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State v. Booker

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

August 30, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
DOMINIQUE ALEXANDER BOOKER

          Assigned on Briefs April 23, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 108641, 109764 G. Scott Green, Judge

In 2017, the Defendant, Dominque Alexander Booker, pleaded guilty to three counts in two separate cases, and the trial court sentenced him to a probationary sentence. In 2018, the Defendant's probation officer filed a probation violation warrant alleging that the Defendant had violated his probation by committing assault and vandalism and by not notifying his probation officer of the new offenses. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court revoked the Defendant's probation sentences for both cases. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred when it admitted into evidence the police officer's recount of the victim's statements about the assault as an excited utterance over the Defendant's hearsay objection. After review, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

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

          Cameron D. Bell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant Dominique Alexander Booker.

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

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas T. Woodall, and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

         I. Facts

         This case arises from new arrests while the Defendant was serving a probation sentence. On August 3, 2016, a Knox County grand jury indicted the Defendant for two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. On January 27, 2017, the Defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of facilitation to commit attempted second degree murder. The trial court entered the agreed concurrent sentence of four years, at 30%, to be served on state probation. The judgment of conviction states that the Defendant's probation was conditioned upon him not thereafter violating any laws and the Defendant's complying with the rules of probation.

         In July 2017, the Defendant's probation officer filed a probation violation warrant stating that the Defendant had failed two drug screens for marijuana. The trial court therefore ordered enhanced supervision, in part, because the Defendant had a history of drug use. It also ordered that the Defendant complete a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program while in custody as a condition of being placed on enhanced probation.

         On August 25, 2017, the Defendant pleaded guilty to intent to sell 0.5 grams or more of cocaine, and he received a ten-year probationary sentence, to run concurrently with his four-year probation sentence. On August 29, 2017, the trial court found the Defendant guilty of violating a law of the State of Tennessee based upon the cocaine conviction, and it ordered that the Defendant be placed on enhanced probation for three years and 143 days, to expire January 15, 2021.

         On March 8, 2018, the trial court found that the Defendant had failed to comply with the conditions of his probation by engaging in criminal conduct, i.e. committing an assault and vandalism on March 6, 2018. The affidavit further alleged that the Defendant failed to contact his probation officer and report his arrest.

         The trial court held an evidentiary hearing, during which the parties presented the following evidence: The State informed the trial court that it did not anticipate that the victim would appear in court but that it intended to present proof through the police officer who responded to the call about this incident. The State alleged that the Defendant had violated his probation by both committing criminal conduct and not reporting his arrest for committing criminal conduct. The Defendant's attorney objected to the officer's ...


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