State v. Richards

Citation114 So.3d 663
Decision Date05 June 2013
Docket NumberNo. 12–1382.,12–1382.
PartiesSTATE of Louisiana v. Aaron Orlando RICHARDS.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Louisiana (US)


Michael Harson, District Attorney, Cynthia K. Simon, Assistant District Attorney, Lafayette, LA, for Appellee, State of Louisiana.

Edward John Marquet, Louisiana Appellate Project, Lafayette, LA, for Defendant/Appellant, Aaron Orlando Richards.

Aaron Orlando Richards, Angola, LA, Pro se.

Court composed of JOHN D. SAUNDERS, MARC T. AMY, and JAMES T. GENOVESE, Judges.


[3 Cir. 1]Aaron Orlando Richards was charged on October 15, 2009, by a bill of information, with one count of second degree robbery, a violation of La.R.S. 14:64.4. Jury trial commenced on October 11, 2011, and on October 12, 2011, the jury returned a verdict of guilty as charged. The trial court ordered a presentence investigation report.

Sentencing occurred on May 30, 2012. Defendant was sentenced to twenty-five years imprisonment. It was noted at the time that a habitual offender hearing was set for June 27, 2012. Defendant filed a Motion for Reconsideration of Sentence” on June 8, 2012. The motion was denied without hearing on June 12, 2012.

Defendant has perfected a timely appeal. He asserts two assignments of error: 1) the State of Louisiana failed to affirmatively prove that the confession given on May 5, 2009, was freely and voluntarily made and not made under the influence of fear, duress, intimidation, menaces, threats, inducements, or promises; and 2) without the inadmissible confession, the State failed to provide sufficient evidence that Defendant committed the offense of second degree robbery.


On April 16, 2009, Defendant, along with another man, accosted the victim, Addie Bourgeois, as she exited her car in the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings Sports Bar. The man punched the victim twice in the face, causing serious injury, took her purse containing credit cards and money while Defendant acted as a lookout.


[3 Cir. 2]In accordance with La.Code Crim.P. art. 920, all appeals are reviewed by this court for errors patent on the face of the record. After reviewing the record, we find that there is one error patent.

Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 930.8 provides that the defendant has two years after the conviction and sentence become final to seek post-conviction relief. Section C of Article 930.8 provides in pertinent part: “At the time of sentencing, the trial court shall inform the defendant of the prescriptive period for post-conviction relief either verbally or in writing.” In this case, the transcript of sentencing indicates the trial court, referring to post-conviction relief, informed Defendant that he has two years to file for post-conviction relief. We find that the trial court's advisement was insufficient. State v. Roe, 05–116 (La.App. 3 Cir. 6/1/05), 903 So.2d 1265,writ denied,05–1762 (La.2/10/06), 924 So.2d 163. Thus, we order the trial court to instruct Defendant of the provisions of La.Code Crim.P. art. 930.8 by sending appropriate written notice to him within thirty days of the rendition of this opinion and to file written proof in the record that Defendant received the notice. Roe, 903 So.2d 1265.


Defendant argues that the State did not affirmatively establish at trial that the incriminating statements he made to the police were freely and voluntarily made. Defendant argues that there was no corroboration such as a written or recorded statement by him to support the police officer's testimony that he admitted that he acted as a lookout for his co-perpetrator. Furthermore, Defendant argues that without his confession, there was insufficientevidence to sustain the jury's verdict of guilty of second degree robbery.

On the issue of admission of a confession at trial, the fifth circuit noted in State v. Clofer, 11–494, p. 5 (La.App. 5 Cir. 11/29/11), 80 So.3d 639, 642:

[3 Cir. 3]Before introducing a defendant's inculpatory statement made during a custodial interrogation, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was first advised of his Miranda rights, and that the statement was made “freely and voluntarily, and not under the influence of fear, intimidation, menaces, threats, inducement or promises.” State v. Rose, 05–770, p. 9 (La.App. 5 Cir. 2/27/06), 924 So.2d 1107, 1111,writ denied,06–1286 (La.11/22/06), 942 So.2d 554.

Defendant further argues that [t]he obligation to establish the free and voluntary nature of the confession or statement is mandatory and must be affirmatively established by the State. This cannot and was not waived by the defendant and is not simply a prophylactic measure that can be skipped.” However, as correctly pointed out by the State, Defendant neither filed a motion to suppress the statements prior to trial, nor did he object to the police officer's testimony regarding the statements Defendant made during the interrogation concerning his participation in the second degree robbery.

At trial, Detective Borel, a detective with the Lafayette City Police Department, testified that during his investigation of the crime, he was given Defendant's name as a suspect. On April 28, 2009, Defendant was arrested, and after he was advised of his Miranda rights, he acknowledged and signed a waiver of rights form. At the time, he denied involvement in...

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1 cases
  • State v. Fowler
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Louisiana — District of US
    • 5 Junio 2013

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