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State v. Lester

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

January 17, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
JACKIE PHILLIP LESTER

          Assigned on Briefs November 16, 2016 at Knoxville

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Lawrence County No. 32698 J. Russell Parkes, Judge

         Defendant, Jackie Phillip Lester, pled guilty to aggravated assault and possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony. He was sentenced to six years, suspended to probation. Defendant violated probation, and the trial court ordered a partial revocation of the probationary sentence and service of eighteen months in incarceration. Defendant was released from incarceration and violated probation for the second time shortly thereafter. This time the trial court revoked Defendant's probation, ordering him to serve the original six-year sentence. The trial court awarded Defendant credit for time served during the partial revocation and prior to sentencing on the full revocation. On appeal, Defendant complains that the trial court did not award him all his due jail credit. Because the proper method to address post-judgment jail credit is through the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act rather than an appeal to this Court, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. However, we remand the case for the correction of a clerical error in the revocation order.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed and Remanded

          Brandon E. White, Columbia, Tennessee (on appeal); Claudia Jack, District Public Defender; and R. H. Stovall, Jr., Assistant Public Defender (at hearing), for the appellant, Jackie Phillip Lester.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ruth Anne Thompson, Senior Counsel; Brent Cooper, District Attorney General; and Christi Thompson, Assistant District Attorney, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE

         Defendant was indicted in the fall of 2014 by the Lawrence County Grand Jury for attempted first degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm with the intent to go armed. He eventually pled guilty to aggravated assault and possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony. He received a three-year sentence for each conviction on March 9, 2015. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively to each other, and the trial court ordered the sentences to be served on supervised probation.

         On May 15, 2015, Defendant was arrested for driving under the influence, failure to stop at a stop sign, and having an improper address on his driver's license. A probation violation warrant was filed, alleging Defendant had violated the terms and conditions of his probation because of his arrest as well as for failure to pay court costs, fines, and restitution.

         Defendant was arrested and the trial court ordered a partial revocation of his probationary sentence on July 23, 2015. He was ordered to serve eighteen months in the county jail, with credit for time served between June 4, 2015, and July 23, 2015. Defendant was released on December 21, 2015.

         A second probation violation warrant was filed on February 9, 2016, alleging that Defendant had been arrested for unlawfully carrying or possessing a weapon. The warrant additionally alleged that Defendant had failed to pay fines, court costs, and restitution.[1] At the conclusion of a hearing on March 15, 2016, the trial court determined that Defendant had violated the terms and conditions of probation and ordered full revocation of Defendant's probationary sentence. At the hearing, Defendant argued that he was entitled to credit for the entire eighteen-month period he was ordered to serve following the partial revocation, not just the time he actually served. The trial court continued the matter to March 31, 2016, to allow Defendant additional time to "get someone from the jail up to testify about the sentencing credits" Defendant was due for the time he served on the partial revocation.

         At the hearing on March 31, the trial court heard testimony from Lieutenant Jamie Mahar, who was employed as the jail administrator for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department. He testified that Defendant entered the county jail on June 4, 2015, and was released on December 21, 2015, after serving 200 days. While in the county jail, Defendant received "statutory good time" or "behavior credits" of 126 days and also received work credit. When all of these credits were applied to the eighteen-month partial revocation, Defendant received early release before being restored to probation. In other words, application of the credits shaved approximately seven months off of the eighteen-month sentence. In Lieutenant Mahar's experience, the Tennessee Department of Correction ("TDOC") did not accept county jail behavior or work credits toward a partial-revocation sentence. Defendant was also incarcerated from February 7, 2016, to March 31, 2016, on the second violation warrant. On ...


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