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State v. Felton

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

July 27, 2015

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
BRADLEY DALE FELTON

Assigned on Briefs at Knoxville July 21, 2015

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2004-D-3086 Monte Watkins, Judge

Glenn Dukes (second revocation hearing and appeal) and David Dearolf (first revocation hearing and contempt hearing), Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Bradley Dale Felton.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Brian Keith Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Roger A. Page, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Camille R. McMullen and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

OPINION

ROGER A. PAGE, JUDGE

I. Procedural History and Facts

A. Procedural History

On August 25, 2006, appellant pleaded guilty to attempted rape of a child, a Class B felony, as a lesser-included offense of the indicted offense of rape of a child. He received an eight-year sentence, suspended to probation after serving one year in custody, conditioned upon his receiving sex offender treatment and his having no contact with the victim or any other minor children. He was also required to submit to polygraph examinations every six months.

On February 6, 2014, a probation violation warrant was issued, alleging that appellant failed to attend three sex offender treatment classes and failed to schedule and take polygraph examinations as instructed by his probation officer.

B. Probation Revocation Hearing

The trial court held a hearing concerning the allegations set forth in the February 6, 2014 petition on March 28, 2014. The State's first witness was Amanda Roberts with the Tennessee Department of Probation and Parole. She had supervised appellant's probation since May 2013, and she requested the probation violation warrant in this case. Ms. Roberts stated that one of the conditions of appellant's probation as a sex offender was to submit to a polygraph examination two times per year at his own expense. Appellant's last known polygraph was performed in August 2011. He was scheduled for a polygraph on November 5, 2013, but he missed his appointment because he overslept. The polygraph was rescheduled for December 9, 2013, but he was unable to keep the appointment because his family was going to supply the funds for the examination, but they were prevented from traveling home due to snow.

In addition, Ms. Roberts testified that appellant was suspended from treatment by the sex offender treatment provider for failure to pay fees and failure to submit to a polygraph examination. She read from a document, "He must pay his fees . . . by December 17, 2013, and have a written plan to pay for and take a polygraph exam by January 31, 2014." Appellant failed to submit to an exam by the required date.

Another basis for the probation violation warrant was appellant's failure to attend sex offender treatment classes. He missed three classes: on November 12, 2013, he missed class because he said that he had "family issues" - his girlfriend and his mother were arguing with each other; on December 3, 2013, he did not have transportation; and on February 3, 2014, Ms. Roberts did not obtain appellant's excuse because the warrant had already been written. In the meantime, Jack Tracy had communicated to Ms. Roberts potentially discharging appellant from the program due to inconsistent attendance and nonpayment of treatment ...


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