Appealed from the Fourth Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana Trial Court No. 21, 940
Honorable Sharon I. Marchman, Judge.
LAVALLE B. SALOMON Counsel for Appellant, C.P.G.
L. SANDERS, II Assistant District Attorney Counsel for
Appellee, State of Louisiana
HEATHER S. COURTNEY Counsel for Appellee, Office of Juvenile
GARRETT, McCALLUM, and THOMPSON, JJ.
juvenile, CPG, entered an admission to the offense of
negligent homicide and was adjudicated a delinquent. The
trial court ordered him to serve five years in secure
custody. CPG appealed, arguing that the disposition is
excessive. For the following reasons, we vacate a stay
previously granted in this matter and affirm the adjudication
February 23, 2018, thirteen-year-old CPG claimed to have a
sore throat and stayed at home with an older brother instead
of going to school.During the day, the brothers accessed
various guns belonging to their stepfather and shot them out
the back door of the house. That afternoon, 17-year-old AN
was picked up from work by a friend, they purchased
marijuana, and went to CPG's house to smoke
CPG's brother had a 9 mm gun and laid it on a table while
he went outside to retrieve his dog. CPG picked up the gun,
went outside, and sat in the backseat of a vehicle with AN.
AN asked if the gun was real. CPG waved the gun around and
pulled the trigger. AN was struck in the head with a bullet
and died at the scene. CPG claimed that he did not know the
gun was loaded.
March 19, 2018, a "Petition to Declare a Minor to be
Delinquent" was filed against CPG, charging him with
negligent homicide, a violation of La. R.S.
14:32. Six additional petitions were also filed
against CPG. He was charged with five counts of simple
burglary, three counts of theft of a firearm, and one count
of felony theft. These offenses arose from a series of
vehicle burglaries in which firearms and other property were
stolen. CPG was arraigned on March 22, 2018, and
was released on bond. He appeared in court on May 24, 2018,
and a drug test was ordered. CPG tested positive for
marijuana. His bond was revoked and he was placed in
21, 2018, CPG appeared in court and entered an admission to
negligent homicide. He was advised of his rights, and was told
that the maximum sentence for this offense was five years. He
acknowledged that there was no agreed upon sentence. The
trial court found that CPG knowingly, intelligently, and
voluntarily entered the admission and found there was a
factual basis for the admission. The trial court ordered a
predisposition investigation ("PDI") report. The
trial court also asked that CPG's mother and stepfather
submit to drug screening. The stepfather's test was
negative, but the mother tested positive for marijuana.
30, 2018, CPG appeared before the court and was ordered to
serve five years in secure care, with credit for time served.
CPG appealed the disposition, arguing that it is excessive.
The Office of Juvenile Justice ("OJJ") also
appealed, arguing that the trial court did not have the
authority to order that CPG be placed in secure care. The OJJ
asserted that only the Department of Public Safety and
Corrections can determine the most appropriate placement,
care, and treatment of the juvenile. The OJJ sought a stay of
the secure care order pending the appeal.
trial court granted the appeal of both CPG and the OJJ, but
denied the stay of the order of secure care. The OJJ filed a
writ application to this court seeking a stay of the juvenile
court's order to place CPG in secure care. On August 17,
2018, in 52, 476-JWC, this court granted the stay.
juvenile court ordered CPG and the OJJ to appear for a
hearing pursuant to La.C.Cr.P. art. 914.1(C)(3), because they
had both failed to pay the fees for obtaining transcripts for
their appeals. A hearing was held in October 2018. At that
time, both parties had paid the transcript fees. The
transcript fees for both CPG and the OJJ were due on or
before August 30, 2018. The check from the OJJ was received
by the Ouachita Parish Clerk of Court's office on
September 14, 2018. The check from CPG was received on
September 24, 2018. Both parties offered explanations for the
delays in the checks reaching the clerk of court's
office. However, because the fees were not paid in a timely
fashion, the trial court dismissed the appeals. Both CPG and
OJJ filed notices of intent to apply for supervisory writs to
this court. Only CPG actually filed a writ application. On
February 22, 2019, in 52, 760-JWC, this court granted
CPG's writ, reinstating the appeal. Because the OJJ did
not apply for a writ from the dismissal of its appeal, the
trial court judgment dismissing its appeal is
asserts that the disposition imposed is excessive. He
maintains that the juvenile court did not comply with the
sentencing guidelines of the Louisiana Code of Criminal
Procedure and the Louisiana Children's Code by failing to
adequately articulate for the record the factual basis for
the imposition of the maximum sentence in this case. CPG also
urges that the juvenile court failed to address and consider
factors and circumstances in mitigation which would compel a
lesser sentence than that imposed. These arguments are
Louisiana Children's Code provides the procedures and
requirements for adjudicating juveniles as delinquents and
determining their disposition after adjudication. All rights
guaranteed to criminal defendants by the Constitution of the
United States or the Constitution of Louisiana, except the
right to jury trial, shall be applicable in juvenile court
proceedings. See La. Ch. C. art. 808. A delinquency
proceeding shall be commenced by a petition. La. Ch. C. art.
the answer to the petition, La. Ch. C. art. 855 provides, in
A. When the child appears to answer the petition, the court
shall first determine that the child is capable of
understanding statements about his rights under this Code.
B. If the child is capable, the court shall then advise the
child of the following items in terms understandable to the
(1) The nature of this delinquency proceeding.
(2) The nature of the allegations of the petition.
(3) His right to an adjudication hearing.
(4) His right to be represented by an attorney, his right to
have counsel appointed as provided in Article 809, and his
right in certain circumstances authorized by Article 810 to
(5) His privilege against self-incrimination.
(6) The range of responses authorized under Article 856.
(7) The possible consequences of his admission that the
allegations are true, including the maximum and minimal
dispositions which the court may impose pursuant to Articles
897 through 900[.]
La. Ch. C. art. 856 provides, in pertinent part:
A. After the child has been advised pursuant to Article 855,
the court shall inquire how the child ...