Former heavyweight boxer Clifford “The Black Rhino” Etienne Jr., who was sentenced in 2006 to 160 years in prison, was resentenced Friday to 105 years in prison — a term his attorney said is still excessive but one an East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutor hailed as keeping Etienne where he belongs, away from society for the rest of his life.
The sentences stemmed from an August 2005 crime spree in Baton Rouge that endangered several people, including police officers and several children.
“Our goal was to make sure he’s never released,” First Assistant District Attorney Prem Burns, who prosecuted Etienne, said Friday outside state District Judge Wilson Fields’ courtroom. “Whether it’s 160 years or 105 years is of no moment.”
Burns said she believes the sentence Fields imposed Friday is the one he intended to order in 2006. She said he merely corrected the earlier sentence.
Jim Holt, one of Etienne’s attorneys, said the 105-year sentence will be appealed.
Etienne, 43, of Prairieville, is serving his time at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.
Fields sentenced Etienne in June 2006 to 105 years in prison for the 2005 crime spree, then added an additional 55 years because Etienne was a second felony habitual offender. He had pleaded guilty in 1992 to attempted armed robbery and was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a crime that occurred in Lafayette, Burns said.
The state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal ordered Fields to resentence Etienne because, even though Etienne stipulated to the allegations in the habitual offender bill, the judge did not advise him in 2006 of the specific habitual offender allegations or his rights.
An East Baton Rouge Parish jury convicted Etienne in March 2006 of illegal use of a weapon, two counts of armed robbery, attempted carjacking, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, attempted second-degree murder and two counts of attempted manslaughter.
Baton Rouge police officers claimed in an affidavit that on Aug. 10, 2005, Etienne used a pistol to steal $1,978 from the Ready Cash check-cashing business at Florida Boulevard and Acadian Thruway. While fleeing, Etienne tried to shoot three men, including two police officers but the gun malfunctioned.
Etienne took the car of the civilian he tried to shoot and drove off with two children still inside the car, the affidavit stated.
Etienne was on parole for the prior attempted armed robbery conviction at the time.