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State v. Lee

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

March 27, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
DEREK CULLEN LEE

          Session February 27, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 109864 Steven W. Sword, Judge

         The Defendant, Derek Cullen Lee, appeals from the Knox County Criminal Court's denial of his request for judicial diversion. The Defendant contends (1) that the trial court "did not sufficiently weigh all the [required] factors . . . in deciding suitability for diversion"; and (2) that the trial court's decision to deny his request for judicial diversion was based on the offense that he was convicted of rather than the applicable factors. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Donald A. Bosch (at sentencing hearing) and Douglas A. Trant (on appeal), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Derek Cullen Lee.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; M. Todd Ridley, Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; and Randall Jay Kilby, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Defendant was indicted on February 1, 2017, on two counts of aggravated assault, four counts of reckless endangerment, one count of attempted aggravated burglary, and one count of vandalism. On March 24, 2017, the Defendant entered into a plea agreement with the State. The Defendant agreed to plead guilty to one count of reckless endangerment by discharging a firearm into an occupied habitation, a Class C felony, in exchange for dismissal of the seven other charges. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-103. The Defendant and the State also agreed upon a three-year sentence to be served on supervised probation. The sole issue remaining for the trial court was whether the Defendant would be granted judicial diversion.

         A transcript of the Defendant's guilty plea submission hearing was not included in the appellate record. According to the Defendant's presentence report, the factual bases for the Defendant's guilty plea was that on the evening of July 5, 2016, deputies from the Knox County Sheriff's Office "were dispatched to shots fired from" the Defendant's residence. The presentence report described what happened next as follows:

The Defendant opened his front door and began screaming at [the] officers. [The] [o]fficers approached the Defendant, who pulled a gun out in a shooting position and pointed it at the officers. [The] [o]fficers fired several shots and retreated to cover. At some point during the incident, the Defendant fired a weapon at [his neighbor's] residence . . . while they were inside. The round from the weapon went through a window and into a sofa.

         The presentence reported also contained the Defendant's statement regarding the incident. The Defendant described the incident as follows:

I was involved in a verbal altercation with my neighbors, who called the police. The police came to my door cursing at me. I did not know who was at my door. I answered the door with my personal handgun at my side. Once I opened the door, I realized it was the police. Upon realizing this, I closed my front door. After I shut my door, the police fired four rounds into my front door directed at me. Thankfully, they did not hit me. ...

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