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State v. Potts

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

April 25, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
MARK ODEN POTTS

          Assigned on Briefs March 21, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 18281 Franklin L. Russell, Judge.

         Defendant, 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 court.

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

          Donna 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 Tennessee.

          Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE.

         Factual Summary and Procedural History

         Defendant 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 offenses:

[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 ...

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