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State v. Daugherty

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

September 25, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
SHARON DAUGHERTY

          Session September 12, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Macon County No. 15-CR-81 Brody Kane, Judge

         The Appellant, Sharon Daugherty, appeals the Macon County Criminal Court's order denying her motion to recover firearms confiscated during a search of her home. On appeal, the Appellant contends that she is entitled to the return of the property because the State dismissed the criminal charges against her. Because the Appellant has no appeal as of right from the denial of a motion to recover confiscated property, we dismiss the appeal.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Appeal Dismissed

          Harry A. Christensen, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sharon Daugherty.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M. Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; and Jason Lawson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE.

         On August 24, 2016, the Appellant filed a motion to recover firearms confiscated from her home by the drug task force after the execution of a search warrant. The motion stated that the Appellant's husband, Tommy Daugherty, was arrested on drug-related charges after the search. According to the motion, Mr. Daugherty ultimately pleaded guilty to a single drug-related offense in exchange for the dismissal of the remaining charges, including a weapons-related offense relative to the seized firearms. Although the motion does not identify the State's charges against the Appellant, the motion states that all of her charges were dismissed after Mr. Daugherty pleaded guilty.

         At the November 4, 2016 motion hearing, counsel stated that the Appellant was initially charged with drug possession with the intent to sell because the Appellant "had some personal pharmaceuticals that apparently weren't satisfactorily up to count." Counsel said that during plea negotiations with the prosecutor, the parties agreed the charges against the Appellant would be dismissed. Counsel conceded that he and the prosecutor did not discuss the confiscated firearms during plea negotiations but stated that no forfeiture warrant was filed and that the police investigation was closed. C ounsel stated that the Appellant had no pending criminal charges against her, that she was not a convicted felon, that she needed money to pay her mortgage during Mr. Daugherty's confinement, and that she intended to sell the firearms to meet her financial obligations.

         The prosecutor opposed the motion on the basis that Mr. Daugherty pleaded guilty to selling narcotics, which were the same type of narcotics for which the Appellant "was short on her pill count." The prosecutor said that the Appellant and Mr. Daugherty were charged after a controlled drug purchase. The prosecutor also opposed the motion on the basis that the Appellant had failed to provide proof of ownership of the confiscated firearms. The prosecutor believed the firearms belonged to Mr. Daugherty and stated the prosecutor could not provide the firearms to a third party. The prosecutor stated that Mr. Daugherty was prohibited from owning and possessing firearms because he was now a convicted felon and without proof that the firearms belonged to the Appellant, she was not entitled to recover them.

         Upon questioning by the trial court, the Appellant testified that she could not provide the dates upon which the firearms were purchased. The following exchange occurred:

The Court: Tell me what guns you're wanting back.
[The Appellant]: I'd like to have all ...

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