Session February 25, 2015.
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 291544 Don W. Poole, Judge.
David C. Veazey, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dontavis K.W.
Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; and John H. Bledsoe, Senior Counsel for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
D. Michael Swiney, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Charles D. Susano, Jr., C.J., and John W. McClarty, J., joined.
D. MICHAEL SWINEY, JUDGE.
Defendant was placed on probation on November 21, 2011 as a delinquent based upon a plea of guilty to possession of marijuana. Defendant was 14 years old at that time. Defendant's probation was extended multiple times during 2012 and 2013 for violations of probation. Defendant pled guilty on April 23, 2014 to three counts of violation of probation, and the Juvenile Court for Hamilton County ("the Juvenile Court") found beyond a reasonable doubt that Defendant was delinquent for resisting arrest, vandalism, and three counts of violation of probation and committed Defendant to DCS custody for an indefinite term.
Defendant appealed the Juvenile Court's order to the Criminal Court for a de novo hearing. Victoria May Riddle, Defendant's juvenile probation officer, testified at the hearing. Ms. Riddle explained that Defendant initially was placed on probation on November 21, 2011 after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana, and that two days later, on November 23, 2011, Defendant was arrested for domestic assault with regard to an incident "that involved him choking his mother." Ms. Riddle testified that Defendant was found guilty of domestic assault.
Ms. Riddle testified that in December of 2011 Defendant's mother filed a petition alleging that Defendant was in violation of his probation for unruly behavior including failure to abide by curfew, coming and going without permission, and using marijuana. Ms. Riddle testified that the December 2011 petition was heard on March 20, 2012, and Defendant's probation was extended until December 31, 2012. Additionally, Defendant was ordered to do 36 hours of public service and obtain anger management counseling, among other things.
Ms. Riddle testified that another petition alleging a probation violation was filed on December 31, 2012 based upon Defendant's failure to complete his public service hours and his anger management counseling. Ms. Riddle stated that the December 2012 petition was heard in January of 2013, and that Defendant was adjudicated delinquent and his probation was extended for three more months. Defendant also was ordered to complete his previously assigned public service hours and anger management counseling within a specified time period.
Ms. Riddle testified that another petition alleging violation of probation was filed on April 26, 2013 for Defendant's failure to complete anger management counseling. At that time Defendant had 12 public service hours remaining. Ms. Riddle testified that the April 2013 petition was heard in May of 2013, at which time a private attorney was appointed to represent Defendant, the case was continued, and Defendant's probation was extended until the next hearing.
Ms. Riddle's supervision of Defendant ended when Defendant was placed in DCS custody on April 23, 2014. Ms. Riddle was asked whether Defendant had complied with the conditions of his probation during the time period from December of 2013 through April 23, 2014 during which she was supervising him, and she stated:
He didn't comply. He was - - he didn't follow the rules of - - the simple rules that we had set which was contacting me on a weekly basis, coming in to see me was a problem. He was still using - - or smoking marijuana, and also at some point he was also drinking alcohol, she admitted to me in an office - - in one of the office visits he did come to. School is a big - - was a big issue with him. He was always getting suspended. And there were times he did not - - there was one point he did not show up for court either, and the magistrate issued an attachment from the bench for him as a result of that.
Ms. Riddle was asked if Defendant ever told her why he had failed to show up for court, and she stated: "He did not, but his mother had mentioned that he just refused to come. She tried to get him to come to court, asked him several times, and he refused ...