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State v. Whitaker

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

November 16, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ERIC TODD WHITAKER, JR.

          Assigned on Briefs October 17, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Williamson County No. I-CR048746 Joseph A. Woodruff, Judge.

         The Defendant, Eric Todd Whitaker, Jr., entered nolo contendere pleas to aggravated burglary, a Class C felony, and theft of property valued at $1, 000 or more but less than $10, 000, a Class D felony. See T.C.A. §§ 39-14-403 (2014) (aggravated burglary), 39-14-103 (2014) (theft of property). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to concurrent terms of four years and six months for aggravated burglary and four years for theft of property. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred during sentencing. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          Vanessa Pettigrew Bryan, District Public Defender; and J. Gregory Burlison, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Eric Todd Whitaker, Jr.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Kim R. Helper, District Attorney General; and Tammy J. Rettig, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE.

         The Defendant was indicted for one count of aggravated burglary and one count of theft of property valued at $1, 000 or more but less than $10, 000. The Defendant entered nolo contendere pleas on September 29, 2016, and the plea agreement provided that the Defendant would be sentenced as a Range I, standard offender with the length and the manner of service to be determined by the trial court. The guilty plea hearing transcript is not included in the appellate record. A sentencing hearing was held on December 16, 2016.

         At the hearing, the presentence report was received as an exhibit and reflected that the Defendant had previous convictions for attempted aggravated burglary and thirteen misdemeanors. The Defendant was sentenced to two years' probation for attempted the aggravated burglary, and the report reflected that the Defendant had four probation violations. The report reflected that the Defendant pleaded guilty to evading arrest, burglary, and two counts of aggravated burglary after the current offenses were committed.

         The presentence report reflected that the Defendant was age thirty, had three children, had graduated from high school, and had previously attended ITT Tech and Middle Tennessee State University. The Defendant reported alcohol use beginning at age twenty-five, but he no longer used alcohol. He reported no drug use.

         The victim testified that his home was burglarized by the Defendant on April 10, 2014. The victim said that his daughter went home after school and that his daughter called him to report all of the drawers and doors were open in the home, the lights were on, and a window was broken. The victim said that he told his daughter to leave the home and that he called the police. The victim stated that when he arrived home, a neighbor told the victim he had witnessed a burglar carrying the victim's safe from the home and driving away in a gray Altima.

         The victim testified that his wife's heirloom jewelry and silver, a safe, and his youngest daughter's cell phone were stolen. The victim testified that he tracked his daughter's cell phone through a location tracker application and that the police found it in an Altima. The victim said he traveled to Williamson County to identify the valuables.

         The victim stated that he wanted the Defendant to "pay" for the harm he caused the victim's family and society. The victim stated that he and his family lived in their dream home when the burglary occurred, that ...


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