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State v. Lee

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

June 12, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
MICHAEL JEROME LEE

          Assigned on Briefs May 30, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 111178 G. Scott Green, Judge

The Defendant, Michael Jerome Lee, pleaded guilty to burglary of a vehicle and simple possession in exchange for an agreed concurrent sentence of five years, with the trial court to determine the manner of service of that sentence. After a hearing, the trial court ordered that the Defendant serve his sentence in confinement. On appeal the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it denied him an alternative sentence. After review, we affirm the trial court's judgments.

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

          Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender; Jonathan P. Harwell and Jessica M. Greene, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant Michael Jerome Lee.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Garrett D. Ward, Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; and Ashley D. McDermott, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which John Everett Williams, P.J., and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., J., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

         I. Facts

         This case arises from the police apprehending the Defendant while he was breaking into a Jeep on May 25, 2017. With regard to this event, a Knox County grand jury indicted the Defendant for burglary of a vehicle, simple possession of a controlled substance, and public intoxication. At the guilty plea submission hearing, the parties agreed that the Defendant was a Range III offender, and the State informed the trial court that the parties had agreed that the Defendant would enter a guilty plea to burglary of an automobile and simple possession, in exchange for a five-year concurrent sentence and dismissal of the third count, public intoxication. The parties informed the trial court that the Defendant intended to apply for probation and that the parties agreed to provide him access to an inpatient treatment program while he awaited sentencing.

         The trial court then discussed the Defendant's plea with him. He ensured that the Defendant understood his rights and options. The trial court informed the Defendant that, after the sentencing hearing, the trial court could order the Defendant to serve the entirety of his sentence in confinement or some or none of his sentence in confinement. The Defendant acknowledged his understanding that the manner of service was to be determined by the trial court. The trial court then went through the individual rights that the Defendant waived when entering a plea of guilty.

         The Defendant said that he was fifty-three years old, had completed the twelfth grade in school, and had no difficulty reading or writing. The Defendant said his only medication was for blood pressure, that he had not been forced or threatened to enter a plea, and that he had not been offered anything in exchange for his plea.

         The State presented the following factual basis in support of the trial court accepting the Defendant's guilty plea:

[T]he witnesses listed in the indictment would testify that on May the 25thof 2017 officers responded to [an address in Knox County] where a black male wearing a blue plaid shirt was breaking into a red Jeep. Upon arrival the red Jeep was located and the officers did observe this [D]efendant . . . with his entire body inside the vehicle on the left rear side and the soft top hanging open. The officers also observed the glove box to be open and there were several items strewn ...

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