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State v. Clark

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

September 29, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
CALANDRA CLARK

          Assigned on Briefs August 15, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Madison County No. 16-187 Roy B. Morgan, Jr., Judge

         A Madison County jury convicted the Defendant, Calandra Clark, of identity theft, forgery, driving on a revoked license, and violation of the seat belt law. The Defendant pled guilty to an additional count of driving on a revoked license as a prior offender, and the trial court imposed an effective sentence of four years. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain her convictions for identity theft and forgery and that her sentence is improper. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit Court for Madison County Affirmed

          George Morton Googe, District Public Defender, and Jeremy B. Epperson, Assistant District Public Defender, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Calandra Clark.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; and Jody S. Pickens, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE.

         On May 2, 2016, the Defendant was indicted by a Madison County Grand Jury for identity theft, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, forgery, driving on a revoked license, driving on a revoked license as a prior offender, and violation of the seat belt law. As relevant to the issues raised by the Defendant in this appeal, the facts adduced at the September 22, 2016 trial were as follows:

         Officer Robert Stevens of the Jackson Police Department testified that, on September 27, 2015, at approximately 2:30 a.m., he stopped the Defendant's car after he noticed that the Defendant and a passenger were not wearing seat belts. Officer Stevens approached the car and asked for the Defendant's license, registration, and proof of insurance. The Defendant told Officer Stevens that she did not have any of the requested documents, that her name was "Franchesca Beard, " and that her birthdate was September 19, 1987. Officer Stevens entered the name and birthdate in his system, which showed a valid license for "Franchesca Beard."

         Officer Stevens also testified that, during this time, he detected an odor of marijuana and called for officer assistance. After a second officer arrived, Officer Stevens re-approached the Defendant and asked her to exit the car. The Defendant refused to exit the car, cursed, yelled, and acted "extremely belligerent" towards Officer Stevens. Once the Defendant and the two passengers were eventually removed, Officer Stevens searched the car and found a Crown Royal bag containing 23.65 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, and an unopened package of Swisher Sweets cigarillos. Officer Stevens was unable to identify the two passengers in the Defendant's car, and one of the passengers fled while he was searching the car. A dashcam video of the Defendant's arrest was played for the jury.

         Officer Stevens testified that he wrote the name "Franchesca Beard" on the evidence bags and that the Defendant signed her name as "Franchesca Beard" on her seat belt violation citation. After the Defendant was arrested and booked, Officer Stevens learned that the Defendant gave him a false name and birthdate. The name on the evidence bags was updated, and Officer Stevens also re-issued a citation to the Defendant in her real name and obtained her driver's license history, which showed that her license was revoked. The Defendant signed the re-issued citation with her real name.

         Franchesca Beard testified that she was the Defendant's cousin and that her birthdate was September 19, 1987. Beard confirmed that the Defendant was driving Beard's car when she was arrested. Beard said that she was at a party with the Defendant on the evening of September 27, 2015, and that she was "under the influence" and could not recall whether she allowed the Defendant to take her car. However, Beard testified that she did not consent to the Defendant's use of her name and birthdate.

         The jury found the Defendant guilty of identity theft, forgery, driving on a revoked license, and violation of the seat belt law and acquitted the Defendant of the three remaining drug charges. The Defendant pled guilty to the additional count of driving on a revoked license as a prior offender, which was merged into the original count of driving on a revoked license. The trial court imposed an ...


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