final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court of Bradford County. Richard B.
Davis, Jr., Judge.
Thomas, Public Defender, and John J. Knowles, Assistant
Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Jason W. Rodriguez, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Clinton Catledge, Jr. challenges his sentence for false
imprisonment, asserting that the trial judge violated his due
process rights by basing his sentence on his lack of remorse
and failure to accept responsibility. We disagree and affirm.
In seeking mitigation of his sentence, Catledge injected the
issue of remorse into the proceedings, and the trial court
was permitted to consider all factors relevant to mitigation,
including Catledge's remorse or lack thereof.
was charged with false imprisonment and battery on a person
65 years of age or older. The charges arose from an incident
involving Catledge's 73-year-old mother-in-law, Annie
Smith. At trial, the jury heard conflicting versions of the
incident: Smith claimed Catledge grabbed her, pushed her onto
her bed, and forced himself on top of her for approximately
15 minutes; Catledge explained that he was checking
Smith's water heater when he slipped, fell onto the edge
of bed where Smith was sitting, and was unable to stand up
immediately due to his back injury. The jury acquitted
Catledge of the battery charge, but found him guilty of false
sentencing, the trial court ordered a presentence
investigation report (PSI). At the sentencing hearing, the
State informed the court that Catledge scored a total of 36
points for the false imprisonment charge. The lowest
permissible sentence was a term of probation, the highest 5
years' imprisonment. The State asked the court to impose
the highest possible sentence, arguing Smith had lost her
sense of security and required protection from Catledge. The
State presented one witness, Catledge's brother-in-law,
who testified about the impact the incident had on
Smith's life and how Smith feared Catledge would
retaliate against her once he was released from jail. Smith
was at the hearing but declined to make a statement.
lengthy discussion of what the court described as
"mitigating explanations," Catledge's attorney
requested the court withhold adjudication and sentence
Catledge to time served. He indicated that Catledge would be
agreeable to conditions such as the entry of a no-contact
order or completion of an anger management course. He pointed
to inconsistences in Smith's trial testimony. He argued
that the incident giving rise to the charges did not involve
violence and emphasized that Catledge had no prior felony
convictions. He presented the testimony of Catledge's
wife (Smith's daughter), who testified Catledge was not a
violent person and was not a danger to her mother.
elected to make a statement on his own behalf. He initially
maintained that he never touched Smith and revealed that he
intended to sue her for libel and slander. He also made
statements reasonably interpreted as threats against his
brother-in-law, who he believed had lied to the court. The
sentencing court cautioned Catledge against such statements,
noting he was currently before the court for sentencing on a
violent crime. When asked if he had anything else to say,
Catledge responded "I'm sorry she's upset.
I'm sorry this all happened. I wish I'd of never went
over there to help her. . . . I honestly do. I mean, this is
- this is - I just don't know what to say."
court then questioned Catledge about two incidents listed on
his PSI, including a 2014 incident during which Catledge had
become "loud, argumentative, rude and hostile" with
a clerk at the Wakulla County Clerk's office. Catledge
denied being hostile and explained he was upset over what he
perceived was an unfair speeding ticket and late fee. During
this exchange with the court, Catledge offered an explanation
about his separate, 10-year-old conviction for misdemeanor
stalking and claimed he was wrongfully accused.
hearing testimony from the witnesses and arguments from
counsel, the sentencing court indicated it was contemplating
a mixed sentence involving a probationary term and an anger
management course, with incarceration as a reinforcement. The
[STATE]: Your Honor, I think that for the safety of this
particular victim, how she feels, that prison ...