Assigned on Briefs September 3, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. W13-00594 Paula Skahan, Judge
Leslie I. Ballin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Narceus Cox.
Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Kevin R. Rardin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Alan E. Glenn, and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.
Robert W. Wedemeyer, Judge
I. Background and Facts
This case arises from the Defendant, a pharmacy technician, stealing 1, 200 Oxycodone pills from the pharmacy where he worked. On December 12, 2013, the Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. At the guilty plea hearing, the State offered the following recitation of the facts in support of the trial court's acceptance of the guilty plea:
[O]n July 12, 2013, the police responded to a complaint at 2525 Horizon Lake Drive. There is a business there know as Excellerx .
Witness, Human Resources Manager, Tasha Brown would have testified that on July 10th, [the Defendant], an employee, a pharmacy tech[nician] at the company was responsible for stealing twelve-hundred (1200), oxycodone tablets, thirty-milligram (30 mg). And, also something called Malnincrodt,  one hundred of these. The total value here was three-hundred and forty-five dollars and twelve cents, ($345.12), twelve bottles stolen. Pills were confirmed missing for audit.
Additionally, [the Defendant] was observed on video tape knocking one of the four oxycodone boxes on its side, or placing the box in a black trash bag and leaving the area with the trash bag.
Finding a factual basis for the guilty plea, the trial court accepted the Defendant's plea of guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. The trial court held a sentencing hearing, during which the trial court admitted into evidence the presentence report.
At the sentencing hearing, the Defendant testified that he was twenty-four years old and had graduated from Anthem Career College with a pharmacy technician degree. He agreed that he was working as a pharmacy technician when he committed this crime and that he had a history of criminal activity as a juvenile. He agreed that he committed this crime to make "quick money" because he was "low on funds." The Defendant testified he would not resort to this crime in the future when he needed money. He stated that, since committing the crime and getting fired, he had been working at a "temp-service" for forty hours a week.
The Defendant stated that he was going to sell the stolen Oxycodone pills to a friend in "the neighborhood." The Defendant stated that he wanted this crime "off of [his] record" so he could continue to work as a pharmacy technician. He stated that he had graduated first in his class from technical college.
On cross-examination, the Defendant agreed that it was less than thirty days after he graduated from pharmacy technician school that he stole from the pharmacy. He agreed that he was not able to continue his work as a pharmacy technician because of the crime. The Defendant said he was living with his parents when he attempted to steal the ...