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State v. Norris

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

September 28, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
CLARENCE ERIC NORRIS

          Assigned on Briefs June 20, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2013-B-1642 Cheryl A. Blackburn, Judge

         The Defendant, Clarence Eric Norris, appeals the trial court's ordering him to serve the remainder of his eight-year sentence in confinement after finding that he violated the terms of his community corrections sentence. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Nick McGregor, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Clarence Eric Norris.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Glenn R. Funk, District Attorney General; and Doug Thurman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Alan E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ALAN E. GLENN, JUDGE

         FACTS

         On June 14, 2013, the Defendant was indicted on one count of sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine, one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver heroin, one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver .5 grams or more of cocaine, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. On September 12, 2014, he pled guilty to one count of possession of .5 grams or more of cocaine with intent to sell in exchange for an eight-year sentence to be served on community corrections. On January 23, 2015, a community corrections violation report was filed against the Defendant. He conceded the violation on February 13, 2015, was reinstated to community corrections, and was ordered to live with his mother. A second community corrections violation report was filed on April 10, 2015. He conceded the violation and was again reinstated to community corrections after serving twenty-five days. He was also ordered to live with his mother and maintain full-time employment. A third community corrections violation report was filed on August 14, 2015. On December 11, 2015, the trial court sustained the violation, ordered the Defendant to serve "[one] year day for day at CCA [Correction Corporation of America], " and complete the residential drug abuse program. Upon his release, on August 17, 2016, the Defendant was reinstated to community corrections for a period of five years. A fourth community corrections violation report was filed on October 7, 2016, alleging that the Defendant had presented a forged prescription. The trial court conducted a hearing regarding the violation on October 17, 2016.

         At the hearing, the Defendant testified that he was released from custody on August 17, 2016, and had been reporting to his community corrections officer and attending required classes. The Defendant admitted that he gave a fake prescription form to his community corrections officer because he had been taking leftover pills from an expired prescription and knew that he would test positive on his drug screen. He elaborated that he was previously prescribed Xanax and oxycodone and had not obtained an updated prescription. The Defendant stated that he knew he should not have submitted a false document and, if the court allowed him to remain on community corrections, he would not take the drugs until he obtained a valid prescription.

         On cross-examination, the Defendant admitted that he printed the fraudulent prescription off the internet and that it would have been easier for him to have shown his community corrections officer the bottles from the expired pills and explain that he took pills from an old prescription. The Defendant denied having a drug problem and said that he took the oxycodone, Xanax, and morphine pills for anxiety and chronic back pain. The Defendant acknowledged that he had been given several chances to remain on community corrections.

         On questioning by the court, the Defendant admitted that, in addition to falsifying the prescription, he also misrepresented that he had been seeing Dr. Orusa when he had not actually seen the doctor in nineteen months.

         After hearing the Defendant's testimony, the trial court revoked the Defendant's community corrections and ordered that he serve the balance of his sentence in confinement. The trial court observed that it had given the Defendant several chances, but he continued to violate the requirements of community corrections. The court noted that the Defendant was not credible and that "[w]e've had too much trouble from him." The court surmised that the Defendant's providing a ...


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