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State v. Wortman

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

January 29, 2015


Assigned on Briefs December 9, 2014

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Sullivan County No. S61267 R. Jerry Beck, Judge

Randall D. Fleming, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Wortman.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Senior Counsel; Barry P. Staubus, District Attorney General; and Joshua Parsons, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Alan E. Glenn, J., joined.



Factual Background

Defendant was indicted in September of 2012 for two counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. In May of 2014, Defendant entered guilty pleas to the offenses as listed in the indictment in exchange for a sentence of four years and six months for each aggravated assault conviction and a sentence of one year for the conviction of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The manner of service of the sentence was to be determined by the trial court.

At the guilty plea hearing, the parties stipulated to the affidavit of complaint as the factual basis for the plea. It reads as follows:

02-05-2012 Deputies responded to a reported domestic [disturbance] at 201 Old Weaver Pike in Bristol, T[ennessee]. Upon arrival deputies met with [Defendant and] Nora Reynolds who were standing outside the trailer. Jacky Reynolds [Victim in count 1], Michelle Trivett, [Victim in count 2] and her daughter Holly Widner were inside the residence. Jacky Reynolds stated that he started receiving text[] messages from his wife around 1100 on this day. He stated his wife, Nora Reynolds, has not been living with him at this address for some time. He told deputies a fight ensued when Nora arrived and an unknown male shot a pistol into the ceiling of the trailer and then pointed it at him and his girlfriend, Michelle Trivett.
During the investigation I learned from Jacky Reynolds that his wife, Nora, had called him and told him there was going to be trouble and she was coming up to the residence. He stated she was mad because she found out he was dating her niece, Michelle Trivett. At 1318 he received a text from Nora. In the text she made threats of violence. The texts continued until Nora arrived at the trailer around 1340. When Nora arrived she came straight into the residence and started punching Jacky in the head. Jacky stated they wrestled around the trailer for a few seconds and he heard a gunshot and saw a white male with tattoos and long hair standing near the kitchen. The male, later identified as [Defendant], was standing there holding a revolver in his hand. [Defendant] then pointed the gun at Jacky Reynolds and cursed him. Then [Defendant] turned towards Michelle Trivett and told her to sit down and no one was calling the cops. Michelle Trivett was at the residence along with her eighteen year-old daughter Holly Widner. Widner stated she was asleep and heard a gunshot and she walked out to the living room and was told by her mother, Michelle, that [Defendant] had a gun and she went back into the bedroom. Trivett stated that she didn't see [Defendant] come in the house[;] she just heard a shot and turned and he was standing in the house with the revolver pointed at her and told her to sit down. The gun was described by both victims as a brownish revolver probably a .22 caliber. The gun was never located. Nora then quit fighting with Jacky and took [Defendant] outside the residence. Jacky stated Nora came back inside the residence and started punching him again. He stated a few seconds later the police arrived and Nora walked outside. In a written statement Nora stated that she was mad because she found out Jacky was dating Michelle Trivett, her niece. She also stated that they did fight and she did punch him several times, only because she felt threatened when she arrived. Nora lied to police when they arrived and told them [Defendant] was not with her when she came. Nora later told us he was her boyfriend and that he had come with her, but never entered the house. In a written statement [Defendant] stated he came to the residence with Nora Reynolds and he did not have a gun. [Defendant] was arrested for aggravated assault two counts and unlawful carrying or possessing a firearm by a convicted felon and transported to Sullivan County Jail for booking. All events occurred in Sullivan County.

At the hearing on the manner of service of the sentence, the trial court reviewed the presentence report. At the time, Defendant was forty-five years of age, had five convictions for assault, a conviction for aggravated sexual battery, a conviction for aggravated rape, and a conviction for a violation of the sex offender registry. The five assault convictions all occurred on the same day two months after the offenses at issue herein. The aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery convictions occurred in 1991 when Defendant was twenty-four years old. The presentence report indicated that Defendant left high school in tenth grade but that he received a GED. He submitted certificates from Northeast Correctional Complex (2004) and NECC School (1997), which he apparently obtained while an inmate with the Tennessee Department of Correction. Defendant also provided a certificate from Cypress Bible Institute of Garden Valley, Texas, verifying he received an associate of theology degree in 2005.

Defendant was married and has one child. Both his wife and child were deported in 2008 because they had not filed applications for work visas. Defendant testified at the hearing that he lived in Johnson City with his wife, Iris, and his six-year-old daughter. According to the presentence report, Defendant's wife was now applying for citizenship.

At the time of the presentence report, Defendant was employed by Tri-Cities Lifestyle of Johnson City, Tennessee, as a ...

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