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State v. Underwood

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

May 10, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
TOREY MARTEZ UNDERWOOD

          Assigned on Briefs February 26, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 108578 Scott Green, Judge

         The defendant, Torey Martez Underwood, appeals the Knox County Criminal Court's denial of alternative sentencing for his guilty-pleaded conviction of attempted second degree murder. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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

          John Halstead, Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Torey Martez Underwood.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Charme Allen, District Attorney General; and Leslie Nassios, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle, and D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          JAMES CURWOOD WITT, JR., JUDGE

         On November 20, 2017, the defendant, Torey Martez Underwood, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted second degree murder. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the defendant received an agreed-upon sentence of nine years as a Range I offender, and the State dismissed the charge of attempted first degree murder. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the defendant to serve the entire sentence in confinement. The defendant filed this timely appeal, asserting that the trial court erred by imposing a fully-incarcerative sentence.

         At the plea submission hearing, the State provided the following summary of the offense:

[T]he defendant was married to a woman named Jessica Underwood, who had a child with the victim in this case, Noel Djenini.
. . . [T]he parties had met at a location on East Magnolia on April the 23rd, 2016 in Knox County for the purpose of Mr. Djenini seeing his four year-old child. Apparently there was an argument between Mr. Djenini and Jessica Underwood. . . . Mr. Djenini was outside his vehicle, was in front of a business place. And . . . Jessica Underwood said some things to the defendant, . . . who was in the vehicle with her. He got out of the vehicle. The assault on Mr. Djenini was on video. The video . . . shows that Mr. Djenini ha[d] his back to the defendant. There [wa]s absolutely no conversation between them. No altercation. And the defendant jumped him.
The [defendant] . . . stabbed him four times causing serious bodily injury. He then fled the scene. Mr. Djenini received a stab wound to his heart that would have been lethal without medical intervention. He was stabbed behind the left ear. He was stabbed [in] another place in the back. It was not a life threatening injury. And he was stabbed very close to his spinal column in the back with the fourth wound. . . . [H]e was very close, . . . had he not received medical intervention[, ] to death.
He was in the hospital for several days. After his discharge, he was out of work for about three and a half months. And had a very long, prolonged rehab. This was an unprovoked assault . . . according to the ...

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