Assigned on Briefs February 5, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Tipton County No. 7813, 7814 Joe
H. Walker, III, Judge.
defendant, Ronnie Joe Edwards, Jr., appeals the order of the
trial court revoking his probation and ordering him to serve
his original five-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 his
probation and the imposed sentence is proper. Accordingly,
the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Matthew C. Edwards, Bolivar, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Ronnie Joe Edwards, Jr.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Mark E.
Davidson, District Attorney General; and Jason Poyner,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State
Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
John Everett Williams, P.J., and Camille R. McMullen, J.,
ROSS DYER, JUDGE.
and Procedural History
pleading nolo contendere to facilitation of
aggravated robbery (case number 7813) and possession of a
schedule IV controlled substance (case number 7814) on March
31, 2014, the trial court sentenced the defendant to three
years in case number 7813 and two years in case number 7814
to be served in the Tennessee Department of Correction. Tenn.
Code Ann. §§ 39-11-403; 39-13-402; 39-17-417. The
trial court ran the three-year sentence consecutively to the
two-year sentence for an effective sentence of five
years' confinement. The trial court then suspended the
defendant's sentence and placed him on five years of
supervised probation. The terms of probation required the
defendant to obey all laws, to report any arrests to his
probation officer, to not use any intoxicants or possess any
illegal drugs and submit to random drug screens, and to pay
all required fees to the Supervision and Criminal Injuries
fund or as ordered by the trial court.
on probation, the defendant was arrested on September 14,
2017 and September 19, 2017. A probation violation warrant
issued on October 7, 2017, detailing the arrests by stating:
the defendant was arrested by the Whiteville Police
Department on September 14, 2017, for possession of a
schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a schedule VI
controlled substance, and introduction of contraband into a
penal facility. The defendant was subsequently arrested by
the Tipton County Sheriff's Department on September 19,
2017, for possession of a schedule II controlled substance.
The probation violation warrant also alleged the defendant
failed to report his arrests to his probation officer after
being released on bond, possessed illegal drugs on the dates
of his arrests, and "failed to pay toward his probation
fees since being placed on probation." The trial court
conducted a probation revocation hearing on April 13, 2018.
hearing, Tennessee Department of Correction officer, Justin
Tubbs, testified he responded to an incident at the
Whiteville Correctional Facility on September 14, 2017. Upon
arrival, Officer Tubbs learned a correctional officer,
Cassandra Thomas, introduced narcotics into the prison
facility. After searching Ms. Thomas's vehicle, the
officers "found a[n] orange and white Nike shoebox in
there that also contained other narcotics." The shoebox
"had a green sticker on it" and displayed the
number "736" which identified a Hibbitt's store
in Covington, Tennessee as the point of origin for the
shoebox. Officer Tubbs interviewed Ms. Thomas who admitted to
bringing narcotics into the prison facility and to possessing
the narcotics found in her vehicle. Specifically, the search
She introduced 52 Xanax pills, 2.79 ounces of marijuana, and
then whenever I searched her vehicle, she had another 8.2
ounces of marijuana, black tape, packages of tobacco, and
cellphones. The black tape is indicative of the packages that
are introduced into the facility.
Thomas also provided a statement wherein she detailed she met
the defendant at a gas station in Brownsville, Tennessee and
he gave her the shoebox and drugs ...