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State v. Biggs

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

December 19, 2017

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
GUY LEN BIGGS

          Session September 6, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Henry County No. 15497 Donald E. Parish, Judge

         The defendant, Guy Len Biggs, pled guilty to aggravated perjury and fabrication of evidence in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated sections 39-16-703 and 39-16-503. For his respective crimes, the trial court imposed concurrent sentences of four and five years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The trial court ordered the effective five-year sentence to run consecutively to a prior, twelve-year sentence for attempted second degree murder. On appeal, the defendant argues the trial court abused its discretion by ordering his present sentences to run consecutively to his prior sentence. The defendant also vaguely challenges the length and manner of service of his sentences for aggravated perjury and fabrication of evidence. Following our review of the briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the defendant's four and five-year sentences to be served in confinement, consecutively to the twelve-year sentence for attempted second degree murder.

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

          Benjamin S. Dempsey, Huntingdon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Guy Len Biggs.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Matthew F. Stowe, District Attorney General; and Paul Hessing, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J. and Norma McGee Ogle, J., joined.

          OPINION

          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE.

         In March 2015, while on trial for attempted first degree murder, the defendant, in support of his defense at trial, perjured himself and submitted a fabricated document into evidence detailing a false military career. Specifically, the defendant argued the State's theory, that he unsuccessfully shot his wife's lover, was impossible because of his military training and expertise. At the close of trial, the jury convicted the defendant of the lesser-included offense of attempted second degree murder. On August 3, 2015, the trial court sentenced the defendant to twelve years' incarceration for his crime.

         Subsequently, on November 2, 2015, the defendant was indicted for one count of aggravated perjury and one count of fabricating evidence to which he pled guilty on January 7, 2016. At the sentencing hearing for these convictions, the pre-sentence report was entered into evidence and the defendant's daughter, Karen Biggs, testified on behalf of her father. Ms. Biggs stated the defendant is honest and kind, but also acknowledged the defendant lied during his trial testimony and created a false document to support the same. Ms. Biggs couched the defendant's behavior in the following way: "Yes, I'm sure he has done what he had to do. He was scared and tried to help himself in any way." No other evidence was offered during the sentencing hearing.

         Prior to sentencing the defendant, the trial court provided the following procedural and factual history surrounding the defendant's present convictions:

The [c]ourt has heard the evidence, and arguments of counsel, presented on the matter of sentencing. Before I impose sentence I need to, for purposes of the record, state some items that would allow a reviewing court to understand, looking at this record only, the context in which this crime arises.
[The defendant] was originally charged for [a]ttempted [f]irst [d]egree [m]urder. That case went to trial to a jury. This [c]ourt presided at that trial, which did last multiple days.
The allegations were, and the state's theory, which the jury accredited, and the [c]ourt also accredited that theory, was, to the effect, that [the defendant], in conjunction with his wife, lured, or made arrangements for, the lover of [the defendant's] wife to come to the [defendant and his wife's] home for purposes of [the defendant] shooting, and killing, the lover.
The plan went so far as the gentlemen (sic), who was the victim in the [a]ttempted [m]urder, did come to the home, and came inside the home, and a shot was fired. [The defendant] did not successfully hit the other actor, the victim in that case. [The defendant], however, was not clear, or it was unknown, whether he did, or he did not, hit him, and [the defendant] staged a shooting of himself.
In other words, it was the State's theory that [the defendant] then turned the gun on himself and shot himself, so as to make it look as though he was the victim, and after investigation by law enforcement, and, in fact, the other gentleman being arrested originally, law enforcement charged ...

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