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State v. Hill

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

May 15, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
LARSHEIKA HILL

          Assigned on Briefs May 10, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Marshall County No. 13-CR-150 Franklin L. Russell, Judge

         The Appellant, Larsheika Hill, appeals the Marshall County Circuit Court's revocation of her community corrections sentence for selling or delivering cocaine and order that she serve ten years in confinement. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Matthew D. Wilson (on appeal), Lewisburg, Tennessee, and Melissa L. Thomas (at trial), Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larsheika Hill.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sohpia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; Robert J. Carter, District Attorney General; and Felicia Walkup, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Norma McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Alan E. Glenn and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          NORMA MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE

         I. Factual Background

         On October 10, 2014, the Appellant pled guilty to selling or delivering one-half gram or more of cocaine under a theory of criminal responsibility, a Class B felony. On June 12, 2015, the trial court imposed a sentence of nine years, six months to be served in community corrections. Less than six months later, on December 11, 2015, the

         Appellant's community corrections supervisor filed an affidavit stating that the Appellant had violated the conditions of community corrections by testing positive for cocaine and opiates on November 23, 2015.

         At the revocation hearing, Heather Nichols testified that she was the Appellant's community corrections supervisor. At first, the Appellant had to report to Nichols twice per week. The Appellant was present at every scheduled appointment and paid her supervision and court fees each month as required. The Appellant had some health problems and reported all of her prescribed medications to Nichols. However, the Appellant failed an oral drug test on November 23, 2015, testing positive for cocaine in the amount of seven nanograms per milliliter. The drug test was also positive for opiates, but the Appellant had a valid prescription for hydrocodone. Nichols and the Appellant discussed the test results. The Appellant claimed she did not use cocaine, so Nichols contacted Aegis Laboratory, which had performed the test, and requested additional "findings." She received a report from Aegis, and the report did not indicate that the Appellant's test result was a false positive for cocaine.

         The State introduced into evidence the Appellant's drug test results and the subsequent report requested by Nichols. According to the report, an "initial screen" was performed on the Appellant's specimen and was presumptively positive for opiates and cocaine metabolite. A second test was performed using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify the specific drugs and was positive for hydrocodone, dihydrocodeine, norhydrocodone, and cocaine. The report stated that a list of medications had been provided to Aegis by the Appellant and that hydrocodone could be the source for the Appellant's positive result for opiates. However, none of the medications was a source for the cocaine. The report stated that the Appellant's test results were consistent with her use of opiates and cocaine within three days prior to the collection of her specimen.

         On cross-examination, Nichols testified that the Appellant committed no other violations, and she described the amount of cocaine in the Appellant's system as "a low number." She said that since she had been supervising the Appellant, the Appellant had developed Bell's palsy ...


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