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State v. Childress

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

January 19, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ZACKARY JAMES CHILDRESS

          Assigned on Briefs November 14, 2017 [1]

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Lincoln County No. 2016-CR-120 Forest A. Durard, Jr., Judge

         The Defendant, Zackary James Childress, entered an open guilty plea to two counts of simple possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, one count of simple possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. The trial court held a sentencing hearing and sentenced the Defendant to eleven months and twenty-nine days at seventy-five percent release eligibility on each count. On appeal, the Defendant argues that his sentences are excessive and that the trial court erred in denying alternative sentencing. After a review of the record, we determine that the trial court did not abuse its discretion, and we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          Donna L. Hargrove, District Public Defender, and William J. Harold, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Zackary James Childress.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; Robert J. Carter, District Attorney General; and Ann Filer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          John Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle and Alan E. Glenn, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The Defendant was indicted on possession of less than 0.5 grams of a Schedule II controlled substance for resale, possession of less than 0.5 grams of a Schedule II controlled substance for delivery, simple possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Defendant entered a guilty plea to two counts of simple possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, one count of simple possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. The two counts of simple possession of a Schedule II controlled substance were merged. There was no agreement as to the length or manner of service of the sentences.

         At the guilty plea hearing, the State proffered the factual basis for the Defendant's guilty pleas. The State asserted that on February 24, 2016, Lincoln County deputies responded to a telephone call that drugs were being sold out of a particular residence. The owner of the property consented to a search of the residence and advised the officers that two men were inside the residence at that time. The officers found the Defendant fully dressed in his bed. They searched the Defendant and found a plastic bag containing 0.12 grams of methamphetamine in his pants pocket. Two small plastic bags of marijuana and a set of digital scales were found in a black jacket that was located next to the Defendant. The officers advised the Defendant of his rights, after which the Defendant stated that he recently had purchased an "eight ball" of methamphetamine from another individual.

         At the subsequent sentencing hearing, the State introduced the Defendant's juvenile records for various charges, including adjudications for vandalism over $1, 000 and violation of probation. The State noted that the vandalism adjudication would have been a felony if the Defendant had been an adult at the time and that the probation violation was for the vandalism adjudication. As an adult, the Defendant had a misdemeanor conviction of an assault on a minor and two distinct misdemeanor convictions of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Defendant had received a community corrections sentence for one felony conviction of burglary of an automobile, two misdemeanor convictions of theft under $500.00, one misdemeanor conviction of fraudulent use of a credit card, and one felony conviction of theft over $500.00. The State also showed that the Defendant's failure to pass drug screenings, failure to make the required payments, and failure to reside where the Defendant had reported he was residing resulted in the revocation of his community corrections sentence. The

         Defendant also had a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction in Alabama, for which he was sentenced to probation that was later revoked. A week after the guilty plea was entered in this case, the Defendant was arrested and charged with domestic assault, and this charge was still pending at the time of the sentencing hearing.

         The Defendant testified during the sentencing hearing that his drug use began when he was about fifteen years old and had continued for the past twelve years. He stated that his drug use played a role in his criminal history and that he stole to support his drug habit. He further testified that no drugs were involved in his domestic assault conviction in Alabama. The Defendant explained that he never had the opportunity to have rehabilitation for his drug problem, stating that he had been to prison twice and that there's "nothing but drugs in there." He acknowledged that he never tried to go to drug rehabilitation on his own. He agreed that the first time he had requested rehabilitation was on the day of ...


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