Cote v. State, 84-1644

Citation10 Fla. L. Weekly 1156,468 So.2d 1019
Decision Date08 May 1985
Docket NumberNo. 84-1644,84-1644
Parties10 Fla. L. Weekly 1156 Paul Joseph COTE, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Florida (US)

Richard L. Jorandby, Public Defender, and Anthony Calvello, Asst. Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.

Jim Smith, Atty. Gen., Tallahassee, and Robert L. Teitler, Asst. Atty. Gen., West Palm Beach, for appellee.

DELL, Judge.

Appellant pled guilty to charges of armed burglary and aggravated assault which occurred prior to the effective date of the revised sentencing guidelines. The trial court granted the State's written motion to depart from the guidelines and sentenced appellant to four years of incarceration.

At the sentencing hearing the trial judge stated his reasons for departing from the guidelines:

Now, with respect to sentencing here, the only thing I would give the defendant benefit for is the fact he admitted his guilt here as opposed to putting the State through the task of going through a trial and the expense that would be encountered. On the other hand, the defendant did not come forward for a period of time to confess his guilt, and he does appear to have some remorse about what happened. The defendant does exhibit some remorse. That does not undo what he has done. That is always in the sentencing judge's mind as to whether the defendant realizes what he did was wrong, whether he feels sorry for it as opposed to saying, "I don't give a damn about it." I will give him credit for that.

On the other hand, what took place here obviously, you know, I could just place myself in the victim's situation, where it is 10:00 o'clock at night. She is sitting home with the baby.

Apparently, the defense attorney thought it would be in his client's best interest, knowing if the jury listened to the facts, they would return a verdict of guilty. But I can place myself in a situation of a wife sitting at home with her infant, and all of a sudden, at 10:00 o'clock at night, someone is breaking through a glass door with a pole in his hand, and glass is breaking all over the place. The baby is crying. They run into a bedroom. She screams and he is saying he is going to kill her husband. This is like a scene out of a movie. We never expect something like that to be factual and happen to us, but unfortunately, it happened to this lady. I can empathize with her and her baby and the traumatic psychological and emotional experience this would have to them. If the husband had been home at the time, if he were home, probably he could have prevented this or curbed it before it got carried away. He is equally upset, you know, he exhibits love and concern for his wife and child. He is quite upset about what happened. So those are the facts you have to bear in mind.


The State is coming in and asking for the sentence to be aggravated in view of the long term and emotional and psychological circumstances to this victim of this crime.

Okay. I am going to sentence the defendant to a period of incarceration in the Florida State Prison of four years.

Appellant argues that the facts of this case do not provide a sufficient basis for departure from the guidelines. In Mischler v. State, 458 So.2d 37, 40 (Fla....

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2 cases
  • Olive v. State, 85-2192
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • June 17, 1986
    ...So.2d 72 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986) (the trauma suffered by the son of a sexual battery victim is a valid reason for departure); Cote v. State, 468 So.2d 1019 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985) (the trauma suffered by the husband of an assault victim is a valid sentencing consideration), we hold that the emotion......
  • State v. Cote, 67166
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • April 3, 1986
    ...Defender and Anthony Calvello, Asst. Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for respondent. ADKINS, Justice. We have for review Cote v. State, 468 So.2d 1019 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985), which expressly and directly conflicts with prior decisions of other district courts of appeal and this Court. We hav......

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