Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
from the Criminal Court for Sullivan County Nos. S64828,
S65361, and S65474 James F. Goodwin, Judge
defendant, Austin Randall Britt, through counsel, appeals as
of right from the Sullivan County Criminal Court's order
revoking his probation and ordering him to serve his sentence
in the custody of the Department of Correction. The State has
filed a motion to affirm the trial court's judgment
pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of
Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we conclude that the
State's motion is well-taken and affirm the judgment of
the trial court.
R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed
Pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.
D. Boyer, Blountville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Austin
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; and
Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of
Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which Norma McGee Ogle and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.
CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.
August 11, 2015, the defendant was charged with aggravated
burglary, theft of property valued at less than $500, and
felony failure to appear. On September 22, 2015, the
defendant was charged with a second count of felony failure
to appear. On October 28, 2015, the defendant entered guilty
pleas to all counts, receiving an effective sentence of 6
years, and was placed on supervised probation. On July 18,
2016, the defendant was charged with a probation violation
for failing to report to his probation officer. Following a
hearing during which the defendant conceded that he had
failed to report to his probation officer at any time since
his release from custody, the trial court revoked the
defendant's probation and ordered him to serve the
balance of his sentence in the Department of Correction. The
defendant filed a timely notice of appeal from the trial
appeal, the defendant argues that the trial court abused its
discretion by not reinstating him to probation because he
failed to report to his probation officer only because his
father was gravely ill during the months following his
sentencing. The State argues that the trial court did not
abuse its discretion in ordering the 6-year sentence served
in confinement and that this court should summarily affirm
the trial court's judgment. The defendant has not filed a
response to the State's motion.
accepted appellate standard of review of a probation
revocation is abuse of discretion. See State v.
Shaffer, 45 S.W.3d 553, 554 (Tenn. 2001); see also
State v. Reams, 265 S.W.3d 423, 430 (Tenn. Crim. App.
2007). Generally, "[a] trial court abuses its discretion
when it applies incorrect legal standards, reaches an
illogical conclusion, bases its ruling on a clearly erroneous
assessment of the proof, or applies reasoning that causes an
injustice to the complaining party." State v.
Phelps, 329 S.W.3d 436, 443 (Tenn. 2010). The 1989
Sentencing Act expresses a burden of proof for revocation
cases: "If the trial judge finds that the defendant has
violated the conditions of probation and suspension by a
preponderance of the evidence, the trial judge shall have the
right by order duly entered upon the minutes of the court to
revoke the probation and suspension of sentence. . . ."
T.C.A. § 40-35-311(e)(1).
finding by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant
has violated the conditions of probation, the trial court may
revoke the defendant's probation and "[c]ause the
defendant to commence the execution of the judgment as
originally entered, or otherwise in accordance with §
40-35-310." Id. § 40-35-311(e)(1)(A);
see also Stamps v. State, 614 S.W.2d 71, 73 (Tenn.
Crim. App. 1980). Following a revocation, "the original
judgment so rendered by the trial judge shall be in full
force and effect from the date of the revocation of such
suspension." Id. § 40-35-310.
case, the defendant admitted violating the terms of
probation. This alone is substantial evidence of record to
support the trial court's revocation order. See State
v. Michael Emler, No. 01C01-9512-CC-00424, slip op. at 4
(Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, Nov. 27, 1996) (where the
defendant admits violation of the terms of probation,
revocation by the trial court is not arbitrary or
capricious). We cannot say the trial court abused its
discretion in revoking probation for the defendant's
failure, immediately upon his release from jail, to abide by
the terms of his probationary sentence.
we affirm the judgment of the Sullivan County Criminal Court
pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the ...