The defendant, Byron D. Fraser, was charged by bill of information with armed robbery and attempted second degree murder in violation of La.R.S. 14:64 and 14:27 and 30.1,
During the early morning of November 8, 1980, Raymond Davenport was attacked by a white male using a knife and robbed of approximately $1,100 (mostly in $100 bills). The attack occurred in the parking lot of the Admiral Motel located at 6500 Airline Highway in East Baton Rouge Parish. During the attack, Davenport had his throat cut and was stabbed. Davenport reported he had been robbed by the man who stood next to him when he paid his motel bill. (The bill was paid with a $100 bill.) The motel manager, Pearl Nixon, identified the defendant, Byron Fraser, as the man standing next to Davenport when
At approximately 2:30 or 3:00 a.m. on November 8, 1980, Joseph Ray Gauthier, an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department, received a radio report about an armed robbery at the Admiral Motel by a white male. No height, weight or clothing description of the suspect was given. Gauthier observed Fraser walking at a fast pace in a southerly direction on Airline Highway at its intersection with Prescott, approximately one-half mile from the Admiral Motel. Gauthier testified it was "very unusual" to see a person walking in this area at that time of the morning. Gauthier stopped and talked to Fraser "to check him out". Gauthier did not place him under arrest. Gauthier asked Fraser where he had come from and where he was going. Fraser responded he was coming from a friend's house and was going to a waffle house. Gauthier asked him if he had come from the Admiral Motel and Fraser said he did not.
Gauthier then contacted Officer Ken Netterville by radio at the motel and gave him Fraser's description. Netterville instructed Gauthier to bring Fraser to the motel to see if the motel manager (Nixon) could identify him. (She subsequently did, but the record does not reflect at what point in time she did.) Gauthier asked Fraser if he would come with him to the motel and Fraser "freely and willingly came". Gauthier admitted he would not have allowed Fraser to walk away. He would have either brought him to the motel or, in the alternative, have the motel manager come to Airline and Prescott to observe Fraser.
After Fraser exited Gauthier's vehicle at the motel, Gauthier saw blood on Fraser's pants and shoes. Gauthier then advised Fraser of his rights.
Fraser contends Officer Gauthier did not have "reasonable cause to make the investigatory stop" and that "an examination of the record will reveal that the basis for the stop of the appellant was too general in nature."
The right of law enforcement officers to stop and interrogate one reasonably suspected of criminal conduct is recognized by Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 215.1 and by State and Federal jurisprudence. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968); State v. Belton, 441 So.2d 1195 (La.1983). The Louisiana Supreme Court has held reasonable cause for an investigatory detention is something less than probable cause and must be determined under the facts of each case by determining whether the officer had sufficient knowledge of facts and circumstances to justify an infringement on the individual's right to be free from governmental interference. The right to make an investigatory stop and question the particular individual detained must be based upon reasonable cause to believe that he has been, is, or is about to be engaged in
In State v. Bickham, 404 So.2d 929, 932 (La.1981), the Court stated:
In Bickham, the officer knew that an armed robbery had been committed by a bearded black man and observed a black male with a beard driving away from the scene immediately after the crime at 2:00 a.m. when there were few vehicles on the road. The Court found "[t]hese circumstances justify the initial attempt to detain for an investigatory stop." Bickham, 404 So.2d at 932.
In the instant case, Officer Gauthier knew an armed robbery and attempted murder had been committed by a white male at the Admiral Motel on Airline Highway. Shortly after these crimes occurred, Gauthier observed a white male walking at a fast pace on Airline Highway about one-half mile from the Admiral Motel. Gauthier testified it was "very unusual" to see a person walking in this area at that time of the morning. These circumstances created reasonable cause to justify the investigatory stop.
