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State v. Gordon

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

February 20, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
ANTWUAN MATIAS GORDON

          Assigned on Briefs Date: January 17, 2018

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Marshall County No. 16-CR-184 Forest A. Durard, Jr., Judge

         Defendant, Antwuan Matias Gordon, entered an open guilty plea to one count of driving a motor vehicle after having been declared a habitual motor vehicle offender, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-10-616. The trial court sentenced Defendant to serve four years in incarceration. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court erred by denying an alternative sentence. After a review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Donna Orr Hargrove, District Public Defender, and William J. Harold, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Antwuan Matias Gordon.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Counsel; Robert James Carter, District Attorney General; and William A. Dement, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Timothy L. Easter, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., joined.

          OPINION

          TIMOTHY L. EASTER, JUDGE

         Defendant was indicted by the Marshall County Grand Jury in December of 2016 for driving a motor vehicle after having been declared a habitual motor vehicle offender. Defendant entered an open guilty plea, with the trial court to determine the length and manner of service of the sentence at a sentencing hearing.

          At the guilty plea hearing, the State alleged that had the matter gone to trial, the proof would have shown that Defendant was declared a habitual motor vehicle offender on December 4, 2012. Subsequently, on June 6, 2016, Defendant was seen driving a 2001 Chevy Blazer on Highway 431. He passed another vehicle in a no passing zone. A police officer initiated a traffic stop. When the officer ran a driver's license check, dispatch advised the officer that Defendant's license was revoked. Defendant agreed to the factual basis for the plea and the trial court accepted the plea of guilt.

         The trial court held a sentencing hearing. At the hearing, the State introduced the presentence report. The report indicated that Defendant had four prior felony convictions and a number of misdemeanor convictions and had been unsuccessful in past attempts at probation. Specifically, the report indicated that Defendant was on community corrections at the time of the current offense.

         The trial court determined that Defendant was a Range II, multiple offender. The trial court applied enhancement factors (1), (8), and (13) along with mitigating factor (1). See T.C.A. §§ 40-35-113, -114. The trial court noted that Defendant was "well-spoken, " "polite, " and "neat" and was perplexed as to why Defendant kept coming back to court. At the time of the sentencing hearing, Defendant was twenty-six years of age. The trial court determined that a sentence of four years was appropriate based in part on the fact that Defendant had an "extensive history of criminal activity." The trial court considered alternative sentencing and denied it on the basis that Defendant had potential to re-offend and "at some point [Defendant's criminal behavior] has to end."

         Defendant has appealed the trial court's denial of an ...


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