Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs July 16, 2014
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County Nos. 2011-D-2994, 2013-A-402, 2013-A-403 Steve R. Dozier, Judge
MICHAEL A. COLAVECCHIO, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, FOR THE APPELLANT, QUINCY MAURICE DEAL.
ROBERT E. COOPER, JR., ATTORNEY GENERAL AND REPORTER; DAVID H. FINDLEY, SENIOR COUNSEL; VICTOR S. JOHNSON, III, DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL; AND PAMELA ANDERSON, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL, FOR THE APPELLEE, STATE OF TENNESSEE.
ALAN E. GLENN, J., DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT, IN WHICH THOMAS T. WOODALL, P.J., AND NORMA MCGEE OGLE, J., JOINED.
ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE
On August 9, 2013, the defendant entered guilty pleas to charges in three different cases. In case number 2011-D-2994, the defendant pled guilty to aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping for offenses that occurred on June 8, 2011. In case number 2013-A-402, the defendant pled guilty to aggravated robbery for an offense that occurred on June 14, 2011. In case number 2013-A-403, the defendant pled guilty to possession of cocaine in a school zone with intent to sell or deliver and felon in possession of a weapon for offenses that occurred on June 23, 2011. Per the terms of the plea agreement, the defendant received a twelve-year sentence at 100% on the drug conviction and a four-year sentence at 35% on the weapon conviction, with the sentences in the defendant's other convictions to be determined by the trial court after a sentencing hearing. The plea also provided that the sentences in the instant offenses run concurrently but that the court would determine whether those sentences would run concurrently or consecutively to the defendant's previous convictions for which he was on probation. All remaining charges against the defendant were dismissed.
At the plea hearing, the State provided a detailed recitation of the proof against the defendant had the cases gone to trial. The proof would have established that the defendant engaged in a kidnapping and several armed robberies, including one where shots were fired at a victim who had escaped from a moving car. When the defendant was later arrested at his home, which was within 1000 feet of a school, he was armed and in possession of five grams of cocaine.
The trial court conducted a sentencing hearing, at which Thurman Mobley, the defendant's grandfather, was the first to testify. Mobley stated that the defendant's parents were in the military when he was younger, and the defendant often stayed with him in Union City. The defendant also had two brothers who were in the military. Mobley acknowledged that the defendant had been in a lot of trouble in the last few years but said that he supported him. Mobley admitted that the defendant was not staying with him at the time of the crimes in question, and he was not familiar with the defendant's tattoos. The defendant never spoke with Mobley about his crimes or drug use. Mobley agreed that the defendant could read and write and was intelligent.
Terri Hall, the defendant's aunt, testified that she lived in Memphis. She said that she had "quite a bit" of contact with the defendant when he was growing up, but not so much in his later teenage years. She recalled that, when the defendant's parents divorced, the defendant went to live with his father, who was more lenient, and the defendant became more disrespectful. She noted that the defendant started to get into trouble around the age of fourteen. Hall pointed out many of the defendant's relatives who came to his hearing to support him. Hall said that the defendant did not graduate from high school but obtained his GED on his own accord while in prison. Hall admitted that the defendant had never spoken to her about his crimes and that she was not familiar with the meaning of the defendant's tattoos.
Jennifer Harris, another aunt of the defendant, testified that she saw the defendant often when he was younger. She said that the defendant was "very bright" and that their family valued education. She assumed early on that the defendant would go to college, but his attitude and demeanor changed when his parents divorced around the age of fourteen. Harris stated that the defendant's behavior was "not indicative of what we expect o[f] anybody in our family has done. And while we don't condone his behavior, we love and support him."
The defendant testified that he was a member of the Gangster Disciples from the age of fourteen until he was sixteen when the gang "turned their back on [him]" and he stopped associating with the gang. He said that, since he had been incarcerated, he only had two minor disciplinary write-ups and those did not involve violence. He obtained his GED on his own accord while in custody and had taken other classes to try and better himself. He said that he accepted responsibility and was sorry for his crimes.
On cross-examination, the defendant admitted that his juvenile criminal history involved robbing a complete stranger in 2009, for which he was afforded probation. He turned eighteen and, six months after the aforementioned robbery, he committed an aggravated burglary. A couple of weeks after the burglary, he attempted to rob another man, whom he shot when he failed to cooperate. That victim lost a kidney. The defendant acknowledged that he "luck[ed] out" and got twelve years of probation for those crimes. He admitted that he continued to use Ecstasy even after being afforded probation. He also admitted selling Ecstasy but said that he did not sell cocaine, even though it was found in his home when he was arrested and he pled guilty to the charge. The defendant acknowledged that he was in possession of a gun when he was arrested. He agreed that he had a supportive family and instead chose to ...