Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs June 20, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Lawrence County No. 33591 J.
Russell Parkes, Judge
Defendant, Joey Tyrone Simpson, entered an open guilty plea
to aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and was sentenced as
a Range I, standard offender to three years in the Department
of Correction. Additionally, he was ordered to pay $2880 in
restitution for the victim's medical expenses. On appeal,
he argues that he should have been granted alternative
sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of
the trial court but remand for entry of a corrected judgment
to reflect the amount of restitution as $2880, rather than
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed and Remanded for Entry of a Corrected
Brandon E. White, Columbia, Tennessee (on appeal); Claudia S.
Jack, District Public Defender; and Robert H. Stovall, Jr.,
Assistant Public Defender (at hearing), for the appellant,
Joey Tyrone Simpson.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M.
Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Brent A. Cooper,
District Attorney General; and Emily C. Hartman, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ.,
E. GLENN, JUDGE
victim and the Defendant presented widely divergent versions
of the event which resulted in the Defendant's pleading
guilty to aggravated assault.
sentencing hearing, the victim, Piyushbai Patel, testified
that he owned the North End Texaco Market and, on October 10,
2015, had been working in the back of the store with one of
his employees. Around 3:00 p.m., the Defendant came in the
back door and asked the victim for money, causing the two to
argue. The victim went to the front of the store, followed by
the Defendant, who was threatening him. The victim called the
police, showed them the video of the Defendant inside the
store, and told them that the Defendant had been threatening
him and following him through the store.
3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Defendant kept "coming back
and checking everything." When the Defendant returned to
the store for the final time that day, the Defendant hit the
victim in the back of the head while the victim's face
was in the drive-through window. The victim turned around and
saw the Defendant with a golf club, as the Defendant hit the
victim in the mouth and the face "a couple [of]
times." The victim was struck "[a]round six
times" by the Defendant. While in the store, the
Defendant damaged the security system and batteries, as well
as the gas pump monitor. The victim was treated at a hospital
emergency room for which he was billed $2880. The damage to
the victim's store was between $5000 and $10, 000, and he
was unable to work for several days afterwards.
Defendant testified that he worked for Perry Wayne, who was
in the refrigeration and air conditioning business. In the
fall of 2014, Mr. Wayne instructed the Defendant to go to the
victim's business to clean leaves from the air
conditioning unit. The Defendant said that the victim owed
$100 for the cleaning job, and the sum was to be paid to the
Defendant. He said he had asked the victim for his money
"for months and months, " and, in the meantime, Mr.
Wayne had died. The Defendant testified that, on the day of
the incident, he took a golf club to the victim's
business "[b]ecause [he] wanted [his] money and wanted
to let [the victim] know [he] was serious." The
Defendant said that he "felt disrespected" when the
victim did not pay him, that he "checked" the
victim with the golf club, and struck the victim with his
Defendant acknowledged that he had a prior conviction for DUI
in 2014, as well as three convictions for domestic assault,
all involving the same victim, and resisting arrest in 2011.
He served ninety days for one of the domestic assault
convictions. The Defendant said that his probation for the
DUI conviction had been revoked after he tested positive for
marijuana. The Defendant's presentence report, which was
admitted as an exhibit to the hearing, reflected convictions
in 2001 for casual exchange of marijuana, attempted tampering
with evidence, and reckless driving. The forty-seven-year-old
Defendant also reported that he had used marijuana daily
since the age of fifteen to seventeen and as recently as
twenty to thirty days prior to the hearing. The Defendant
said he had been receiving disability ...