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State v. Thomas

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

December 23, 2016

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
GERALD E. THOMAS, JR.

          Assigned on Briefs November 16, 2016

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 106984 Steven W. Sword, Judge

         The Defendant, Gerald E. Thomas, Jr., pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault, Class C felonies. See T.C.A. § 39-13-102 (2014). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective seven years' confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred by denying his request for alternative sentencing. We affirm t he judgments of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Keith Lee Lieberman, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gerald E. Thomas, Jr.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; and Willie Lane, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE

         This case arises from two assaults on the Defendant's wife. The guilty plea hearing transcript is not included in the appellate record. At the sentencing hearing, the State articulated the factual basis for the pleas as follows:

[On the first] occasion [the Defendant and the victim] were at their residence . . . [they] had been married for a long time, and that during the altercation, he put both of his hands around her neck and strangled her.
During this time period, she was able to get to the phone, called 911. The 911 call would have been played, and you could hear during that 911 call her crying out for help and her crying in the background. He was on bond [and] . . . two months later in July . . . [the victim had been admitted to the hospital, ] and he had actually come to the hospital and caused such a scene there that the nurse called the police, and they responded.
At that point in time, [the police] spoke with her and discovered that [the victim had gone to the hospital because the Defendant] had beaten her to the point that she hit her head against . . . the toilet in the bathroom. She was knocked unconscious. H e proceeded to beat her. T here were multiple bruises and abrasions on her whole body[.] He took her from room to room, and during part of the time she was unconscious. The rest of the time she was awake. She was struggling very hard to protect herself. We do have a couple of jail calls that we plan on introducing . . . where [the Defendant] discusses this.

         The presentence report was received as an exhibit and reflected that the Defendant had a ninth-grade education and limited literacy skills. The Defendant reported daily marijuana use at the time of the assaults. Relative to the assaults, the Defendant reported to the presentence investigator that he did not do "one of the things" of which he was accused, that the victim "lies [a lot] to get her way, " that he considered his convictions fair for what he did, that the victim told him she had an affair with his friend of twenty-six years, that the victim disclosed graphic details of the affair, and that the victim asked the Defendant to have a "threesome" with them. The Defendant reported that he "lost control" and did not intend to hurt the victim, who he said "[e]njoys causing me pain."

         The victim testified that she had known the Defendant for nineteen years and that they were married. T he victim identified an affidavit of complaint filed in general sessions court on July 18, 2014. T he victim said that on that date, she and the Defendant argued, that he hit her several ...


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