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State v. Dodson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

August 21, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
TYSON B. DODSON

          Assigned on Briefs April 16, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Robertson County No. 74CC2-2018-CR-29 Jill Bartee Ayers, Judge.

         The Defendant, Tyson B. Dodson, pled guilty to burglary, failure to appear, domestic assault, and vandalism valued at $1000 or less. After entering a guilty plea, the trial court imposed a sentence of three years, with eleven months and twenty-nine days to be served in confinement and the remainder of the sentence to be served under supervised probation. In addition, the Defendant was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $999. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by altering the terms of the plea agreement and ordering restitution at the sentencing hearing and that the Defendant was denied his constitutional right to due process because the trial court failed to ensure that the Defendant had notice that restitution would be addressed at the sentencing hearing. Following our review, we reverse the order setting the restitution amount and remand for a restitution hearing, at which the trial court shall consider Defendant's financial resources and ability to pay and determine the proper amount and schedule of restitution payments. In all other respects, the judgments are affirmed.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Circuit Court Affirmed in Part and Reversed in Part; Case Remanded.

          Roger E. Nell, District Public Defender; and Rosemary Sprague, Assistant District Public Defender, for the Appellant, Tyson B. Dodson.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney General; and Jason Christian White, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., JUDGE.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Defendant in this case was indicted on multiple offenses committed between May 2017 and September 2017. On April 12, 2018, the Defendant pled guilty to burglary, failure to appear, domestic assault, and vandalism. See Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 39-14-103, -14-105, -14-402, -14-403, -14-408. By agreement, the Defendant received concurrent sentences for all four convictions, including a three-year sentence for burglary, one-year sentence for failure to appear, eleven months and twenty-nine days for domestic violence, and eleven months and twenty-nine days for vandalism. The trial court was to determine the Defendant's manner of service. Because the Defendant only raises the issue of restitution and notice of restitution in his appeal, we will limit our discussion to the facts pertinent to those issues.

         The sentencing hearing to determine the Defendant's manner of service proceeded as follows. At the beginning of the hearing, the trial court acknowledged the presentence report. Prior to the beginning of testimony, the trial court referred to the Defendant's plea agreement. As stipulated in the agreement, the Defendant pled guilty on the aforementioned charges with an effective sentence of three years. The trial court asked if the Defendant understood that he would not have the right to appeal his convictions but would have the right to appeal the sentence. The Defendant answered in the affirmative.

         The State's witness, Kathleen Noble, testified that the Defendant resided with her for a "short time." Ms. Noble testified that she owned a 1993 Ford F-150 truck that was left to her upon her husband's death some five years prior. Ms. Noble stated that in May 2017, the Defendant "ripped out the wires of [her] brand new alternator and [her] brand new starter. . . [and] [h]e took the freezer plug out so when [she] went to drive it, it overheated and ruined the engine." When questioned about her opinion regarding the truck's monetary value, Ms. Noble stated that she could not assign a value "because it was [her] husband's truck and he loved that truck and that was everything to [her] but [she] had somebody offer [her] twenty-five hundred dollars for it." Ms. Noble testified that this offer came three weeks before the Defendant vandalized the truck.

         In addition, Ms. Noble asserted that on the same day, the Defendant damaged a "lawn tractor" that she also owned. Ms. Noble stated that the Defendant "put ammonia in the gas tank and blew it up[.]" When asked about the monetary value of the tractor, Ms. Noble testified that she "paid fifteen hundred dollars and [she] sure didn't get much work out of it[.]" It should be noted that the indictment charged the Defendant with damage to a Ford F-150 truck, but not a lawn tractor. The lawn tractor was also not mentioned at the guilty plea hearing.

         Upon cross-examination, Ms. Noble stated that she was not home when the vandalism occurred. She offered no testimony as to the value of the damage to the vehicle or the ...


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