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State v. Cole

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

November 20, 2019

STATE OF LOUISIANA
v.
LOUIE VON COLE

          APPEAL FROM THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF RAPIDES, NO. 335, 323 HONORABLE MARY L. DOGGETT, DISTRICT JUDGE

          Annette Roach Louisiana Appellate Project, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Louie Von Cole

          Phillip Terrell, Jr. District Attorney, Ninth Judicial District Court Catherine L. Davidson Assistant District Attorney, COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: State of Louisiana

          Court composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Shannon J. Gremillion, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.

          COOKS, Judge, dissents and assigns written reasons.

          SHANNON J. GREMILLION, JUDGE

         On October 11, 2017, the State filed a bill of information charging Defendant, Louie Von Cole, with four counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile in violation of La.R.S. 14:80. On August 2, 2018, the State amended the bill to adjust the relevant dates and to specify that there was an age difference of more than four years between Defendant and the victim. On August 7, 2018, Defendant filed a motion for a jury instruction notifying the jury of the potential sentence under La.R.S. 14:80 and the sex offender registration requirements of La.R.S. 15:544. The trial court denied the motion, and the jury ultimately convicted Defendant for the first two counts and acquitted him of the other two.

         Subsequently, Defendant filed a motion for new trial, arguing that since his convictions required mandatory registration as a sex offender, the trial court erred by not informing the jury of the mandatory provision. The trial court denied the motion, Defendant waived sentencing delays, and the trial court sentenced him to concurrent seven-year terms. The trial court informed Defendant that he would have to register as a sex offender for fifteen years.

         Defendant now appeals, assigning two errors.

1. The trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury of the mandatory requirement that, if convicted, Louie Von Cole would have to register as a sex offender and comply with the notification requirements for a period of fifteen years, thereby denying Appellant of his right to a fair trial as guaranteed to him by the Constitutions of both the United States and Louisiana.
2. The sentences imposed by the trial court are indeterminate.

         For the following reasons, we affirm Defendant's convictions but vacate Defendant's sentences and remand for resentencing and instruction.

         FACTS

         The victim, H.B., testified that in the summer of 2017, when she was sixteen years old, she had a sexual relationship with Defendant, who was thirty-seven years old. When questioned by police, Defendant admitted having sex with H.B. on two different occasions ...


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