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State v. Rachal

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

November 6, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
MARLON RAY RACHAL, II

          APPEAL FROM THE TENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF NATCHITOCHES, NO. C 23803 HONORABLE DESIREE DYESS, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Billy Joseph Harrington District Attorney Tenth Judicial District COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana

          Paula Corley Marx Louisiana Appellate Project COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Marlon Ray Rachal, II

          Court composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Billy H. Ezell, and John E. Conery, Judges.

          SYLVIA R. COOKS JUDGE.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On March 5, 2006, Defendant, Marlon Ray Rachal, II, and his father, Marlon Rachal, Sr., had an argument over some speakers. At some point in the dispute, Defendant fatally shot his father in their home.

         Defendant was indicted for the second degree murder of Marlon Rachal, Sr., a violation of La.R.S. 14:30.1, on April 15, 2016. Defendant originally entered a plea of not guilty, but he changed his plea to guilty of manslaughter, a violation of La.R.S. 14:31, on November 16, 2017. The indictment was amended at the plea hearing pursuant to the plea agreement.

         The trial court sentenced Defendant to serve thirty years with the Department of Corrections at hard labor, with credit for time served. Defendant filed a motion to reconsider his sentence, and the trial court denied it on April 16, 2018. Defendant filed a motion for appeal on May 18, 2018, but the trial court denied it as untimely on June 19, 2018. Defendant filed a motion for an out-of-time appeal on October 8, 2018, and the trial court granted the appeal the same day.

         Appellate counsel has filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396 (1967), alleging there are no non-frivolous issues on which to base an appeal and seeking to withdraw as Defendant's counsel. Defendant has also filed a pro se brief. We grant the motion to withdraw and affirm Defendant's conviction and sentence. We also instruct the trial court to notify Defendant of the time limitation of La.Code Crim.P. art. 930.8.

         PRO SE ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

         Defendant sent a letter to this court explaining how another defendant, also in Natchitoches and a year older than he, was sentenced to twenty years of imprisonment with five years of supervised probation in a similar case. That defendant had also been charged with second degree murder and had pled guilty to manslaughter. Defendant submitted what purported to be an article about the other defendant's case, and he asked this court to consider lessening his sentence based on that article.

         Defendant's sentence was based on the record of this matter. As discussed further below, Defendant signed a plea agreement that waived his right to appeal his sentence, and he also received a substantial benefit from his guilty plea. An unsubstantiated article not filed in the trial court cannot constitute sufficient evidence on which to shorten the term of Defendant's sentence.

         ANDERS ...


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