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Legendre v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

March 17, 2017

Christian Anthony Legendre
v.
State of Alabama

          Rehearing Denied May 26, 2017.

          Certiorari Denied July 7, 2017 Alabama Supreme Court 1160795.

          James Leighton Nation, Huntsville, for appellant.

          Luther Strange, atty. gen., and Stephen N. Dodd, asst. atty. gen., for appellee.

          WINDOM, Presiding Judge.

         Christian Anthony Legendre appeals the revocation of his probation by the Madison Circuit Court. Legendre was originally convicted of second-degree burglary, a violation of § 13A-7-6, Ala. Code 1975, and was sentenced to five years in prison. Legendre's sentence was split to time served, followed by three years of supervised probation.

         On July 21, 2016, Legendre's probation officer filed a delinquency report alleging that Legendre had violated the terms and conditions of his probation: 1) by failing to report; 2) by leaving the State without permission; 3) by failing to pay supervision fees; 4) by failing to pay court-ordered moneys; 5) by failing to report to a court-referral officer; and 6) by failing to complete a court-ordered substance-abuse program. On August 10, 2016, the circuit court held an initial appearance, at which Legendre denied the allegations against him. On August 24, 2016, the circuit court held a probation-revocation hearing.

         Rachel Murrill, Legendre's probation officer, was the sole witness at the hearing. Murrill testified that she had presented Legendre with an order of probation that informed him of his responsibilities while on probation and that she and Legendre had signed the order. Murrill then testified to a number of alleged violations. Specifically, Murrill stated that Legendre had contacted her to inform her that he recently had been released from incarceration following a 45-day “dunk, ” which had been imposed as a result of a previous probation violation. Murrill and Legendre scheduled a meeting for the next day, May 13, 2016. Legendre, however, did not appear at the meeting.

         Murrill attempted to contact Legendre through all of his known telephone numbers but was unsuccessful. In July 2016, Murrill learned from another officer that Legendre was suspected of stealing a vehicle in Florida. During a telephone conversation with the Florida victim, Murrill was told Murrill that Legendre had traveled to Florida to visit her daughter. According to the victim, Legendre lived at her house in Florida without permission for two weeks and stole her vehicle. Murrill received a letter from the victim detailing Legendre's presence in Florida, which the circuit court received into evidence. Murrill was finally able to locate Legendre following his arrest on July 19, 2016, in Arab, Alabama, based on outstanding traffic tickets.

         Murrill also testified that Legendre had failed to make any payments toward his court-ordered moneys or his supervision fees and that Legendre had failed to comply with court orders to report to a court-referral officer and to complete a substance-abuse program.

         Following the hearing, the circuit court found that it was reasonably satisfied that Legendre had violated his probation by failing to report; by failing to report to a court-referral officer; and by failing to complete a court-ordered substance-abuse program. The circuit court revoked Legendre's probation after finding that Legendre's “failure to report went to the extent that he would be labeled as an absconder.” (R. 15.)

         On appeal, Legendre argues that the evidence was insufficient to revoke his probation. Section 15-22-54(e)(1), Ala. Code 1975, states, in pertinent part:

“[W]hen a defendant under supervision for a felony conviction has violated a condition of probation, other than arrest or conviction of a new offense or absconding, the court may impose a period of confinement of no more than 45 consecutive days to be served in the custody population of the Department of Corrections.”

(Emphasis added.) Legendre argues that aside from Murrill's attempts to contact him by telephone, the State failed to offer evidence regarding its efforts to locate him and that the only evidence offered that he left the state was hearsay. Thus, Legendre argues, the State failed to offer sufficient evidence that he was an ÔÇťabsconder, ...


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