Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs June 27, 2017
from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 98984 Steven W.
Defendant, Adam D. Little, alias, appeals as of right from
the Knox County Criminal Court's revocation of his
probation and reinstatement of the remainder of his nine-year
sentence for selling less than fifteen grams of heroin within
1, 000 feet of a public park. On appeal, the Defendant
asserts that the trial court abused its discretion by
revoking his probation because the State failed to establish
that he violated the law by a preponderance of the evidence.
Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
M. Elrod, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Adam D.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee
W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney
General; and Kenneth F. Irvine, Jr., Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Camille R. McMullen and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ.,
KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE
April 18, 2013, the Defendant pled guilty to selling less
than fifteen grams of heroin within 1, 000 feet of a public
park, a Class B felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. §
39-17-417, -432. In exchange for his plea, the Defendant
received a nine-year sentence as a Range I, standard offender
"to serve" in the Department of Correction, and
this sentence was to run concurrently with a prior sentence.
A second delivery count was dismissed.
a violation of probation affidavit and warrant were filed
against the Defendant on August 17, 2016. Specifically, it
was alleged therein that the Defendant violated the
conditions of his probation by failing "to obey the
law" as a result of his August 14, 2016 arrest in Knox
County for simple possession and by failing to report that
charge to his probation officer.
November 3, 2016 revocation hearing, Lieutenant Tony Willis
with the Knoxville Police Department ("KPD")
testified that he had been with the KPD for almost twenty-one
years and that a large portion of his career had been devoted
to working narcotics investigations. On August 14, 2016, Lt.
Willis assisted with a 12:34 a.m. traffic stop on James
Avenue near Wallace Street in Knoxville. Lt. Willis
approached the passenger side of the vehicle and encountered
the Defendant. Lt. Willis described the Defendant as
"very cooperative" during the traffic stop.
approaching the passenger side, Lt. Willis immediately saw
"a plastic cellophane baggie tied in a knot that
appeared to contain a narcotic substance" in the
Defendant's lap. At Lt. Willis's request, the
Defendant handed him the bag. Lt. Willis then performed a
"comparison of the [pills'] physical qualities,
" like its markings, color, and size, and determined
that the three pills inside the bag were oxymorphone, a
Schedule II controlled substance. According to Lt. Willis, he
had performed this type of analysis "many times in the
past" and could not ever recall "a
discrepancy" between his field analysis and subsequent
cross-examination, Lt. Willis confirmed that he was "not
a chemist" and had "not done a chemical analysis of
any substance in [his] career[.]" Lt. Willis believed
that the substance in this case was sent to the laboratory
for testing, but he had not seen any report confirming that
the pills were oxymorphone. Lt. ...