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State v. Taylor

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

April 12, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
SUSAN MARIE TAYLOR

          Assigned on Briefs March 28, 2018 at Knoxville

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Bedford County No. 18307 Forest A. Durard, Jr., Judge

         The defendant, Susan Marie Taylor, appeals the order of the trial court revoking her probation and ordering her to serve her original four-year sentence in confinement. Upon review of the record, we conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding the defendant violated the terms of her probation and the imposed sentence is proper. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

          Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Susan Marie Taylor.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Leslie E. Price, Assistant Attorney General; Robert J. Carter, District Attorney General; and Mike Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which John Everett Williams, and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE

         FACTS

         After pleading guilty to possession of a schedule II controlled substance for resale on April 17, 2017, the trial court suspended the defendant's sentence of four years in confinement and placed her on four years of supervised probation. The terms of probation required the defendant to report to her probation officer as instructed, to notify her probation officer before changing her residence or employment, to agree to searches by any probation officer, and to submit to random drug screens.

         After being sentenced, the defendant failed to report to her probation officer, and a probation violation warrant issued on June 1, 2017. The warrant alleged that since her sentencing on April 17, 2017, the defendant "failed to report to [p]robation, " "failed to make herself available for drug screening, " and "failed to submit to a search." Additionally, the warrant alleged that after a home visit on May 10, 2017, the defendant's probation officer "was unable to locate [the defendant] and her residence [was] unknown." At the outset of the revocation hearing, the defendant admitted to violating the terms of her probation. Upon accepting the defendant's admission, the trial court conducted a hearing to determine how the defendant would serve her original sentence.

         At the hearing, the defendant stated she is thirty-two years old with two children. The defendant failed to report to her initial probation appointment due to "vehicle trouble." She rescheduled her appointment, but again failed to report at the rescheduled time. According to the defendant, she overslept, but "called and left a message" with the probation office. The defendant apologized to the trial court for failing to go "to probation like [she] was supposed to, " stating she "should have tried harder." She stated if granted a second chance at probation, she could work at Sonic and live with her sister. The defendant acknowledged she "need[s] to go to rehab, " but also stated she could pass a drug test.

         On cross-examination, the defendant admitted she violated her probation within the first week of being sentenced. She explained that after missing her rescheduled appointment, she was unable to speak to a live person and so she left a message with the probation office. The defendant was unaware her revocation warrant stated officers were unable to locate her after visiting her home on May 10, 2017. However, the defendant denied changing her address, stating, "until I got incarcerated[, ] I still resided [at 900 Shelbyview Drive]. There is like four different addresses I reside in town." The defendant did not know why her roommate told Officer Fulks she no longer lived at the Shelbyview Drive residence. Additionally, the defendant stated she has "a job waiting for [her] at Sonic." Finally, the defendant acknowledged she was convicted for two counts of criminal responsibility for forgeries in 2006. For those convictions, she received diversion, which was ultimately revoked.

         Lance Fulks, a probation officer for the Tennessee Department of Correction, then testified. Regarding the defendant's ...


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