FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
from the Circuit Court for Volusia County, R. Michael
Hutcheson, Senior Judge.
Michael Elijah Wynn, Sneads, pro se.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Pamela J. Koller,
Assistant Attorney General, Daytona Beach, for Appellee.
Elijah Wynn appeals the amended judgment and sentence entered
following the trial court's granting, in part, of his
motion to correct illegal sentence filed pursuant to Florida
Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a). Because the sentence
remains illegal, we reverse and remand for the entry of a
second amended judgment and sentence.
to this appeal, Wynn was convicted after trial of aggravated
battery with a firearm, in violation of section
784.045(1)(a)2., Florida Statutes (2010), which was a
second-degree felony, punishable by up to fifteen years in
prison. However, based upon the specific factual
findings made by the jury in its verdict that during the
commission of this crime, Wynn discharged a firearm resulting
in great bodily harm to the victim, the trial court
reclassified this conviction to a first-degree felony
pursuant to section 775.087(1)(b), Florida Statutes (2010).
The court sentenced Wynn to serve thirty years in prison. As
a result of the jury's findings, the court also imposed a
twenty-five-year mandatory minimum sentence pursuant to
an unsuccessful direct appeal, Wynn filed the instant rule
3.800(a) motion contending that his thirty-year prison
sentence was illegal because his conviction was improperly
reclassified to a first-degree felony. See Johnson v.
State, 149 So.3d 727, 728 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014)
("Aggravated battery with a firearm is not subject to
reclassification [from a second-degree felony to a
first-degree felony] pursuant to section 775.087(1) because
the use of a firearm is an essential element of the
crime."). The State conceded that under the
circumstances of this case, reclassification was
inappropriate. It nevertheless argued that under the
aforementioned section 775.087(2)(a)3., Wynn's
thirty-year prison sentence, with the twenty-five-year
mandatory minimum provision, remained lawful because this
statute exposed Wynn to a mandatory minimum sentence of up to
life in prison. The statute provides:
Any person who is convicted of a felony or an attempt to
commit a felony listed in sub-subparagraphs (a)1.a.-q.,
regardless of whether the use of a weapon
is an element of the felony, and during the course of the
commission of the felony such person discharged a
"firearm" or "destructive device" as
defined in [section] 790.001 and, as the result of the
discharge, death or great bodily harm was inflicted upon any
person, the convicted person shall be sentenced to a minimum
term of imprisonment of not less than 25 years and not more
than a term of imprisonment of life in prison.
postconviction court agreed with the State. It orally granted
the motion to the extent that Wynn's conviction would no
longer be reclassified as a first-degree felony. However, the
court did not change the terms of the sentence, reasoning
that since this statute allowed it to impose a sentence
"as high as [a] life [sentence]" and "as low
as twenty-five [years]," Wynn's thirty-year sentence
was appropriate as it was "between twenty-five and
life." The court entered an amended judgment and
sentence to show that Wynn's conviction for aggravated
battery with a firearm was now a second-degree felony.
Wynn's prison sentence remained at thirty years, with the
twenty-five-year mandatory minimum provision. We reverse.
resolution of this appeal is governed by our decision in
Wooden v. State, 42 So.3d 837 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010),
approved by Hatten v. State, 203 So.3d 142 (Fla.
2016). In Wooden, the defendant was convicted of
attempted second-degree murder with a firearm, a
second-degree felony. 42 So.3d at 837. Like the present case,
the jury made findings by special verdict that Wooden
discharged a firearm during the commission of the crime and,
as a result of the discharge, great bodily harm was inflicted
on the victim. Id. Because the attempted
second-degree murder was committed with a firearm, the trial
court reclassified the conviction from a second-degree felony
to a first-degree felony. Id. The trial court then
sentenced Wooden to serve fifty years in prison, with a
minimum mandatory sentence of twenty-five years. Id.
reversed Wooden's fifty-year prison sentence and remanded
for the trial court to correct the sentence. Id. We
held that based upon the jury's factual findings, Wooden
faced a minimum mandatory sentence range of twenty-five years
to life imprisonment under section 775.087(2)(a)3.; however,
once the trial court imposed the minimum mandatory sentence
of twenty-five years, it could not thereafter exceed the
statutory maximum penalty of thirty years for a first-degree
felony. Id. As we specifically wrote,
"[t]he twenty-five year to life minimum mandatory range
under section 775.087(2)(a)[3.] does not create a new
statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment."
present case, based upon the jury's specific findings,
Wynn's twenty-five-year mandatory minimum sentence for
his aggravated battery with a firearm conviction is lawful,
even though it exceeds the fifteen-year statutory maximum
penalty for a second-degree felony. See §
775.087(2)(c), Fla. Stat. (requiring the trial court to
impose the mandatory minimum prison sentence if it exceeds
the statutory maximum prison sentence). However, under
Wooden, once the trial court imposed the required
twenty-five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, it could
not thereafter exceed the fifteen year maximum penalty for
the second-degree felony. Thus, that portion of Wynn's
sentence that exceeds the required twenty-five-year mandatory
minimum remains illegal.
on remand, the trial court is directed to correct Wynn's
sentence on his conviction for aggravated battery with a
firearm to twenty-five years' mandatory minimum
imprisonment. Because this ...