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State v. Russell

July 29, 2009

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
TIMOTHY PRESTON RUSSELL



Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County Nos. 80135A, 84456, 84457, & 84458 James B. Scott, Special Judge; Ray L. Jenkins, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

The Defendant, Timothy Preston Russell*fn1, pled guilty to one count of theft of property valued $10,000 or more but less than $60,000, a Class C felony, and three counts of theft of property valued $1,000 or more but less than $10,000, a Class D felony. He was sentenced to eight years as a Range II, multiple offender for the Class C felony and six years as a Range II, multiple offender for each Class D felony. Two six-year sentences were to be served concurrently to each other but consecutively to the eight-year sentence, to which another six-year sentence ran concurrently, for an effective fourteen-year sentence. The trial court denied probation and imposed incarceration. Appealing the denial of his motion to withdraw the four guilty pleas, the Defendant contends that he should be able to withdraw his guilty pleas to correct manifest injustice and that the trial court erred in not advising him that he would not be able to withdraw the guilty pleas if the court did not accept the plea agreement. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal Court Affirmed

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joseph M. Tipton, Presiding Judge

Opinion on Remand

JOSEPH M. TIPTON, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which JERRY L. SMITH and CAMILLE R. MCMULLEN, JJ., joined.

OPINION

After this court dismissed the defendant's direct appeal as untimely, this case was remanded by the Tennessee Supreme Court for consideration of the merits of the Defendant's issues. The summary of facts presented by the State at the plea hearing showed the following events. The Defendant obtained $13,606.72 from a "kiting" scheme at a bank. The Defendant also obtained a Ford truck by writing a check for $4,300 to Mr. Christopher Crawford on a closed bank account. The Defendant advertised a Mazda for sale, and Mr. Khalid Elbasit purchased the car from the defendant for $1,500. As the Defendant never conveyed title to the car, the victim returned it and asked for his payment to be returned. The Defendant issued Mr. Elbasit a check for $1,500 drawn on a closed account. The Defendant attempted to purchase a truck from Mr. James Shipley, who would not allow the defendant to pay with a check. The truck and its title were later stolen, and the truck was not recovered. The Defendant altered the truck's title to make it appear to be the title for a Mazda, which the Defendant sold to Mr. Teddy Burk for $2,500. The Mazda had a lien on it and was repossessed by the creditor.

The transcript of the plea hearing reflects that the Defendant was advised during the hearing of (1) the right to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury and the presumption of innocence; (2) the ranges possible for the offenses as a Range II, multiple offender; (3) that these convictions could be used to enhance future sentences; (4) the right to counsel; (5) the right to plead not guilty; (6) the right to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses and to compel favorable witnesses to testify; (7) the right to be protected against compelled self-incrimination and the right to testify; and (8) the lack of a trial after the plea, with only a hearing to determine the propriety of probation. The court also clarified with the State that the Defendant had not been promised probation but instead was told he could apply for probation. The Defendant pled guilty to four felony ...


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