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Bailey v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Second District

June 26, 2019

Labronx BAILEY, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.

Page 174

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County; Emmett Battles, Judge.

         Dane K. Chase of Chase Law Florida, P.A., Saint Petersburg, for Appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Kiersten E. Jensen, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, for Appellee.

          OPINION

         MORRIS, Judge.

         Labronx Bailey appeals his sentence of fifty years in prison for the offense of first-degree murder committed when he was a juvenile. He was convicted after a jury trial in 2009 and originally sentenced to a mandatory life sentence. After the Supreme Court ruled that such a sentence is unconstitutional, see

Page 175

Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), in 2015 the trial court granted a new sentencing hearing to determine if a life sentence is appropriate under the new individualized sentencing procedure set forth in section 921.1401, Florida Statutes (2014).[1] See Falcon v. State, 162 So.3d 954 (Fla. 2015) (holding that Miller applies retroactively), receded from on other grounds by Williams v. State, 242 So.3d 280 (Fla. 2018); Horsley v. State, 160 So.3d 393, 395 (Fla. 2015) (holding that the 2014 version of section 775.082(1)(b)(1) applies retroactively "to all juvenile offenders whose sentences are unconstitutional under Miller "). The trial court held a new sentencing hearing in 2016, after which the trial court determined that a life sentence is not appropriate. But the trial court found that Bailey intended to kill the victim and accordingly imposed a fifty-year sentence with review after twenty-five years as set forth in sections 775.082(1)(b)(1) and 921.1402(2)(a), Florida Statutes (2014). The trial court also imposed a twenty-year minimum mandatory term for discharging a firearm as required by the 10-20-Life statute, section 775.087, Florida Statutes (2007).[2] Bailey raises several challenges to his sentence; we affirm for the reasons explained below.

         On appeal, Bailey first argues that the trial court erred in imposing sentence under section 775.082(1)(b)(1), which provides for a forty-year minimum sentence with review after twenty-five years if the trial court finds that the juvenile had an intent to kill. Bailey argues that the ground for enhancement was not charged in the indictment and that it could not have been charged in the indictment because the statutory enhancement did not exist at the time, thus preventing application of the statutory enhancement to him. He also contends that the ground for enhancement was not found by the jury. For these reasons, he argues that he could not receive enhanced sentencing under the 2014 version of section 775.082(1)(b)(1).

         Bailey was resentenced under the 2014 version of section 775.082(1)(b)(1), which provides as follows:

A person who actually killed, intended to kill, or attempted to kill the victim and who is convicted under s. 782.04 of a capital felony, or an offense that was reclassified as a capital felony, which was committed before the person attained 18 years of age shall be punished by a term of imprisonment for life if, after a sentencing hearing conducted by the court in accordance with s. 921.1401, the court finds that life imprisonment is an appropriate sentence. If the court finds that life imprisonment is not an appropriate sentence, such person shall be punished by a term of imprisonment of at least 40 years. A person sentenced pursuant to this subparagraph is entitled to a review of his or her sentence in accordance with s. 921.1402(2)(a).

Page 176

(Emphasis added.) Section 921.1402(2)(a) provides for a "review of his or her sentence after 25 years" unless the defendant has been convicted of an enumerated offense during a separate criminal transaction or episode.

         As for Bailey¬ís claim that the statutory enhancement did not exist at the time of his indictment, the Florida Supreme Court holds that the 2014 version of section 775.082(1)(b)(1) applies retroactively "to all juvenile offenders whose sentences are unconstitutional under Miller ." Horsley, 160 So.3d at 395. Furthermore, Bailey was charged in the indictment with killing the victim "with a premeditated design to effect the death of" the victim. Thus, the ground for enhancement— the element of intent necessary to support a sentence under section 775.082(1)(b)(1)— was charged in the charging document. SeeRogers v. State,875 So.2d 769, 771 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) ("The grounds for enhancement of a sentence must be charged in the information."); cf.Whitehead v. State,884 So.2d 139, 140 (Fla. ...


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