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State v. Pallaria

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

February 9, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
TRAVIS PALLARIA

          Assigned on Briefs November 15, 2016

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Blount County Nos. C-211-69 & C-211-70 David R. Duggan, Judge

         The Defendant, Travis Pallaria, appeals as of right from the Blount County Circuit Court's revocation of his community corrections sentence. The Defendant cites evidence excusing his violation and contends that the trial court was unduly harsh and abused its discretion in ordering the Defendant to serve the balance of his sentence in confinement. Following our review, we affirm the revocation and confinement order of the trial court.

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

          J. Liddel Kirk (on appeal), Knoxville, Tennessee; and Mack Garner, District Public Defender (at hearing), for the Defendant, Travis Pallaria.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Michael L. Flynn, District Attorney General; Matthew Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         In December 2013, the Defendant pled guilty to theft of property valued at $1, 000 or more but less than $10, 000, a Class D felony, and theft of property valued at $10, 000 or more but less than $60, 000, a Class C felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-14-103, -105. In exchange for his plea, he received a four-year sentence and was placed on judicial diversion. However, after committing new criminal offenses in Virginia, the Defendant's diversion was terminated, and the court ordered him to serve one year in confinement. Upon his release, he was placed under community corrections. He remained under community corrections until March 10, 2016, when his community corrections supervisor issued a violation warrant. The warrant alleged that the Defendant violated the terms of his community corrections sentence by (1) violating his curfew; (2) failing to pay required fees; and (3) being untruthful to the supervision officer.

         At the March 22, 2016 community corrections revocation hearing, Richard Stonis, the Defendant's community corrections supervisor, explained that the following facts gave rise to the issuance of the warrant: The Defendant had a curfew of 8:00 p.m. On March 8, 2016, Mr. Stonis went to the Defendant's residence at 9:10 p.m.; however, the Defendant was not at home. Mr. Stonis called the Defendant who explained that he was "at a friend's home helping him clean and had lost track of time." The Defendant further stated that he was on his way to pick up his girlfriend at Firehouse Subs, her place of employment. Mr. Stonis went to the Firehouse Subs' parking lot and waited on the Defendant to arrive. At 9:57 p.m., Mr. Stonis had not seen the Defendant, and he left. At a meeting with the Defendant the next day, the Defendant told him that he was driving a blue Honda and arrived at Firehouse Subs at 9:45 p.m. and returned to his residence at 10:35 p.m. Mr. Stonis testified that he never saw a blue Honda in the Firehouse Subs' parking lot.

         Mr. Stonis further testified that the Defendant had failed to pay his supervision fees from June 2015 to March 2016. On the day before the hearing, the Defendant did pay past supervision fees; however, he still owed fees for two months, according to Mr. Stonis. Additionally, Mr. Stonis testified that the Defendant informed him that he was "changing jobs" but did not tell him that he had been fired from his previous job. When later asked, the Defendant explained that he was terminated from his job because he "didn't get along with one of the managers." He claimed that he had obtained another job at "Turf Masters" and "would be starting the next night." At the time of his arrest, the Defendant had not started a new job and had not provided Mr. Stonis with proof of any employment.

         On cross-examination, Mr. Stonis acknowledged that this was the Defendant's first violation of the terms of his community corrections sentence and that the Defendant did not have a substance abuse problem. Additionally, Mr. Stonis agreed that the Defendant complied with the special conditions of his community corrections sentence by attending "MRT" classes.

         The Defendant testified in his own defense. He agreed that he violated his curfew; however, he insisted that he had picked up his girlfriend at Firehouse Subs on March 8, 2016. He testified that upon his release, he would begin his new employment and that he had set up a payment plan for his remaining supervision fees. He claimed that he was behind in his payments because he had multiple community corrections officers and that he had "got[ten] confused." Rather than serving the balance of his sentence in ...


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