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State v. Lacommare

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

May 11, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
PAULA JEAN LACOMMARE

          Assigned on Briefs April 19, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Putnam County No. 13-0040B David A. Patterson, Judge

         The Defendant, Paula Jean Lacommare, pled guilty to initiation of the manufacturing process of methamphetamine and was sentenced to eight years on probation. A violation of probation warrant was issued against the Defendant for testing positive for methamphetamine. Following a hearing, the trial court revoked the Defendant's probation and ordered her to serve her sentence in prison. The Defendant appeals. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Craig P. Fickling, District Public Defender, and Benjamin D. Marsee, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Paula Jean Lacommare.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Bryant C. Dunaway, District Attorney General; and Victor Gernt, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          John Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The Defendant was charged with the initiation of the process of manufacturing methamphetamine and simple possession of a Schedule II controlled substance. Pursuant to a guilty plea, the Defendant was convicted of initiation of the process of manufacturing methamphetamine and was sentenced to eight years in confinement to be served concurrently with a two-year sentence in a separate matter. The trial court later suspended the Defendant's sentence and ordered her to serve her sentence on probation. Subsequently, the Defendant's probation officer filed a violation of probation report, alleging that the Defendant failed a drug screen by testing positive for methamphetamine.

         At the revocation of probation hearing, Ms. Nicole Brown, a probation officer with the Tennessee Department of Probation and Parole, testified as to the details of the Defendant's time on probation. She testified that while on probation, the Defendant tested positive for methamphetamine during a drug screen. After receiving the

         Defendant's positive drug screen results, Ms. Brown filed a violation of probation warrant. Ms. Brown stated that the Defendant wrote her a letter admitting her use of methamphetamine. The laboratory results indicating a positive test result for methamphetamine were admitted without objection at the hearing.

         Mr. Tim McLauchlin, the Executive Director of Teen Challenge of Upper Cumberland, testified that the Defendant was a participant in his program during part of her time on probation. He stated that Teen Challenge is a program that helps people with substance abuse issues. He testified that the Defendant "excelled in the program" and did not fail any drug screens while enrolled in the program. He also testified that he spoke with the Defendant and agreed to welcome her back to the program for at least two years, if her probation was not revoked.

         The Defendant did not dispute that she tested positive for methamphetamine during the instant drug screen. She did not dispute that she was in violation of probation. She stated that she wished to return to the Teen Challenge of the Upper Cumberland program and requested that her probation be reinstated. On cross-examination, the Defendant testified that she had been involved with Teen Challenge for seventeen years. She ...


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