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State v. Vaughn

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

October 6, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
RICHARD ADRIAN VAUGHN

          Assigned on Briefs May 17, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Washington County Nos. 37022, 37028, 37030, 37032, 37593, 40228 Stacy L. Street, Judge

         The Defendant, Richard Adrian Vaughn, pleaded guilty to one count of hindering a secured creditor, one count of writing a worthless check, and four counts of theft. The trial court ordered the Defendant to serve an agreed upon five-year sentence, suspended to six years of probation. In December 2015 and May 2016, probation violation reports were filed with the trial court based upon multiple alleged violations. After a hearing, the trial court revoked the Defendant's probation for absconding and testing positive for drugs. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the trial court abused its discretion in revoking his probation. We affirm the trial court's revocation.

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

          Jeffery C. Kelly, District Public Defender, and William L. Francisco, Assistant Public Defender, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard Adrian Vaughn.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Katherine C. Redding, Assistant Attorney General; Anthony W. Clark, District Attorney General; and Kenneth C. Baldwin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J. and John Everett Williams, J., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

         I. Facts

         In July 2011, the Defendant pleaded guilty to hindering a secured creditor, writing a worthless check, four counts of theft, and failure to appear in exchange for a five-year sentence suspended to six years of probation. In January 2015, the Defendant was again charged with three counts of theft. In July 2015, the Defendant pleaded guilty to two of the three counts for a two-year sentence to run consecutively to his prior five-year sentence. The Defendant's prior probation sentence was revoked and reinstated with the requirement he attend the Day Reporting Center ("DRC").

         Over the course of the next year, two probation violation reports were filed. The first alleged the Defendant admitted to use of oxycodone and denied the use of benzodiazepines. A subsequent drug test revealed the presence of both oxycodone and benzodiazepines. The DRC requested the probation violation report be left "open" to continue monitoring the Defendant. The second probation violation was filed based upon the Defendant's failure to attend the DRC and his failure to make contact with his probation officer. The DRC filed a discharge summary stating it considered the Defendant an absconder and recommended that he serve his sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction.

         The trial court held a hearing on November 16, 2016. The Defendant was sworn in, and he waived his right to a hearing and entered a plea of guilty to the probation violation allegations. The trial court asked the Defendant if he had anything to add to the discharge summary from the DRC, and the Defendant responded that he did not. The trial court then asked the Defendant's probation officer if she had anything to add, and the probation officer stated the following:

[The Defendant] was my client and I did a plan with him, arranged NET Trans every day, you name it, and he still took upon himself to abscond. I called him repeatedly and said, what can I do to help you, and he . . . ignored me. And I called his boss and even asked his boss to get him into the Day Reporting Center, did everything I could do for him. I - I recommend he serve his sentence.

         The State agreed with the recommendation stating, "it doesn't seem like he's giving the people who's [sic] tried to ...


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