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State v. Grissom

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

July 20, 2015


Assigned on Briefs at Knoxville June 23, 2015

Appeal from the Circuit Court for Rutherford County No. F69592C David M. Bragg, Judge

Jack G. Mitchell III (at hearing) and Darwin K. Colston (at hearing and on appeal), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rafael Grissom.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M. Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Jennings Jones, District Attorney General; and Shawn Puckett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.



Factual and Procedural Background

This is Defendant's appeal from the trial court's revocation of his probation and Community Corrections.

On December 6, 2013, Defendant pled guilty to burglary, aggravated burglary, and robbery in Rutherford County. He received a two-year sentence "to serve" for the burglary conviction. Defendant received concurrent fifteen-year sentences for the aggravated burglary and robbery convictions. The fifteen-year sentences were ordered to be served on Community Corrections, consecutively to the conviction for burglary. The judgment form for the burglary conviction reflects pretrial jail credit from December 22, 2012, to December 6, 2013.

Forty-six days later, on January 21, 2014, Defendant was granted determinate release[1] on his two-year sentence for burglary. The determinate release probation certificate indicated that Defendant was placed on probation effective January 21, 2014, which would expire on September 25, 2014. The conditions of probation were listed on the certificate and the certificate ordered Defendant to report to the Probation/Parole Office in Murfreesboro. The record also contains a Community Corrections Order filed on February 13, 2014, listing the terms of Defendant's Community Corrections sentences.

On April 30, 2014, a probation violation report was filed. On July 15, 2014, a violation of Community Corrections warrant was filed. The trial court held a hearing on both warrants on November 12, 2014.

Jeff Tenaglia of the Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency testified that he supervises felony offenders that are placed on Community Corrections. Defendant first reported for intake at Community Corrections on January 23, 2014, two days after his release from incarceration. Mr. Tenaglia explained that there was "some confusion" about where Defendant was to report but "[o]nce [Mr. Tenaglia] realized that he had determinate released out on the two year [sentence], [he] informed [Defendant] that he's supposed to be reporting to State Probation for the remainder of that determinate release." Mr. Tenaglia continued to supervise Defendant prior to his initial report to state probation so there would be no "lapse in supervision, " even after he realized that Defendant was finishing a determinate release sentence. Defendant continued to report to Mr. Tenaglia during this time period. Defendant informed Mr. Tenaglia that he did not have a drug problem. Mr. Tenaglia last saw Defendant on March 13, 2014, when he told Defendant to report to State probation. Later, Mr. Tenaglia issued a violation of Community Corrections based on the failed drug screen administered by State probation.

At the hearing, the trial court also heard testimony from Officer Joseph Bradley of the Tennessee Department of Correction Probation and Parole. Officer Bradley was asked to supervise Defendant upon his determinate release from incarceration. Officer Bradley testified that Defendant was improperly instructed to report to Community Corrections upon his release. Community Corrections realized the error and instructed Defendant to report instead to State probation. Officer Bradley received the case on February 27, 2014. Defendant did not report to State probation. On April 22, 2014, Officer Bradley conducted a home visit. When he arrived at Defendant's residence, Defendant came out of his room when his mother called him. When Defendant saw Officer Bradley, he "immediately ran back into the bedroom." Officer Bradley followed Defendant and had a conversation with him. During the conversation, Defendant admitted that he was using marijuana. Officer Bradley instructed Defendant to report the next morning.

Defendant reported as required. He came to the meeting with the "smell of marijuana emanating from him to the point where other people in the office could smell it." Defendant was immediately subjected to a drug screen. Defendant failed the drug screen and admitted that he had been using cocaine and ...

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