Because Fraser was taken (relocated) from the place where the initial stop occurred to the scene of the crime, we must also determine whether or not Gauthier exceeded the scope of a permissible investigatory stop. In State v. Jackson, 457 So.2d 660 (La.1984), the Court found the officers had exceeded the scope of an otherwise valid investigatory stop when they relocated the suspect to a police interrogation room without his consent. However, in Ossey, it was held the officers did not exceed the scope of a permissible investigatory stop when the suspect freely and voluntarily consented to a relocation.
In the present case, Gauthier testified he asked Fraser if he would go with him to the Admiral Motel and Fraser "freely and willingly came." Since Fraser freely and voluntarily consented to his relocation, Gauthier did not exceed the scope of a permissible investigatory stop. Ossey, 446 So.2d at 286.
This assignment of error is without merit.
PATENT SENTENCING ERROR
On the armed robbery charge, Fraser was sentenced to serve twenty years at hard labor. The district court judge did not specify that the sentence be served "without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence", although La.R.S. 14:64(B) requires the sentence "shall"
A defendant in a criminal case does not have a constitutional or statutory right
La.C.Cr.P. art. 882 provides an illegal sentence may be corrected "at any time". Official Revision Comments (a) and (b) for Article 882 provide, in pertinent part, as follows:
Since this portion of Article 882 is taken from Federal Rule 35, federal decisions interpreting Rule 35 provide guidance and persuasive precedents for interpreting Article 882. State v. Bradford, 367 So.2d 745 (La.1978); cf. Parish National Bank v. Lane, 397 So.2d 1282 (La.1981). The purpose of Rule 35 (and thus Article 882) was discussed in United States v. Henry, 680 F.2d 403, 408 (5th Cir.1982), vacated for en banc reconsideration, 693 F.2d 31 (5th Cir. 1982), vacated and remanded, 709 F.2d 298 (5th Cir.1983), as follows:
It is clear then that Rule 35 does not exist solely for the benefit of the defendant. Instead, it balances the scales of justice.
When a sentencing (and now appellate) court discovers a sentence does not conform to an applicable penalty statute, it has a duty to correct the sentence (or cause it to be corrected) to bring it into compliance with the statute, even though the corrected sentence is more onerous. United States v. Allen, 588 F.2d 183 (5th Cir.1979); Llerena v. United States, 508 F.2d 78 (5th Cir.1975). An illegal sentence can be corrected by a trial court before an appeal is taken, Bozza, 330 U.S. at 166-67, 67 S.Ct. at 649; it can be corrected by a trial court while an appeal is pending, La.C. Cr.P. art. 916; it can be corrected by an appellate court on appeal;
It is well settled in federal jurisprudence that "the chilling of appeals does not in and of itself offend due process." United States v. Henry, 709 F.2d 298, 316 n. 26 (5th Cir.1983) and the cases cited therein at 315 n. 24. Due process is not offended by all possibilities of increased punishment after appeal, only by those which involve "actual retaliatory motivation" or "pose a realistic likelihood of `vindictiveness'." Blackledge v. Perry, 417 U.S. 21, 94 S.Ct. 2098, 2102, 40 L.Ed.2d 628 (1974); Henry, 709 F.2d at 315-316. There is a substantial distinction between vindictiveness which, after appeal, increases a defendant's sentencing exposure or increases a legal sentence, and the correction
There is a further distinction between the correction of an illegally lenient sentence where, by statute, there is no sentencing discretion and correction of an illegally lenient sentence where the court retains some sentencing discretion. As previously indicated, the act of correcting an illegal sentence is a court's duty and does not per se create a due process problem. There is no actual retaliation or likelihood of vindictiveness (and thus no due process violation) when a court complies with a nondiscretionary sentencing requirement (mandatory minimum term or special parole provision) because trial and appellate courts have a statutory duty under Article 882 to correct any illegal sentence "at any time" (whether before, after or during appeal, and whether it is illegally excessive or lenient) and because the defendant has no right to an illegal sentence. However, where there is sentencing discretion in correcting an illegally lenient sentence, due process problems can arise. If, in correcting such a sentence a harsher sentence is given, the necessary predicate for a due process analysis is established and the sentencing court must show justification to satisfy due process requirements. North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711, 89 S.Ct. 2072, 23 L.Ed.2d 656 (1969); State v. Hart, 397 So.2d 518 (La. 1981); State v. Jenkins, 451 So.2d 1142 (La.App. 3rd Cir.1984), writ denied, 456 So.2d 1018 (La.1984). Cf. Paul v. United States, 734 F.2d 1064, 1067 n. 3 (5th Cir. 1984). However, if an identical or lesser sentence is imposed, such justification is not required. See, for example, State v. Telsee, 425 So.2d 1251 (La.1983); Purcell, 715 F.2d at 564.
