Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Jaco

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

June 20, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
STEPHEN W. JACO

          Assigned on Briefs April 19, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Humphreys County No. 12601 Larry J. Wallace, Judge

         A Humphreys County jury convicted the Defendant, Stephen W. Jaco, of driving under the influence (DUI) and unlawfully possessing a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. The trial court sentenced him to eleven months and twenty-nine days for each conviction to be served concurrently and on probation, after serving four days in jail. The trial court fined the Defendant $350 for his DUI conviction. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence for his DUI conviction, the trial court's imposition of a fine, the trial court's failure to join all charges in one indictment, and the trial court's denial of his motion to dismiss based on double jeopardy principles. We conclude that the trial court erred in imposing the fine for the Defendant's DUI conviction, and we reverse the trial court's imposition of the fine and remand the matter for the empaneling of a jury to fix the fine. The trial court's judgments are otherwise affirmed.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit Court Affirmed in Part and Reversed in Part; Case Remanded.

          Anthony L. Clark and Chad A. Cox, Paris, Tennessee, for the appellant, Stephen W. Jaco.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; W. Ray Crouch, Jr., District Attorney General; and Talamage Woodall and Jack Arnold, Assistant District Attorneys 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

         On March 28, 2012, at 10:23 p.m., Investigator Downing, [1] with the New Johnsonville Police Department, was dispatched to the scene of a domestic assault involving the Defendant and the Defendant's wife. At 10:40 p.m., Deputy R. Jay Phelps, with the Humphreys County Sheriff's Office, pulled over a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle associated with the domestic assault. After conducting a field sobriety test, Deputy Phelps arrested the Defendant, who was the driver of the vehicle, for DUI and unlawful possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. Subsequently, in April 2013, a Humphreys County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant for DUI first offense, DUI per se, and unlawful possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. Although the Defendant was also arrested for domestic assault on the same day and the charges were brought in New Johnsonville Municipal Court, those charges were later dismissed and expunged on June 4, 2013.

         On July 30, 2013, the Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that mandatory joinder pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 8(a) required that his DUI and firearm charges be joined. He argued that all charges from March 28, 2012, could have been brought in Humphreys County General Sessions Court. On December 9, 2013, the trial court held a hearing on the motion to dismiss. The transcript of the hearing is not included in the record. According to the statement of evidence provided in the record, Investigator Downing, who was the arresting officer for the domestic assault charge in New Johnsonville Municipal Court, had knowledge of the DUI and firearm charges in Humphreys County General Sessions Court. Additionally, Sergeant Phelps, who was the arresting officer for the DUI and firearm charges in Humphreys County General Sessions Court, had knowledge of the domestic assault charge in New Johnsonville Municipal Court. The statement of the evidence referred to all of the charges, including the domestic assault charge, as arising from the same incident. It stated that "[a]ll charges were known to all officers and to all prosecutors" and that the domestic assault charge was dismissed and expunged from the Defendant's record on June 4, 2013, after the Defendant was indicted on the instant charges on March 27, 2013. We note that the record contains no further information regarding the domestic assault charge, including whether the Defendant was later indicted or re-indicted for domestic assault.[2] Following the hearing, the trial court denied the motion, finding that there was "not enough nexus to constitute a single criminal episode" to require joinder.

         We glean from the record that on August 19, 2014, [3] the Defendant's first trial date occurred, and the Defendant requested a mistrial following the revelation of allegedly exculpatory evidence. At the time of the revelation, the jury had been impaneled and sworn. The motion for a mistrial was granted. The statement of evidence explained that the discovery packet contained evidence that Sergeant Phelps declared that the Preliminary Breath Test device "only displayed a positive () or negative (-) for the presence of alcohol." During the jury-out testimony at the trial ending in a mistrial, however, Sergeant Phelps testified that he got a numerical reading from the testing device that he used. This discrepancy provided the basis of the mistrial. On August 25, 2014, the Defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that double jeopardy principles protected him from a second prosecution for the DUI and firearm charges. The Defendant contended that because the jury had been impaneled and sworn at the first trial date, jeopardy had attached and the State was barred from further prosecutions in the matter.

         On June 16, 2015, the Defendant's trial was held for the charges of DUI and unlawful possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. Sergeant Phelps testified that on the day of the crimes, he received a "be on the look out" ("BOLO") from the dispatcher for the Defendant's vehicle. The statement of the evidence specifies that the BOLO was issued in response to a domestic assault allegation against the Defendant. Sergeant Phelps stated that he saw a vehicle that matched the description as provided in the BOLO and pulled the vehicle over. Sergeant Phelps testified that he identified the Defendant, the driver, as the person matching the description provided in the BOLO. Upon reaching the vehicle, Sergeant Phelps smelled a strong odor of alcohol on the Defendant and noticed that the Defendant's "eyes were bloodshot and watery." The Defendant admitted to consuming alcohol earlier that day. Sergeant Phelps explained that he administered two field sobriety tests, "the Walk and Turn and the One Leg Stand." He testified that, the Defendant "showed multiple clues of intoxication, " including "missing heel-to-toe, hopping on one leg, and putting his foot down multiple times." The jury was shown a video of the Defendant's performance of the various roadside tests. Although Sergeant Phelps explained the video to the jury, the video itself was not admitted into evidence. Sergeant Phelps testified that based on the Defendant's field sobriety task performances, he placed the Defendant under arrest for DUI. He also testified that after arresting the Defendant, he administered a Preliminary Breath Test on the Defendant. Although he could not recall the exact BAC percentage given by the Preliminary Breath Test, he stated that the number was over 0.10. He then administered an "Intoximeter" test on the Defendant, which showed a BAC of 0.15. He stated that he conducted the test according to appropriate procedure.

         Deputy Daniel Buchanan of the Humphreys County Sheriff's Office testified that he accompanied Sergeant Phelps on patrol on March 28, 2012. While Sergeant Phelps was conducting the DUI stop, Deputy Buchanan searched the Defendant's vehicle and found a firearm. The firearm was admitted into evidence at trial.

         Special Agent Trey Miles with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was accepted by the trial court as an expert in forensic science. He testified that the "Intoximeter" that Sergeant Phelps used on the Defendant was "in good working order" and that if the device had not been in good working order, it would not have provided a result.

         Following the conclusion of proof, the trial court instructed the jury on DUI, first offense; DUI per se; and unlawful possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. The trial court did not instruct the jury on the existence of a statutorily required fine for a DUI conviction. See T.C.A. ยง 55-10-403(a)(1). The jury found the Defendant guilty of DUI, first offense, and unlawful possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to eleven months and twenty-nine days for each conviction, to be served concurrently and on ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.