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State v. Shelton

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

September 11, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
RICHARD W. SHELTON

          Assigned on Briefs August 15, 2017 at Knoxville

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Marshall County No. 2016-CR-86 Forest A. Durard, Jr., Judge

         Richard W. Shelton, the Defendant, was charged with one count of sale and one count of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance. A Marshall County jury found the Defendant guilty as charged, and the trial court sentenced the Defendant to fifteen years with release eligibility after service of forty-five percent of the sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant argues that there was insufficient evidence for a rational juror to have found him guilty of the offenses beyond a reasonable doubt and that his sentence is excessive and contrary to law. After a thorough review of the facts and applicable case law, we affirm.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed

          William J. Harold, Lewisburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard W. Shelton.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Robert J. Carter, District Attorney General; and Edward Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Camille R. McMullen, J., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT L. HOLLOWAY, JR., JUDGE

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         On June 22, 2016, the Marshall County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant on charges of selling and delivering a Schedule II substance, morphine.

         Jury Trial

         At the Defendant's jury trial, Shawna Love testified that she had known the Defendant for about a month and had been messaging him on Facebook. On the morning of March 11, 2015, she and the Defendant exchanged text messages on their telephones. The text message exchange included the following:

[THE DEFENDANT]: Ok cool you said you was tired . . . so I was gonna say I had a tab[1] you could get . . . .
[MS. LOVE]: S**t. Wouldn't that be amazing. I got f****d up and got into a fight last night. F****d up my elbow and some more s**t. I'm sore as h**l.
[THE DEFENDANT]: Well[, ] hit me up when you get off we can hangout[.] [I']m trying to get some perks[, ][2] you smoke to[o][, ] right[?][3]
[MS. LOVE]: Yea[, ] I smoke. I gotta try and get some money before I get off. It[']s bill week. . . . [Y]ou know how that be.
[THE DEFENDANT]: Yep[, ] I feel ya[.]
[THE DEFENDANT]: Hey[.]
[THE DEFENDANT]: I got a perk [I']ll snort with you if you do that[.]
[MS. LOVE]: Was sup[?]
[THE DEFENDANT]: What you doing[?]
[MS. LOVE]: Just got off[, ] about to do a few things then I'm free[.]
[THE DEFENDANT]: Well[, ] I just got finished eating but getting in shower now so if you hit me up before [I']m done [I']ll hit you right back[.]
[MS. LOVE]: Okay love.
[THE DEFENDANT]: You coming over[?]
[THE DEFENDANT]: I got the house to myself and I got that perk and some dro[4] so we can ...

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