Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs March 21, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 18281 Franklin
L. Russell, Judge.
Mark Oden Potts, pled guilty to various drug-related
offenses. He received an effective sentence of eight years as
a standard offender. On appeal, he argues that the trial
court abused its discretion by denying an alternative
sentence of probation or community corrections. After
reviewing the record, we affirm the judgments of the trial
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
L. Hargrove, District Public Defender, and Andrew Jackson
Dearing III, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant,
Mark Oden Potts.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent
C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Robert J. Carter,
District Attorney General; and Michael Randles, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which John Everett Williams and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE.
Summary and Procedural History
was indicted for: (1) possession of .5 grams or more of
methamphetamine for resale, a Class B felony; (2) possession
of .5 grams or more of methamphetamine for delivery, a Class
B felony; (3) simple possession of marijuana, a Class A
misdemeanor; and (4) possession of drug paraphernalia, a
Class A misdemeanor. Defendant pled guilty as charged, and
the State presented the following factual basis for the
[O]n December 11, 2015, agents of the Drug Task Force met
with a confidential informant about purchasing approximately
an ounce of methamphetamine from Gina Plant and the
defendant. The price that was agreed upon between Gina Plant
and the confidential informant was $1750 for the ounce.
The confidential informant then met with Gina Plant at a
location here in Bedford County, where the confidential
informant fronted the money to Ms. Plant, and was expected to
be contacted at either later that day or possibly a later
date, when she actually had the drugs in hand.
She was then observed after that exchange took place. The
defendant was observed coming to the same location, picking
Ms. Plant up, they went back to the defendant's residence
for a period of time. They then returned to that location,
and Ms. Plant was returned to her vehicle and she left.
The defendant was then followed, and he ultimately left town.
He went to Murfreesboro. I believe at the Walmart parking lot
he met with an individual [and] was observed in a
hand-to-hand exchange with that individual. And they then
parted ways. The defendant continued to be followed. By now
it's into the evening hours, approaching midnight.
The defendant went to a residence in Williamson County. He
stayed for a period of time and then he left. He was making
his way, he ultimately returned back here to Bedford County,
where a traffic stop was made.
. . . [A] search of the vehicle revealed methamphetamine. It
was sent to the lab. It weighed 17.4 grams. There was a small
amount of marijuana that was found. There were . . . digital
scales, baggies, and I believe a glass pipe. . . . [T]he
individual that the defendant met with in the Walmart parking
lot in Murfreesboro, he too was stopped and identified. And .
. . from his person was recovered $950 of the money that was
given by the confidential informant to Ms. Plant. The
defendant was found to be in possession of only $20 of the
money. . . . [A]t a ...