Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs May 17, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Sullivan County No. S55353 R.
Jerry Beck, Judge
2008, the Defendant, Xavier Sanchez Skaggs, pleaded guilty to
possession of contraband in a penal institution, and the
trial court sentenced him to a suspended sentence of eight
years, as a Range II offender. The trial court ordered this
sentence to be served consecutively to other sentences being
served by the Defendant. In 2016, the Defendant's
probation officer filed an affidavit alleging that the
Defendant had failed to regularly attend relapse prevention
classes and that he also failed two drug screens. The
Defendant pleaded guilty to violating his probation, and the
trial court revoked his probation and ordered him to serve
the balance of his sentence in confinement. On appeal, the
Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it ordered
him to serve his sentence in confinement because the trial
court failed to address the Defendant's underlying
problem of persistent drug use. After review, we affirm the
trial court's judgment.
R. App. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court
Stephen M. Wallace, Public Defender, and M. Tyler Harrison,
Assistant Public Defender, Blountville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Xavier Sanchez Skaggs.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee
W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Barry P. Staubus, District
Attorney General; and Joseph Eugene Perrin, Deputy District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J. and John Everett Williams, J.,
W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE.
case arises from the Defendant possessing contraband while
incarcerated in 2007. The indictment alleged that the
Defendant took marijuana into a penal institution on October
7, 2007. For this offense, the Defendant pleaded guilty, and
the trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range II
offender to eight years of probation. The trial court ordered
that the Defendant's sentence run consecutively to the
Defendant's prior sentences.
14, 2016, the Defendant's probation officer filed an
affidavit swearing that the Defendant had violated his
probation. The probation officer alleged that the Defendant
had failed a drug screen on May 16, 2016, for "oxy,
" cocaine, and marijuana, all of which the Defendant
denied using. The probation officer further alleged that the
Defendant had failed a second drug screen on June 29, 2016,
for "oxy, " cocaine, and marijuana, all of which
the Defendant again denied using. The probation officer
further alleged that the Defendant had failed to attend
relapse prevention classes and had not taken required
counseling classes. The trial court issued a warrant for the
Defendant's arrest and appointed him legal counsel.
trial court held a hearing on the Defendant's probation
violation. At the hearing, the Defendant pleaded guilty to
violating his probation. The Defendant stipulated that the
facts contained in the affidavit were true. The Defendant
testified that he was twenty-eight years old at the time of
the hearing and lived with his grandmother. He had a
two-year-old child whom he helped to support through his
employment at Longhorn Restaurant. The Defendant said that,
before being incarcerated, he worked approximately thirty
hours a week. The Defendant admitted that he had failed two
drug screens, explaining that it was "stressful out
there." He said, however, that he took full
responsibility for what he had done, had no new charges, and
did not abscond.
Defendant testified that, if returned to probation, he could
pass a drug screen because he had not recently used drugs. He
agreed that he had previously been convicted of introducing
contraband into a penal institution and that he had been
convicted of two other felonies: selling cocaine and reckless
endangerment. The Defendant said he had several other
misdemeanor convictions. He asked the trial court to
reinstate his probation, saying that he had since learned
that using drugs was not worth it.
cross-examination, the Defendant agreed that he gave a
statement to the trial court in 2007 in which he acknowledged
that his drug use was a problem. In that statement, he asked
the trial court for an alternative sentence. The Defendant
agreed that, nine years later, he was again before the trial
court acknowledging a drug problem ...