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State v. Kirkland

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

March 26, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
CHRISTOPHER JAMES KIRKLAND

          Assigned on Briefs February 27, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Blount County No. C-21101 David R. Duggan, Judge

         The defendant, Christopher James Kirkland, appeals the revocation of the probationary sentence imposed for his Blount County Circuit Court conviction of the delivery of a controlled substance. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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

          J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), and Mack Garner, District Public Defender (at hearing), for the appellant, Christopher James Kirkland.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Mike L. Flynn, District Attorney General; and Ryan Desmond, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE

         On August 27, 2012, the defendant was convicted of delivery of a Schedule II narcotic, and the trial court imposed a sentence of four years to be served on supervised probation.

         In 2013, the defendant was convicted of violating his probation by failing to report, and he received a 90-day sentence of split confinement. In 2015, the defendant was again convicted of a probation violation for failure to report and failure to pay court costs and fees. He was sentenced to 160 days of split confinement, and the trial court added an additional year of probation to the defendant's original sentence.

          On February 1, 2017, the defendant's probation supervisor filed a probation violation report, alleging that the defendant had violated the terms of his probation by being arrested on January 6, 2017, for theft and driving on a revoked license, by failing to inform his supervisor of his arrest, by failing to report as scheduled for five consecutive months, and by failing to pay court costs and supervision fees. In March, the defendant pleaded guilty to joyriding, driving on a revoked license, possession without a prescription, and driving an unlicensed and unregistered vehicle. On May 5, 2017, the probation supervisor filed an amended probation violation warrant to reflect these new convictions.

         At the May 22, 2017 revocation hearing, Robert McGill, the defendant's probation supervisor, testified that the defendant failed to report as scheduled on August 23, 2016, and failed to report entirely in September, October, November, and December. Mr. McGill testified that the defendant also owed $3, 203.75 in court costs and $1, 008 in probation fees.

         The defendant testified and explained that he had stopped reporting to Mr. McGill because he had forgotten the date of his next appointment and because Mr. McGill never answered the voicemails the defendant left for him. With respect to his January 2017 arrest, the defendant claimed that he had a bill of sale for the vehicle he was charged with stealing and that the prescription drugs found in his possession belonged to his girlfriend. According to the defendant, Mr. McGill called him and instructed him to report on February 1, and when the defendant reported as requested, he was arrested for violating the terms of his probation. The defendant asked the court to again order a sentence of split confinement, explaining that he had "learned [his] lesson, " that he had been attempting to "get [his] life together, " that he had two jobs waiting for him, that he had been sober for several months, and that he wanted to seek custody of his children. The ...


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