Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs November 28, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Jefferson County No. 12323-12324
O. Duane Slone, Judge.
Defendant, Cecil G. Dobbs, pleaded guilty to aggravated
assault and theft of property valued at less than $500 in
return for a sentence of seven years of split confinement
with two years of incarceration followed by five years of
probation. A probation violation warrant was issued based
upon subsequently incurred charges and, after a hearing, the
trial court revoked the Defendant's probation sentence,
ordering that he serve his sentence in confinement. On
appeal, the Defendant asserts that the trial court abused its
discretion when it revoked his probation sentence and by
"not allowing him to be heard" at the probation
revocation hearing. After review, we affirm the trial
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
C. Miller, District Public Defender, and Rebecca V. Lee,
Assistant Public Defender, Dandridge, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Cecil Glenn Dobbs, Jr.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; James B. Dunn,
District Attorney General; and Charles L. Murphy, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and J. Ross Dyer, J., joined.
W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE.
December 3, 2013, the Defendant entered guilty pleas to
aggravated assault and theft of property valued at less than
$500 in exchange for a seven-year sentence of split
confinement with two years of incarceration followed by five
years of probation. In October 2015, the Defendant's
probation officer filed a probation violation report,
alleging that the Defendant had violated the terms of his
probation by failing to report, failing to report an arrest
for Schedule III narcotics, possession of drugs, and failing
to pay court costs and fees. The trial court issued a
probation violation warrant, and later ordered the Defendant
to serve seventy-five days before returning to probation.
March 2016, the Defendant's probation officer issued
another probation violation report, alleging that the
Defendant had been arrested for burglary of a motor vehicle,
possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting arrest. The
Defendant also allegedly failed to report the arrest to his
probation officer. The trial court issued a probation
violation warrant and, after the Defendant's arrest, the
trial court held a probation revocation hearing. At the
hearing, the Defendant pleaded guilty "to a violation of
probation second offense." The trial court, based on the
Defendant's history and the new violations, revoked the
Defendant's probation sentence. It is from this judgment
the Defendant now appeals.
appeal, the Defendant argues that the trial court abused its
discretion by revoking his probation and violated his due
process rights by "prohibiting the Defendant from
presenting evidence." The State responds that the trial
court acted within its discretion when, after determining
that the Defendant had violated the terms of his probation,
it revoked the probation sentence. The State further argues
that nothing in the record indicates that the Defendant was
precluded from testifying and/or presenting evidence. We
agree with the State.
court's authority to revoke a suspended sentence is
derived from Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-310
(2014), which provides that the trial court possesses the
power "at any time within the maximum time which was
directed and ordered by the court for such suspension, . . .
to revoke . . . such suspension" and cause the original
judgment to be put into effect. A trial court may revoke
probation upon its finding by a preponderance of the evidence
that a violation of the conditions of probation has occurred.
T.C.A. § 40-35-311(e) (2014). "In probation
revocation hearings, the credibility of witnesses is to be
determined by the trial judge." State v.
Mitchell, 810 S.W.2d 733, 735 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1991).
If a trial court revokes a defendant's probation, options
include ordering confinement, ordering the sentence into
execution as originally entered, returning the defendant to