Assigned on Briefs May 5, 2015
Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County Nos. 13-03311; 13-05978 James C. Beasley, Jr., Judge
Stephen C. Bush, District Public Defender; and Barry W. Kuhn (on appeal) and Clifford Thomas Abeles, Jr., (at plea hearing), Assistant District Public Defenders, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry Lenz.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M. Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Jose Francisco Leon, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Roger A. Page, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Robert W. Wedemeyer, JJ., joined.
ROGER A. PAGE, JUDGE
A. Guilty Plea Submission Hearing
At the guilty plea submission hearing, the State asserted that had the case proceeded to trial, the evidence would have established that between December 12, 2012, and January 29, 2013, appellant placed orders to five different businesses while claiming to be affiliated with reputable companies. Specifically, he placed eight orders and received goods from Diamond International valued at $25, 254 while claiming to be a representative of two different companies, Superior Carriers and Apac Tennessee. Again claiming to represent Apac Tennessee, appellant placed an order and received property from Truck Pro valued at $11, 770. He placed five different orders from MHC Kenworth and received property valued at $7, 511. He ordered and received property from Tag Truck valued at $2, 686. Appellant also placed an order from O'Reilly Auto Parts valued at $854, claiming to be a representative of Poly Packaging. When questioned by the investigator in this case, representatives from each company disavowed appellant's affiliation with their businesses.
Appellant entered guilty pleas to all five counts of the indictment and received the agreed-upon concurrent sentences of twelve years for the Class C and D felonies and six years for the Class E felony, to be served as a Range III, persistent offender at forty-five percent release eligibility. He also pleaded guilty to an unrelated one-count indictment for theft of property valued at $1, 000 or more but less than $10, 000, with all sentences to be served concurrently with each other. At the close of the plea submission hearing, appellant requested a hearing on the issue of alternative sentencing.
B. Sentencing Hearing
At the sentencing hearing, the trial court heard testimony from each of the companies that were victimized by appellant's crimes. The State also introduced appellant's pre-sentence report into evidence. Appellant requested that he be allowed to serve his sentence pursuant to the Community Corrections Act.
Appellant testified on his own behalf and stated that he became involved in the theft scheme because he became indebted to drug dealers. He admitted that he was a heroin addict. He claimed that the person to whom he owed money spearheaded the scheme and that he would pick up the orders and take the goods to "the dude." Appellant denied that he knew from the outset that the transactions were "bogus" but admitted that "it didn't take long to figure it out what was going on."
Appellant acknowledged his criminal history of more than twelve felony convictions and stated that he had been a drug addict for twenty to twenty-two years. He stated that he had never sought counseling for his addiction and that he "always thought [he] could do it on [his] own." Appellant said that during his brief periods of sobriety, he was a "productive citizen." He stated that while incarcerated, he had "done everything [he] could" to address his addiction. He completed Moral Recognition Therapy, participated in a drug and alcohol class, ...