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State v. Finley

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

November 13, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ERIC DEWAYNE FINLEY

          Assigned on Briefs October 11, 2017

         Appeal from the Criminal Court for Hamilton County No. 296149, 299584 Barry A. Steelman, Judge

         The Defendant, Eric Dewayne Finley, appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court's revocation of his probation. On appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court abused its discretion by reinstating a sentence of full confinement. Upon review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          Raymond T. Faller, District Public Defender, Jay Underwood, Assistant Public Defender, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric Dewayne Finley.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ruth Ann Thompson, Senior Counsel; Neal Pinkston, District Attorney General; and Rodney C. Strong, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Camille R. McMullen, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          CAMILLE R. McMULLEN, JUDGE

         On October 26, 2015, the Defendant pled guilty to aggravated burglary in Case No. 296149. He received a four-year sentence to be served on supervised probation to run consecutively to an unrelated case. On July 13, 2016, a warrant was filed alleging that the Defendant had been arrested and charged with aggravated domestic assault and vandalism and that the Defendant had failed to pay his probation fees or restitution payments. On July 22, 2016, the trial court ordered a partial revocation of the Defendant's probation.

         On July 1, 2016, an arrest warrant was issued by the Hamilton County General Sessions Court charging the Defendant with coercion of a witness in Case No. 1634924. The warrant alleged that, while the Defendant was incarcerated for the aggravated domestic assault and vandalism charges, he contacted the victim and advised her on multiple occasions not to come to court. On July 22, 2016, the Defendant pled guilty to the lesser charge of solicitation of a witness, and the aggravated domestic assault and vandalism charges were dismissed.[1] The record is unclear as to the disposition of the revocation petition, although it appears that the Defendant agreed to a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days, suspended to supervised probation, as well as a no-contact order regarding the victim.

         On July 28, 2016, a petition was filed to revoke the Defendant's probation in Case No. 1634924 for violating a no-contact order. On August 5, 2016, another petition was filed to revoke the Defendant's probation because the Defendant had been using methamphetamine. Additionally, on August 9, 2016, a third petition to revoke the Defendant's probation was filed for another violation of the no-contact order. There is no documentation in the record of a revocation hearing on these petitions, although it appears that the General Sessions court sustained the violations and ordered the Defendant to serve his previously suspended sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days.

         On August 23, 2016, the Defendant appealed the Hamilton County General Session Court's revocation of his probation to the Hamilton County Criminal Court, which became Case No. 299584. On September 12, 2016, after a hearing, the trial court granted the appeal and restored the Defendant's probation conditioned on another no-contact order with the victim and GPS monitoring.[2]

         On October 6, 2016, a probation violation report was filed indicating that the Defendant had failed to report, failed to maintain his GPS monitoring, and owed court costs and supervision fees. The trial court ordered a capias issued for the Defendant's arrest on October 21, 2016.

         On December 8, 2016, a probation violation report was filed in Case No. 296149 alleging that the Defendant was discharged from inpatient treatment for "assaultive behavior towards another patient." The report also alleged that the Defendant failed to return to treatment, admitted to using methamphetamine, and had not paid any restitution as ordered by the trial court. The trial court ordered a capias issued for the Defendant's ...


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