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State v. Simpson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

October 31, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
JOEY TYRONE SIMPSON

          Assigned on Briefs June 20, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Lawrence County No. 33591 J. Russell Parkes, Judge

         The 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 $2280.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed and Remanded for Entry of a Corrected Judgment

          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 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

         The victim and the Defendant presented widely divergent versions of the event which resulted in the Defendant's pleading guilty to aggravated assault.

         At the 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.

         From 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.

         The 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 fist.

         The 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 ...


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