Appealed from the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court for
the Parish of Bossier, Louisiana Trial Court No. 61, 623
Honorable Parker Self, Judge
LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT By: Peggy J. Sullivan Counsel for
SCHUYLER MARVIN District Attorney Counsel for Appellee
M. LAWRENCE Assistant District Attorney
GARRETT, STONE, and THOMPSON, JJ.
1985, the defendant, Ricky Sheppard, pled guilty to first
degree murder for an offense he committed as a juvenile and
was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor, without
benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of
sentence. Following the rendition of Miller v.
Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407
(2012), he sought resentencing. Subsequently, the trial court
amended his sentence to allow for parole eligibility. The
defendant appeals. We affirm.
1984, the defendant and Johnny A. Smead were indicted for the
offense of first degree murder in the death of Harold W.
Moore. Although the record before us contains few details
about the offense, the following facts were asserted in the
defendant's 2013 "Motion to Vacate or Correct an
Illegal Sentence": the defendant was 16 years old and
Smead was 15 years old when they committed a burglary of Mr.
Moore's residence in August 1984. Mr. Moore, who was 61
years old, returned home and, during an ensuing struggle, was
fatally stabbed. The boys fled in Mr. Moore's vehicle.
The knife used to kill Mr. Moore was subsequently found in
the vehicle, along with items taken from his home. In January
1985, the defendant pled guilty to first degree murder and
was sentenced to life imprisonment without benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence.
2012, the United States Supreme Court held in Miller
that the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and
unusual punishments forbids a sentencing scheme that mandates
life in prison without possibility of parole for juvenile
homicide offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time
of their crimes.
April 2013, the defendant filed a pro se "Motion to
Vacate or Correct an Illegal Sentence." He argued that,
in light of the Miller decision, his life sentence
without the possibility of parole should be reconsidered. He
further asserted that he had rehabilitated himself during his
incarceration and attached documentation showing his
participation in and/or completion of numerous programs and
classes. He requested modification of his sentence to a term
of less than life imprisonment.
trial court ordered the state to respond to the motion. In
its answer, the state argued that the jurisprudence did not
allow a retroactive application of Miller on
collateral attack. It requested a stay pending a decision by
the Louisiana Supreme Court in the case of State v.
Darryl Tate, which was due to address whether
Miller was retroactive on collateral review. The
trial court granted the stay on June 25, 2013.
defendant filed a motion for appointment of counsel. The
trial court granted the motion in November 2013, and
appointed the Public Defender Office.
Montgomery v. Louisiana, ___ U.S. ___, 136 S.Ct.
718, 193 L.Ed.2d 599, (2016), the United State Supreme Court
held that Miller announced a substantive rule of
constitutional law, which was to be applied retroactively in