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State v. Janyja

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

May 21, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
MORGAN NYLE JANYJA

          Assigned on Briefs April 18, 2018

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2014-B-958 Monte Watkins, Judge

         The Defendant, Morgan Nyle Janyja, appeals the trial court's revocation of his probation. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficient to support the revocation. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          David Von Wiegandt, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Morgan Nyle Janyja.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Garrett D. Ward, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn Funk, District Attorney General; and Jeffrey A. George, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          John Everett Williams, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JOHN EVERETT WILLIAMS, JUDGE

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On July 17, 2014, the Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, and he received concurrent sentences of six years' probation for each conviction. He was placed on sex offender probation and was required to register with the sex offender registry. His probation was revoked multiple times, and he was required to serve some jail time as a result. On June 16, 2017, the Defendant entered a best interest guilty plea to attempted violation of the sex offender registry, second offense. On June 19, 2017, a probation violation warrant was issued, which is the subject of this appeal, for (1) a violation of the sex offender registry, second offense, (2) having a balance of $2, 667 of probation fees in arrears, and (3) being arrested for a violation of the sex offender registry. On August 11 and August 16, 2017, a hearing was held on the probation violation.

         At the hearing, Mr. Ahmed Sayid testified that the Defendant was working part-time in Mr. Sayid's coffee shop prior to his arrest. Starting at the end of February, the Defendant slept on an air mattress in the office space connected to the coffee shop. Mr. Sayid stated that probation officers came once a month to check on the Defendant. Mr. Sayid did not like that the officers were coming to the shop, so sometime between the middle and the end of May, he told the Defendant to find somewhere else to sleep. The Defendant did not have anywhere to stay, so he occasionally slept outside the coffee shop. Mr. Sayid stated that he and his family worked long hours at the coffee shop, and that sometimes the Defendant would stay at the shop to talk to them or work until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. When asked if the Defendant slept at the coffee shop after these late nights, Mr. Sayid stated, "Sometimes he would be there until it closed, or - p.m., a.m., and he would be there." On cross examination, Mr. Sayid clarified that the Defendant stopped living in the coffee shop in the middle of May. He did not know where the Defendant lived from May 20 through May 31, 2017.

         The Defendant testified that he only entered a best interest guilty plea to the violation of the sex offender registry because he could not afford bond and wanted out of jail as soon as possible. He explained that when Mr. Sayid told him he could not stay at the coffee shop any longer, he told Mr. Sayid that he wanted to start working the night shift. He also stated that he would stay at the coffee shop until 2:00 a.m. to spend time with Mr. Sayid and Mr. Sayid's brother. He would then leave the coffee shop and sleep in his car. He stated that he never slept in his car in the same location two days in a row so that he did not establish a residence. When he was staying at the coffee shop, probation officers would visit. Starting in the middle of May, he had no place to stay.

         The Defendant stated that he was active in his children's lives. He wanted to get back to work and had a job waiting for him. He stated that he did not use drugs and did not break the law.

         On cross examination, the Defendant denied residing at the coffee shop from May 20 through May 31, 2017. He claimed he was sleeping in his car at different locations. He would go to the coffee shop before his shift began to "hang out with some of the guys" who were regularly there. He would also go to the coffee shop for lunch "if money was tight." When asked if he ever spoke ...


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