Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs April 18, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Williamson County No. I-CR109180
Joseph A. Woodruff, Judge
defendant, Anna Chick, appeals her Williamson County Circuit
Court conviction of failure to appear, see T.C.A.
39-16-609, arguing that Code section 39-16-609 is
unconstitutional; that the evidence was insufficient to
support her conviction; that the trial court erred by
admitting certain evidence in violation of the
defendant's constitutional right to confront the
witnesses against her; that the State failed to establish
that the offense was committed before the finding of the
indictment; and that the six-year sentence imposed in this
case constitutes unconstitutionally cruel and unusual
punishment. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of
the trial court.
R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed
D. Baugh, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Anna Chick.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M.
Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Kim R. Helper,
District Attorney General; and Mary Katharine White,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which John Everett Williams and Camille R. McMullen, JJ.,
CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE
charged with two counts of failure to appear, the defendant
was convicted following a bench trial of a single count of
failure to appear.
Faulkner, deputy clerk in the Williamson County Circuit Court
Clerk's Office, testified that she prepared the docket
for the criminal court as well as the record for court
proceedings. She said that the proceedings of a "regular
motion day" would be recorded by a court reporter who,
in turn, would reduce the recordings to compact discs that
are then stored in the clerk's office and available to
any member of the public. Additionally, any member of the
public may request transcripts of court proceedings. Ms.
Faulkner identified an agreed order filed on August 6, 2015,
which ordered the defendant to appear in the Williamson
County Circuit Court for a hearing on her probation violation
on September 3, 2015. Ms. Faulkner also identified the four
probation violation warrants filed in the defendant's
Faulkner identified a copy of the docket book for the
Williamson County Circuit Court for September 3, 2015. The
docket book included a clerk's handwritten note that a
"forfeit and capias was issued and a $50, 000 bond was
set" in the defendant's case. She also identified
copies of the Order for Forfeiture and Conditional Judgment
and the Capias issued on September 9, 2015. Ms. Faulkner
testified that copies of each were sent to the
defendant's last known address. Ms. Faulkner identified a
copy of the document executed by bondsman Hope Redden of
Grumpy's Bail Bonding and signed by a deputy sheriff,
which document indicated that the defendant was surrendered
to the Williamson County Sheriff at 9:30 a.m. on October 2,
2015. The document was signed by the defendant at 9:43 a.m.
on October 2, 2015. Ms. Faulkner, who had personally
witnessed the defendant's signature on at least one
occasion and had observed it on other documents, said that
the defendant's signature on the October 2, 2015 document
matched the defendant's signature on the other documents
in the court's records.
State then offered into evidence a copy of the transcript of
court proceedings on September 3, 2015. Following an
objection from the defendant, the court went through the
transcript line by line to determine which portions would be
available as exceptions to the hearsay rule. Those portions
contained the following exchange:
THE CLERK: #46, State of Tennessee versus Anna Chick.
MS. CHICK: My lawyer got called down to another Courtroom. He
will be right back.
THE COURT: All right, I will mark your case for discussion,
Ms. Chick, thank you.
on September 3, 2015, the court took a "one hour"
lunch recess. The court later issued a capias and order for
forfeiture and conditional judgment.
Faulkner conceded during cross-examination that nothing in
any of the exhibits indicated to the defendant that she
should return to court at a specific time on September 3,
2015, after she had appeared at the call of the docket.
redirect examination, Ms. Faulkner testified that she
assisted the defendant on July 16, 2015, in connection with
the probation violation warrants filed in the defendant's
case. On that date, Ms. Faulkner explained to the defendant
that she was required to appear on August 6, 2015, to answer
the charges in the violation warrants. Ms. Faulkner also said
that she told the defendant that she was to appear at 9:00
a.m. unless the defendant wanted appointed counsel, in which
case she should appear at 8:30 a.m. She said that court
typically started at 9:00 a.m. each day. Ms. Faulkner also
testified that it was the normal practice for the court to
issue "a forfeit and capias" when individuals
failed to appear as scheduled.
Shane McNeill testified that he was appointed to represent
the defendant on charges that she violated the terms of the
probationary sentence imposed for her felony convictions of
TennCare Fraud. He identified his signature as the
defendant's attorney on an agreed order resetting the
defendant's case from August 6, 2015, to September 3,