Assigned on Briefs February 3, 2015
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. 06-623 Donald H. Allen, Judge
Gregory D. Gookin, Assistant Public Defender, for the Defendant-Appellant, Dennie Louis Price, Jr.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.
ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE
The defendant pled guilty on April 16, 2007, to possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of the light law. He was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender to twelve years for the possession of cocaine conviction, suspended to community corrections after serving eleven months and twenty-nine days; to concurrent terms of eleven months, twenty-nine days for the misdemeanor marijuana and drug paraphernalia convictions, and to thirty days for the light law conviction. A probation violation warrant was issued on April 24, 2014, based on the defendant's April 19, 2014 arrest for possession of Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substances and public intoxication. An amended warrant was issued on June 13, 2014, after the defendant pled guilty to possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance and the remaining charges were dismissed.
At the June 30, 2014 revocation hearing, Denita Cox testified that she was the defendant's probation officer and had supervised him since July 2012. She said that the first probation violation warrant was filed due to the defendant's arrest for possession of Schedule II and Schedule IV drugs and public intoxication. An amended warrant was filed after the defendant was convicted of possession of a Schedule IV drug and sentenced to eleven months, twenty-nine days, with six months to serve. She said that the defendant had reported as scheduled and provided verification that he worked two jobs.
The thirty-two-year-old defendant testified that he was arrested for possession of Hydrocodone, possession of Xanax, and public intoxication. He pled guilty to possession of Xanax, a Schedule IV controlled substance, based upon "advice from [his] lawyer" although his lawyer did not meet with him about the case or discuss the facts. He claimed that his lawyer "never told [him] that regardless if the pills [were his] girlfriend's or anybody else's as long as they were in the car then they would find [him] guilty and [counsel] basically came with the plea and said it was in [the defendant's] best judgment." He denied that the Xanax pills belonged to him and identified a prescription for Hydrocodone dated April 10, 2014, which was prescribed to him after he suffered a work-related injury. The defendant said that he worked two jobs and paid $350 monthly for child support for his three children.
Amber Copeland, the defendant's girlfriend, testified that the Xanax pills found in the defendant's car belonged to her. She identified a list of her prescriptions from her pharmacy, one of which was for Xanax dated April 10, 2014. She denied that she gave her Xanax pills to the defendant and explained that the pills were found in his car because she had borrowed it the day before and the pills must have fallen out of her purse.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court revoked the defendant's probation and ordered him to serve his twelve-year sentence in confinement.
The defendant argues that the trial court erred in revoking his probation and, instead, should have ordered that he serve a period of "shock incarceration" ...