Imposing sentence is the function of the trial court. La.C.Cr.P. art. 871 et seq. The function of an appellate court is to review a sentence to determine (among other things) if it is legal.
This court has remanded for correction of illegal sentences where sentencing discretion was involved in State v. Jenkins, 468 So.2d 1347 (La.App. 1st Cir.1985), State v. Green, 468 So.2d 1344 (La.App. 1st Cir. 1985), and State v. Williams, 464 So.2d 451 (La.App. 1st Cir.1985). Contra State v. Peters, 468 So.2d 1342 (La.App. 1st Cir. 1985); State v. Holderfield, 464 So.2d 474 (La.App. 1st Cir.1985); State v. Liddell, 463 So.2d 678 (La.App. 4th Cir.1985).
In the instant case, the defendant was sentenced to twenty years on the armed robbery charge. The sentencing range for armed robbery is five to ninety-nine years. La.R.S. 14:64. Thus, although the illegal sentence herein is corrected by adding the "without benefit of" provision, there is still discretion in assessing the number of years in the basic sentence. Because imposition of sentence is the function of the trial court and because sentencing discretion is involved in the correction of the armed robbery sentence herein, it should be remanded to the trial court for appropriate action.
Further, if the defendant receives a harsher sentence on resentencing, justification must be shown. If the justification requires the taking of evidence, a remand is necessary because this court cannot take evidence. For example, we do not know why the trial judge omitted the "without benefit of" provision and evidence of the reason therefor may be relevant to the issue of justification.
For the foregoing reasons, the convictions and the sentence for attempted second degree murder are affirmed. The sentence for armed robbery is vacated and that case is remanded to the district court for resentencing in accordance with the views expressed herein.
AFFIRMED IN PART; VACATED AND REMANDED IN PART.
GROVER L. COVINGTON, C.J., specially concurs.
COLE, J., dissents from the order of remand, believing the sentence should be corrected at the appellate level.
EDWARDS, J., dissents for the reasons assigned by COLE, J.
GROVER L. COVINGTON, Chief Judge, specially concurring:
To ignore Act 587 of 1984, amending La.C.Cr.P. art. 882, would violate a fundamental principle of statutory construction, i.e., the presumption that a statutory amendment "manifests the legislative intent to effect change which alters" prior judicial construction of the former statute. State v. Muller, 365 So.2d 464 (La.1978). As stated in that case, in the opinion authored
In response to the furor created by State v. Napoli, 437 So.2d 868 (La.1983), Act 587 of 1984 was enacted. Tortuous convolutions designed to circumvent the intent of the act and continue with the "same song, second verse" have no place in the proper role of the judiciary, ignore the quoted pronouncements in Muller and superciliously emasculate La.C.C. art. 1.
COLE, Judge, dissenting.
I respectfully dissent from that portion of the opinion ordering a remand. Such procedure is a waste of judicial, prosecutorial, defense and custodial time; as well as a waste of funds provided by the taxpayers to those components of the criminal justice system. Arguably, we have the authority to correct the sentence and should do so. La.Code Crim.P. arts. 882(A); 920(2). However, in view of State v. Rod Coleman, 465 So.2d 709 (La.1985), action to correct what is undoubtedly an illegal sentence is, at any level, a tenuous and uncertain judicial endeavor. Cf. State v. Roussel, 424 So.2d 226 (La.1983).