FROM THE SIXTEENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF IBERIA,
NO. 14-452 HONORABLE KEITH RAYNE JULES COMEAUX, DISTRICT
M. Bofill Duhe Sixteenth Judicial District Attorney W. Claire
Howington Assistant District Attorney COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE:
State of Louisiana
S. Ibrahim Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT:
Darrel Brown Mathieu
composed of Shannon J. Gremillion, Candyce G. Perret, and
Jonathan W. Perry, Judges.
SHANNON J. GREMILLION JUDGE
Darrel Brown Mathieu, appeals his convictions and sentences
for armed robbery with a firearm, violations of La.R.S. 14:64
and 14:64.3, for which he received a sentence of sixty years
at hard labor plus five years enhancement for use of a
firearm. For the reasons that follow, we affirm
Defendant's convictions and sentences.
AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE
was charged by bill of information on April 4, 2014, with
aggravated second degree battery, in violation of La.R.S.
14:34.7; armed robbery with the use of a firearm, in
violation of La.R.S. 14:64 and 14:64.3; and possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of La.R.S.
14:95.1, all stemming from an armed robbery of a Dollar
General store during which a clerk was shot in the leg.
Defendant was arrested later that evening by officers
investigating a suspicious-person call. The following day,
$629 was found stuffed in a tree near the scene of
Defendant's arrest. A test on Defendant's hands for
gunpowder residue returned a positive result. The bill of
information was amended in May 2014 to correct the name of
was empaneled on May 12, 2015. The following day, Defendant
informed the court that he wished to change his plea to
accept an offer extended by the State. Defendant pleaded
guilty to armed robbery with a firearm. In exchange, the
State dismissed the remaining charges and agreed to not bill
Defendant as a habitual offender.
August 10, 2015, Defendant was sentenced "to sixty-five
years in prison without benefit of probation, parole, or
suspension of sentence." On January 8, 2016, the trial
court clarified that its sentence was actually sixty years on
the armed robbery plus five years for the firearm enhancement
with the two sentences to run consecutively. At this hearing,
the trial court instructed Defendant that he had two years
within which to seek post-conviction relief. On December 18,
2017, Defendant filed a "Motion for Out-of-Time
Appeal," which the trial court granted.
now appeals his conviction and sentences, contending that his
trial counsel was ineffective for failing to request a
probable cause hearing, failing to request a bill of
particulars, and failing to file a motion to suppress; that
his plea was not knowingly and voluntarily made; and that his
sentence is excessive.
exists a serious concern whether Defendant's motion for
out-of-time appeal was not timely filed. However, in
State ex rel. Clavelle v. State, 02-1244 (La.
12/12/03), 861 So.2d 186, the supreme court allowed a
defendant to seek post-conviction relief after a trial judge
told him during a probation revocation hearing that he had
two years to apply for post-conviction relief, despite
Uniform Rules- Courts of Appeal, Rule 4-3 allowing a
defendant only thirty days from a probation revocation to
seek review. The court concluded the defendant had attempted
to comply with what he reasonably believed were the
procedural requirements for preserving his claims.
light of Clavelle and the trial court's
instruction to Defendant on January 8, 2016, we will address
the merits of Defendant's appellate claims rather than
dismiss the appeal as untimely under La.Code Crim.P. art.
930.8. Additionally, in the interest of fairness, we note
that, had an appeal been taken without the trial court
clarifying the sentence imposed, this court would have
vacated Defendant's sentence as an error patent because
it was indeterminate. See State v. Martin, 13-628
(La.App. 4 Cir. 5/28/14), 141 So.3d 933, writ
denied, 14-1250 (La. ...