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State v. Wal

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

July 6, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
YANGREEK TUT WAL

          Assigned on Briefs April 19, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2012-C-1981 Cheryl Blackburn, Judge.

         The defendant, Yangreek Tut Wal, appeals his Davidson County Criminal Court guilty-pleaded convictions of especially aggravated kidnapping and especially aggravated robbery, claiming that his 40-year effective sentence is excessive. Discerning no error, we affirm.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3; Judgments of the Criminal Court Affirmed

          Joshua L. Brand, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Yangreek Tut Wal.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Megan King, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE.

         Originally charged with two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, and four counts of aggravated rape, the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts each of especially aggravated kidnapping and especially aggravated robbery in exchange for dismissal of the aggravated rape charges. The plea agreement provided for the sentence to be determined by the trial court and included the State's promise to recommend concurrent alignment of all the sentences should the defendant testify truthfully against co-defendants Tut Tut and Peterpal Tutlam.

         At the April 12, 2013 guilty plea submission hearing, the State offered the following statement of facts:

If this case had gone to trial, the State's proof would be that on March the 17th of 2012 [the defendant] and Mr. Duol Wal and Mr. Tut Tut and Mr. Peter Pal Tutlem (phonetic) were together in the early morning hours, and they accosted the two victims in this case [R.W.] and [P.T.], outside [R.W.'s] residence.[1] And they abducted them and forced them to get into a vehicle at knifepoint. In the vehicle they demanded their property. They demanded their bank cards and their PIN numbers. They drove to a Regions Bank where they got an amount of money out of both persons' accounts. They also with the knife repeatedly stabbed [R.W.] and [P.T.] in the legs, arms, and face. They forced [R.W.] and [P.T.] to perform oral sex on each other. They made them take off their clothes, and they forced them out of the car naked.
The victims sought help immediately. Police were able to get the video or still photographs from the ATM. [The defendant] was the one that went to the ATM and got the money. He was able to be identified, which led to his brother, Duol Wal. The police went to their residence. They found the car that was used that had quite an amount of blood in it, although, they had attempted to clean it up. They found items in the trash can that belonged to the victims that were bloody. They found items in Mr. Duol Wal's room, including the knife that was used to stab the men. They found money, they found property that belonged to the two victims.
[The defendant] and Mr. Peter Pal Tutlem fled the jurisdiction to Nebraska where [the defendant] was arrested there. He . . . was caught there and interviewed by the detectives in Nebraska and then ultimately by Detective Dozier that went out there. He admitted what had happened. He named the people that were involved. He maintained that he was the driver of the vehicle that had no ...

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