Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assigned on Briefs Date: January 24, 2018
from the Criminal Court for Sullivan County No. S61123 R.
Jerry Beck, Judge
defendant, Christopher M. Mullins, appeals the revocation of
the six-year probationary sentence imposed for his 2013
conviction of manufacturing .5 grams or more of
methamphetamine, arguing that the trial court erred by
ordering that he serve the balance of his sentence in
confinement. Discerning no error, we affirm.
R. App. P. 3; Judgment of the Criminal Court
Tyler Harrison, Blountville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Christopher M. Mullins.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Barry P.
Staubus, District Attorney General; and P. Michael Filetti,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.,
CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE
2, 2013, the defendant pleaded guilty to a single count of
manufacturing methamphetamine, a Class C felony, in exchange
for a sentence of six years' supervised probation. On
August 10, 2016, a probation violation warrant issued
alleging that the defendant violated the terms of his
sentence by failing to reside at the John R. Hay House
("Hay House") as directed.
May 12, 2017 revocation hearing, the defendant pleaded guilty
to the violation and agreed to the facts as alleged in the
probation violation warrant: "On or about 07/29/16, the
Offender left the facility without permission and failed to
return. The Offender's whereabouts are unknown. The
Offender is considered absconded f[ro]m supervision."
defendant admitted that he had two felony convictions from
Hawkins County in addition to the felony conviction in this
case. He also acknowledged that he had several misdemeanor
convictions. The defendant testified that he had three minor
daughters ages 14, 12, and nine and that he shared custody of
the children with his estranged wife when he was not in jail.
defendant testified that while he was at the Hay House, he
received a telephone call from his daughter who told him that
his six-month-old granddaughter "had to go to
Shriner's to have open heart surgery" and that she
had passed away. The defendant said that he told a man at Hay
House named Mayo "what was going on" and then left.
The defendant claimed that his son was killed in a car
accident "on his way down" to the
granddaughter's funeral. The defendant said that after he
learned of the death of his son, he "just kindly went
crazy and ballistic, started drinking, doing pills. . . . And
just kindly lost [his] mind." He acknowledged that he
did not return to Hay House. He also conceded that while he
was absent from Hay House he acquired new charges of theft of
property valued at $1, 000 or less and criminal trespassing.
The defendant asked the trial court for "a second chance
to go back to the Hay House and do this right."
cross-examination, the defendant admitted that following
release on probation, he had acquired a new charge of driving
on a revoked or suspended license that led to his
probation's being revoked. After his probation was
revoked the first time, the defendant's probationary term
was reinstated and he was ordered to reside in the Hay House.
The defendant acknowledged that he spent less than eight days
in Hay House before he left. He also conceded that he did not
turn himself in on the violation warrant that was issued in
this case but that he was transferred to Sullivan County
after he was arrested on new charges in Hawkins County.
conclusion of the hearing, the trial court noted that the
defendant had a long criminal history as well as a long
history of drug addiction. The court stated that he ordered
the defendant to go to Hay House to receive drug treatment.
The court expressed sympathy that the defendant lost two
close family members in close succession but stated that the
defendant had "reached the end of the road in the
sense" that he could not be trusted with a sentence
involving release in the community. The court expressed
particular concern that the defendant had continued to drive
while on probation despite that he did not have a