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State v. Vanwinkle

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

May 25, 2018

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
WILLIAM S. VANWINKLE

          Assigned on Briefs April 18, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Rutherford County No. F-72538, F-74515, M-75892 Royce Taylor, Judge

         The Defendant, William S. Vanwinkle, pleaded guilty in case numbers F-72538 and F-74515 to initiating a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine, see T.C.A. § 39-17-435, and in case number M-75892 to shoplifting, see id. § 39-14-146. In this appeal, the Defendant contends that the twenty-year effective sentence imposed in this case is excessive and that the trial court erred by denying all forms of alternative sentencing. After a thorough review of the record, the briefs of the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

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

          William Henry Stover, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, William S. Vanwinkle.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Counsel; Jennings H. Jones, District Attorney General; and Allen D. Hale, 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

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 18, 2017, the Defendant pleaded guilty in case number F-72538 to one count of initiating a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine, in case number F-74515 to one count of initiating a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and in case number M-75892 to one count of shoplifting. The transcript of the guilty plea submission hearing was not made a part of the record on appeal.

         At the March 21, 2017 sentencing hearing, Rutherford County Sheriff's Office Deputy Michael Paul Moody testified that on May 21, 2014, he went to a residence to serve an active criminal warrant on Ms. Lisa Martin. Deputy Moody found Ms. Martin at that address and placed her under arrest. While he was at the residence, he encountered the Defendant and Ms. Martin's mother, Ms. Theresa Busey. Deputy Moody transported Ms. Martin "to booking and served the warrant, " and, as he was leaving the sheriff's office, he "heard a call coming out" at the residence of "an unwanted guest situation."

         Deputy Moody and other deputies went to the residence and encountered Ms. Busey, who indicated that she wanted the Defendant to leave the property. Initially, Ms. Busey and the Defendant argued about Ms. Martin's purse, and, eventually, Ms. Busey indicated that the Defendant was preventing her from accessing a barn at the rear of her property. Deputy Moody walked around the barn at issue and observed two burn piles. "In the burn piles were some mason jars with white residue [and] lithium strips from busted batteries." Near the barn, Deputy Moody observed "a jug of muriatic acid and some empty lighter fluid bottles laying around."

         Deputy Moody testified that he had encountered methamphetamine manufacturing laboratories as part of his duties and that, as a result, he had some familiarity with the accoutrement to the manufacture of methamphetamine. He said that the items located inside the burn piles and near the barn were typically involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Ms. Busey granted Deputy Moody permission to enter the barn, but the door was locked with a padlock. Ms. Busey did not have a key to the lock, and she told Deputy Moody that the Defendant "had threatened her with physical violence if she went anywhere near" the barn. The Defendant denied any knowledge of the lock and any ownership interest in the barn. Ms. Busey provided Deputy Moody her written consent to cut the padlock with bolt cutters and enter the barn.

         Immediately upon entering the barn, a deputy from the narcotics division ordered everyone out of the barn because "there was something smoking in the back of the building." Deputy Moody observed "a coke bottle with a rubber hose coming out of it" as well as other items generally associated with an active methamphetamine manufacturing operation.

         After other deputies retrieved all the items from the barn, Deputy Moody placed the Defendant under arrest and transported him to the sheriff's office. During the booking process, officers discovered the key to the padlock in the Defendant's pants pocket.

         Ms. Busey testified that in February of 2014, the Defendant, whom she had never met, came to the back door of her residence in apparent physical distress and asked to see Ms. Martin. Ms. Busey said that the Defendant stayed at the residence from that point until his May 2014 arrest and that Ms. Martin nursed a bad burn that went from "the upper part of his body down to the knees." Ms. Busey said that the Defendant told them he had been burned when "his radiator had blowed [sic] up." Ms. Busey recalled that the Defendant remained bedridden for "[t]wo or three weeks to a month." After the Defendant began moving around ...


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