Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs March 25, 2015
Direct Appeal from the Criminal Court for Bradley County No. 11-CR-516A Amy Armstrong Reedy, Judge
Gerald L. Gulley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Richard Hughes, Cleveland, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Shon Q. Blanks.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Meredith DeVault, Senior Counsel; Stephen Crump, District Attorney General; and Dallas Scott, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Norma McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.
NORMA MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE
I. Factual Background
On November 16, 2011, the Bradley County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging the appellant with possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with the intent to sell and possession of more than one-half ounce but less than ten pounds of marijuana with the intent to sell. On February 15, 2013, the appellant pled guilty to the charged offenses and received concurrent sentences of ten years and one year, respectively. The trial court suspended the sentences and placed the appellant on probation.
On November 21, 2013, a probation violation warrant was issued, alleging that the appellant violated the following rules of probation:
1. I will obey the laws of the United States, or of any State in which I may be, as well as any municipal ordinances.
2. I will report all arrests, including traffic violations[, ] immediately, regardless of the outcome, to my Probation Officer.
8. I will not use intoxicants (beer, whiskey, wine, etc.) of any kind to excess, or use or have in my possession narcotic drugs or marijuana. I will not enter an establishment whose prime purpose is to sell alcoholic beverages (bars, taverns, clubs, etc.). I will submit to random drug screens as directed.
9. I agree to pay all required fees to the Supervision and Criminal Injuries fund unless waived by appropriate authorities. Additionally, if so ordered by the court, I will pay all imposed fines and court costs.
At the February 14, 2014 probation revocation hearing, Diana Blackburn, an employee with the Board of Probation and Parole Division of the Tennessee Department of Correction, testified that in March 2013, the appellant's probation was transferred to Hamilton County where his mother and sister lived. Blackburn's first meeting with the appellant as his parole officer occurred in June 2013. At that time, the appellant was employed but had failed to pay supervision fees. When Blackburn asked about the appellant's failure to pay his fees, he responded that he intended to file a ...