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State v. Ibarra

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

February 12, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
RAMIRO R. IBARRA

          Assigned on Briefs in Knoxville November 28, 2017

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Warren County No. F-14254 Larry B. Stanley, Jr., Judge

         The Defendant, Ramiro R. Ibarra, pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault. The trial court sentenced him to twelve years and ordered that he serve 364 days in confinement and the remainder of his sentence on Community Corrections. The Defendant's probation officer alleged that the Defendant violated his probation and, at a hearing, the Defendant admitted that he violated the conditions of his probation. The trial court revoked his probation and ordered that he serve his sentence in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it ordered that he serve his sentence in confinement. On appeal, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

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

          Joshua T. Crain, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Romiro R. Ibarra.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew C. Coulam, Assistant Attorney General; Lisa S. Zavogiannis, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and J. Ross Dyer, J. joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

         I. Facts

         This case arises from a traffic accident occurring when the Defendant was driving after "huffing canned air" and resulted in the death of a young girl and the injury of three other people. In relation to this accident, the Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of vehicular homicide and three counts of vehicular assault. The trial court sentenced him to twelve years and ordered that he serve 364 days in confinement and the remainder of his sentence on Community Corrections. A little more than a year after the Defendant was released to Community Corrections, his supervision was transferred to probation, after which his probation officer filed a probation violation affidavit. In the affidavit he alleged that the Defendant had failed to report, failed to complete a drug and alcohol assessment, admitted methamphetamine use, and failed to pay court costs.

         The trial court held a hearing on whether to grant the Defendant bond while he was awaiting a hearing on his probation violation.[1] The Defendant's mother testified that, after his conviction, the Defendant had lived with her and her husband. She said that, while living with her, he had worked at a nursery, a pumpkin patch, and a tool store. Ms. Ibarra testified that, in September 2016, the Defendant broke his phone, so she called the Defendant's probation officer to determine the date of the Defendant's next appointment. She said that the Defendant's probation officer, Mr. Solomon, told her that the Defendant was a grown man and needed to contact his probation officer himself. She testified that Mr. Solomon told her that there was a warrant out for the Defendant's arrest, and the Defendant turned himself in to police. During cross-examination, Ms. Ibarra testified that the girl killed in the accident was related to her. Ms. Ibarra said she was unaware that the Defendant admitted to using methamphetamine. She agreed that the Defendant knew there was a warrant out for his arrest but did not turn himself in for several weeks.

         The Defendant's father testified that he went to the probation office to find out the date of the Defendant's next probation appointment. He was told that they could not give him that information because the Defendant was not under age and was responsible for himself. During cross-examination, Mr. Ibarra testified that both he and his wife have cell phones. He said that the Defendant did not use them to call because they "needed" their own phones. Mr. Ibarra said he was unaware of the Defendant ever using methamphetamine.

         The Defendant's girlfriend, Sarah Pease, testified that she lived with the Defendant and his parents. She said that she and the Defendant got a job at the same location so that he would have stable transportation to and from work. On their first day of work, the Defendant received a voicemail from Mr. Solomon that said he needed to report to Mr. Solomon's office. Ms. Pease and the Defendant left work early so they could go to the appointment. Ms. Pease said that, two days later, Mr. Solomon scheduled another appointment for 12:00. The next day, Mr. Solomon made a third appointment, and, on this basis, they were terminated from their employment. Ms. Pease said that she had called Mr. Solomon about the Defendant's appointment, but Mr. Solomon told her he could not discuss it with her. During cross-examination, she said that Mr. Solomon never gave her a date for the Defendant's probation appointment. She said she was unaware that the Defendant said he had used methamphetamine.

         Clay Solomon, the Defendant's probation officer, testified that the Defendant admitted to using methamphetamine on July 18, 2016, but his drug test on August 3 was negative. Mr. Solomon said that, since the Defendant admitted to drug use but the screen was negative, he recommended a substance abuse evaluation. The Defendant said that he wanted help with his problems. On the Defendant's report form from the August 3 meeting, the Defendant said he was unemployed. At their next meeting on August 8, the Defendant again said he was unemployed. Mr. Solomon said that he never required the Defendant to report three times in one week. The Defendant reported May 16, May 24, July 12, August 3, and August 8. Mr. Solomon said that the reason the Defendant had two scheduled appointments in one week in August was based on the fact that he admitted to drug use on August 3. His ...


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