston on appeal.
appeal followed. Briefs were filed by both Mr. Preston's