APPLYING FOR SUPERVISORY WRIT FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL
DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA,
DIRECTED TO THE HONORABLE SCOTT U.SCHLEGEL, DIVISION
"D", NUMBER 12-5762
composed of Judges Stephen J. Windhorst, Hans J. Liljeberg,
and Timothy S. Marcel, Pro Tempore
DENIED IN PART AND GRANTED IN PART FOR THE LIMITED PURPOSE OF
REMAND WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO CORRECT 10/1/14 SENTENCING MINUTE
ENTRY AND UNIFORM COMMITMENT ORDER
Raymond Melancon, seeks review of the trial court's March
18, 2019 Order denying his motion to correct an illegal
sentence. Relator argues that the trial court sentenced him
to 40 years imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of
probation, parole or suspension of sentence as a third felony
offender. He contends that neither Louisiana's habitual
offender law, La. R.S. 15:529.1, nor the sentencing provision
for the underlying offense, distribution of heroin (La. R.S.
40:966(A)) contain a parole restriction. For the reasons
stated more fully below, we deny relator's writ
application in part and grant in part for the limited purpose
of remand with instructions to the trial court to correct the
October 1, 2014 sentencing minute entry and uniform
commitment order as explained below.
December 5, 2013, relator was convicted by a jury of
distribution of heroin (Count 2), possession with the intent
to distribute heroin (Count 3), both in violation of La. R.S.
40:966A, and convicted felon in possession of a weapon in
violation of La. R.S. 14:95.1 (Count 4). The trial court
sentenced relator to 30 years imprisonment at hard labor each
for the distribution and possession with intent to distribute
heroin charges, with the first 5 years of each sentence to be
served without the benefit of probation or suspension of
sentence. The district court also sentenced relator
to 20 years imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of
probation, parole and suspension of sentence for the
convicted felon in possession of a firearm charge. The
district court ordered all of these sentences to run
concurrently. The State filed a multiple offender bill with
respect to Count 2 and relator was adjudicated a third felony
offender on January 15, 2014. The trial court vacated the
30-year sentence and resentenced relator to 40 years
imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of probation
or suspension of sentence to run concurrent with all other
Court affirmed relator's convictions and sentences on
appeal. State v. Melancon, 14-221 (La.App. 5 Cir.
9/24/14), 151 So.3d 100, writ denied, 14-2161 (La.
5/22/15), 170 So.3d 982. However, this Court remanded the
matter to the trial court to correct the Uniform Commitment
Order ("UCO") because it contained an incorrect
date of offense for Count 4 and also listed an incorrect
adjudication date for all offenses.
October 1, 2014, the trial court amended the sentencing
minute entry to correct the adjudication date and the UCO to
correct the offense date and adjudication date. However,
these documents both stated that relator's 40-year
enhanced sentence on Count 2 was now without the benefit of
"parole, probation or suspension of sentence."
March 1, 2019, relator filed a motion to correct illegal
sentence alleging that his 40-year enhanced sentence imposed
on Count 2 was illegal because it was without the benefit of
parole. On March 18, 2019, the trial court denied
relator's motion noting that in our opinion affirming
relator's convictions and sentences, the Fifth Circuit
stated that with respect to his enhanced sentence on Count 2,
relator was sentenced "under La. R.S. 15:529.1 to 40
years at hard labor without benefit of probation or
suspension of sentence." The trial court also stated
that the "commitment order" did not include a
31, 2019, relator filed a writ of mandamus with this Court
asking that we direct the trial court to rule on his motion
to correct illegal sentence. In our June 20, 2019 ruling
(Case No. 19-KH-258), this Court noted that the trial court
previously ruled on relator's motion on March 18, 2019.
However, the trial court served relator at the Louisiana
State Prison in Angola, La, when relator was currently
serving his sentence at Raymond Laborde Correctional Center.
Therefore, this Court granted the writ of mandamus for the
limited purpose of directing the trial court to serve relator
at his current location.
3, 2019, relator filed the instant writ application alleging
the trial court erred by denying his motion to correct an
illegal sentence because it improperly included a parole
restriction on his 40-year enhanced sentence on Count 2. As
noted above, the trial court did not include a parole
restriction when it imposed the 40-year enhanced sentence on
Count 2 on January 15, 2014. Therefore, relator's
sentence is not illegal and we deny relator's writ
application with respect to this issue.
according to the official record, after receiving this
Court's instructions to correct the UCO in State v.
Melancon, supra, the trial court signed an
amended minute entry and UCO, which both incorrectly included
a parole restriction on relator's 40-year enhanced
sentence on Count 2. Therefore, we grant relator's writ
application for the limited purpose of remanding the matter
and ordering the trial court to correct the October 1, 2014
minute entry and UCO to remove the parole restriction on
relator's 40-year sentence on Count 2 imposed under La.
R.S. 15:529.1. We further direct the Clerk of Court to
transmit the original of the amended UCO to the officer in
charge of the institution to which defendant has been
sentenced and the Department of Corrections' legal