Appealed from the Third Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Lincoln, Louisiana Trial Court No. 24119 Honorable
Thomas Wynn Rogers, Judge
J. ELLIS, III Counsel for Appellant
CHARLES CLEMONS Pro Se
JEFFREY M. LANDRY Attorney General Counsel for Appellee
MICHAEL RUDDICK JOHN TAYLOR GRAY Assistant Attorney Generals
GARRETT, STONE, and THOMPSON, JJ.
criminal appeal arises from the Third Judicial District
Court, Lincoln Parish, the Honorable Thomas W. Rogers
presiding. In November of 1976, Charles Clemons
("Clemons") pled guilty to second degree murder and
was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor without
benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence for
the first 40 years. In accordance with Miller v.
Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407
(2012), and Montgomery v. Louisiana, U.S., 136 S.Ct.
718, 193 L.Ed.2d 599 (2016), Clemons was resentenced to life
with parole eligibility. Clemons was granted an out-of-time
appeal, and seeks review of his sentence. For the following
reasons, we affirm.
record shows that Clemons was indicted for the August 26,
1976, first degree murder of J.W. Sandifer
("Sandifer"), committed when Clemons was 17 years
Clemons was charged with killing Sandifer after robbing and
shooting him while the two were alone in rural Lincoln
Parish. A sanity commission was ordered by the trial court,
and Clemons was found competent to stand trial and to assist
counsel in his defense. On November 19, 1976, Clemons pled
guilty to second degree murder as charged by amended
indictment. He was sentenced as a first-felony offender by
the trial Court "in accordance with the statute to life
imprisonment." The case minutes show that on the day of
his guilty plea, Clemons was sentenced to life and was not
"eligible for parole, probation or pardon for a period
of 40 years."
October 31, 2016, Clemons filed a "Motion Pursuant to C.
Cr. P. art. 882(A) To Correct An Illegal Sentence,"
pursuant to Miller/Montgomery. Clemons argued
that his sentence was illegal and that under
Miller/Montgomery he should be sentenced to a term
less than life. Specifically, Clemons argued that he should
be sentenced to a term of years specified for manslaughter,
the next lesser included offense, which in 1976 carried a
maximum sentence of 21 years at hard labor, and that he
should be released.
motion to correct illegal sentence was heard on January 17,
2017. Clemons was present and represented by counsel.
Following a "meeting in chambers," the trial court
noted that the state and defense had "come to an
agreement on this," and that the state had provided the
defense "with an order of the Court." The defense
indicated its agreement to the sentence "with that
stipulation based on this order," but "with certain
amendments." The state addressed the trial court as
We're here today for a Re-Sentencing of Mr. Clemons who
is presently serving a life sentence for a homicide committed
when he was a-when he was a juvenile. And under the U.S.
Supreme Court decision in Miller versus Alabama, he
is entitled to be re-sentenced. And I believe we're going
to stipulate to the Court pursuant to 878.1 of Code of
Criminal Procedure that Mr. Clemons be re-sentenced to life
imprisonment with the eligibility of parole pursuant to
15:574.4(E) and that the Court is going to sign a judgment to
the affect with the additional language that the Court