Assigned on Briefs February 7, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 14-05910
Carolyn W. Blackett, Judge
Eric Washington, appeals from the trial court's
revocation of probation for his convictions for aggravated
assault, domestic assault, and vandalism under $500 and order
that he serve his effective ten-year sentence in confinement.
Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion
by allowing hearsay testimony at the revocation hearing and
that the evidence was insufficient to support the revocation.
Upon our review of the record, we hold that the trial court
erred by admitting hearsay testimony without a finding of
good cause or reliability and that the trial court erred in
revoking Defendant's probation on a ground for which
there was a lack of evidence in the record. Accordingly, we
reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the matter
for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Court Reversed and Remanded
M. Segraves, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P.
Weirich, District Attorney General; and Megan Fowler, and
Cavet Ostner, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
T. Woodall, P.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Camille R. McMullen, and J. Ross Dyer, JJ., joined.
T. WOODALL, PRESIDING JUDGE
transcript of the guilty plea hearing is not included in the
appellate record. However, we glean the following facts from
the record. On November 18, 2014, Defendant was indicted for
aggravated assault, domestic assault, and vandalism under
$500. He entered open guilty pleas to the charges, and the
trial court imposed a sentence of ten years for his
aggravated assault charge and 11 months and 29 days on each
of the other two charges. The trial court suspended
Defendant's sentences and ordered him to serve ten years
on probation, including participation in the Jericho Project.
On December 12, 2015, Defendant's probation officer filed
an affidavit alleging that Defendant violated probation by
incurring new criminal charges and behaving in an assaultive,
abusive, threatening, and intimidating manner. The State also
filed a petition for revocation of a suspended sentence,
noting that Defendant had violated the law and had not abided
by all of the Jericho Project conditions.
revocation hearing, Jacorien White, Defendant's probation
officer, testified that Defendant was placed on probation on
August 4, 2015. Ms. White testified that Defendant had not
abided by the conditions of his probation and that he had
been arrested and charged with aggravated burglary and
domestic assault. She also noted that Defendant could no
longer participate in the Jericho Project because he was
October 6, 2015, Officer Pedro Torres, of the Memphis Police
Department, responded to a report of a burglary and
aggravated assault. Officer Torres and his partner met Olivia
Jones, the alleged victim, at a gas station and followed her
to her apartment. When they arrived at the apartment, Officer
Torres observed damage to the doorframe and the lock. He
testified that the door "appeared to have been kicked
in." Officer Torres testified that Ms. Jones told him
that her current boyfriend, Defendant, had kicked in her
door. Officer Torres downloaded Defendant's picture onto
his PDA and showed it to Ms. Jones, and she identified
Defendant as the person who kicked in her door. Officer
Torres testified that Ms. Jones received a phone call from
Defendant while he was at the apartment. Ms. Jones stated,
"'[t]his is him'" when she received the
phone call. She talked to Defendant on speakerphone so the
officers could hear. Officer Torres heard the caller
"apologize[ ] for kicking in the door, and he said
repeatedly, 'Don't call the police. . . . I'm
going to fix the door."
Torres testified that Ms. Jones completed an "Offer of
Transportation and Hold Harmless" form in which she
stated that she was taking a bath, and she heard Defendant
knocking and shouting at the front door. She was getting
dressed when she heard Defendant kick in her front door and
accuse her of seeing another man. She told Officer Torres
that Defendant picked up "a small kitchen knife, "
but that he did not threaten her with it, and Defendant
dropped the knife "during the struggle." Ms. Jones
told Officer Torres that Defendant pushed her down.
cross-examination, Officer Torres testified that he had never
spoken to Defendant and acknowledged that he could not