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State v. Trammell

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

May 8, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
TERRY TRAMMELL

          Assigned on Briefs March 21, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 106529 G. Scott Green, Judge

         Defendant, Terry Trammell, was convicted of two counts of theft after a jury trial. The trial court merged the two counts and sentenced Defendant to a twelve-year sentence. On appeal, Defendant challenges the trial court's denial of a continuance and the sufficiency of the evidence. After a review, we determine Defendant waived the issue with respect to the continuance for failure to raise the issue in a motion for new trial and failure to present an adequate record on appeal. Additionally, we determine the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

          Nicholas W. Lee, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terry Trammell.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Robert W. Wilson, Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; and Takisha Fitzgerald, 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

         Defendant was indicted by the Knox County Grand Jury in October of 2015 for two counts of theft of property valued at least $1000 but less than $10, 000. Count One of the indictment alleged that Defendant knowingly and unlawfully obtained tablet computers from an Aaron's Sales and Leasing store without their effective consent. Count Two of the indictment alleged that Defendant knowingly and unlawfully exercised control over tablet computers from Aaron's Sales and Leasing. Two days prior to trial, Defendant filed a motion for a continuance on the basis that a material witness, Jordan Edward Yarber, could not be located.

         According to a minute entry in the technical record from Tuesday, April 5, 2016, the trial court held a hearing on the motion for a continuance. The minute entry indicates that the trial court heard proof and arguments of counsel and denied the motion. There is neither a transcript from this hearing nor a formal order disposing of the motion in the technical record.

         The matter proceeded to trial at which the general manager of Aaron's Sales and Lease, Sam Hartness, testified. Mr. Hartness was responsible for monitoring the store's delivery area in the back of the store as well as watching the area around the front desk.

         On July 9, 2015, Mr. Hartness had only been working at the North Broadway store location for approximately six months but had worked for the company for a longer period of time. At around 3:30 p.m., Mr. Hartness saw Defendant and several others walk into the store and look around. Admittedly, Mr. Hartness was busy because he was "short staffed that day" and he was "going back and forth" between the delivery area in the rear of the store and the showroom area in the front of the store where customers were looking around. Mr. Hartness did not witness Defendant and his companions leave the store but noticed "ten, fifteen minutes" later that they were gone. Mr. Hartness explained that it "was probably the next day when [he] was reconciling our weekly inventory [that he] realized that two of [the] tablets had gone missing." Mr. Hartness recalled that the tablets were last seen on the front counter of the store and had a value of $549.99 each. Mr. Hartness explained that the tablets were not new but had been rented by "about two people" prior to their return to the store. The tablets could not be located so Mr. Hartness "reviewed the video cameras after talking to the associates to see if anybody had moved them." On the video, Mr. Hartness identified Defendant. He saw Defendant "approach the front counter one of the times when [his] attention was not up front." Defendant appeared to "reach[] over where . . . the two tablets [were] laying, grab[] one of our monthly advertising flyers, slip[] it over [the tablets], and tuck[] them under his arm and walk[] out the front door." Mr. Hartness filed a police report.

         A few days later, Defendant returned to the store and asked about "some merchandise." Mr. Hartness was able to get Defendant's name and relay that information to the police. Mr. Hartness identified Defendant from a photographic lineup.

         Defendant did not present proof at trial. The jury found Defendant guilty of two counts of theft. The trial court sentenced Defendant as a Career Offender to twelve years on each count. The trial court merged Count Two with ...


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