Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs February 23, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Blount County Nos. C-24053,
C-20398 David R. Duggan, Judge
Defendant, Patrick Russell Chambers, pleaded guilty in the
Blount County Circuit Court in case number C-24053 to
possession of contraband inside a penal institution, a Class
C felony. See T.C.A. § 39-16-301 (2014). The
Defendant also stipulated that his conduct in case number
C-20453 violated the conditions of his community corrections
sentence relative to a reckless homicide conviction in case
number C-20398. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a
Range III, persistent offender to ten years' confinement
for the contraband conviction and to serve the remainder of
his eight-year sentence for the reckless homicide conviction
after finding that the Defendant had violated the conditions
of his release. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the
trial court erred in denying his request for alternative
sentencing. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit
Michael R. Tabler, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Patrick Russell Chambers.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Mike L.
Flynn, District Attorney General; and Tracy Jenkins,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr.,
H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE.
November 5, 2015, the Defendant was arrested for possession
of various narcotics when he was inside the booking area of
the jail. As a result of the criminal charge, a community
corrections violation report and an arrest warrant for the
violation were issued on November 16. The warrant stated that
on October 14, 2015, the Defendant was convicted of reckless
homicide and sentenced to eight years, with six months'
confinement and the remainder to be served on community
March 28, 2016, the Defendant pleaded guilty to the
contraband-related charge and to the community corrections
violation. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the trial court
would determine the length and manner of service of the
sentence relative to the contraband conviction and determine
the disposition of the community corrections violation. The
transcript of the guilty plea and the community corrections
submission hearing is not included in the appellate record.
June 20, 2016 sentencing hearing, the presentence report was
received as an exhibit. The report shows previous convictions
for six counts of aggravated assault, four counts of reckless
endangerment involving a deadly weapon, a federal
drug-related conviction, misdemeanor drug possession, and
various traffic-related offenses. The forty-four-year-old
Defendant graduated from high school, earned
carpentry-related certificates during a previous period of
confinement, and served in the military.
Defendant reported good mental and physical health and
indicated he had been previously diagnosed with bipolar
disorder, although he was not taking prescription medication.
The Defendant reported first drinking alcohol at age
thirteen, using marijuana between ages sixteen and
forty-four, weekly use of cocaine between ages twenty-one and
thirty-seven, abusing prescribed hydrocodone, and using
oxycodone and morphine at age thirty-eight until his
incarceration in this case. The Defendant reported using
oxycodone and morphine when he reported to the jail to begin
serving his six months' confinement relative to the
reckless homicide conviction.
Defendant reported that on the day he was to report to the
jail, he made the decision to stop taking his prescribed pain
medication and that he was going to experience
"extreme" withdrawal because of stopping his
medications "cold turkey." He said he had never
experienced these symptoms and made the decision to bring
medications into the jail to lessen the effects of the
symptoms. He said that if he had been "in his right
mind, " he would have never introduced contraband into
Defendant reported earning an athletic scholarship to a Texas
college but left school after four months to join the Army.
The Defendant completed boot camp and returned home to marry
his girlfriend, although the marriage only lasted one year.
The Defendant said he obtained a "hardship"
discharge from the Army in order to assist his father in
caring for his ill mother. The Defendant ultimately fathered
a child with another woman, and the child was age six at the
time of the presentence investigation. The child was in the
custody of the Defendant's father as a result of the
reckless homicide conviction and because of the child's
mother's prescription medication abuse. The Defendant
pleaded guilty to reckless homicide in exchange for serving
six months in confinement and eight years on community
corrections. The Defendant admitted he possessed Suboxone and
Xanax when he entered the jail to begin serving the six
White testified that he represented the Defendant in the
reckless homicide case. Mr. White said that he spoke to the
Defendant on the day the Defendant reported to the jail and
that the Defendant was frantic and distraught. Mr. White said
that the Defendant expressed concerns relative to suffering
withdrawal from the pain medication the Defendant was taking
at the time. Mr. White recalled that the Defendant was at a
hospital or planning to go the hospital in an effort to
obtain assistance with the symptoms. Mr. White said that the
Defendant requested Mr. White to attempt to reschedule his
report date and that the Defendant sounded desperate. Mr.
White said that he contacted the district attorney's
office to discuss rescheduling the report date but that he
was unable to speak with the assigned prosecutor. Mr. White
said he told the Defendant that he was unable to reschedule
the report date.
cross-examination, Mr. White testified that the Defendant was
scheduled to report to the jail on November 3, 2016. He
acknowledged the allegation relative to the reckless homicide
charge was that the Defendant had a problem with drugs and
agreed the four-year-old victim died as a result of the
Defendant's "smothering him to death in bed"
while under the influence of "illicit drugs."
Although the offense occurred in ...