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State v. Caldwell

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

September 19, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL

          Session August 21, 2019.

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Sumner County No. CR973-2015 Dee David Gay, Judge.

         The Defendant, Christopher Caldwell, appeals the Sumner County Criminal Court's order revoking his community corrections sentence for his convictions for burglary of a motor vehicle and felony theft and ordering him to serve the remainder of his effective twelve-year sentence in confinement. The Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by revoking his community corrections sentence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Jon David Rogers (on appeal), Hendersonville, Tennessee, and David Von Wiegandt (at revocation hearing), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher Caldwell.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jeffrey D. Zentner, Assistant Attorney General; Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; and Lytle Anthony James, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., J., and John Everett Williams, P.J., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE.

         On October 20, 2016, the Defendant pleaded guilty to burglary of a motor vehicle and felony theft and received consecutive sentences of six years each, for an effective twelve-year sentence. The trial court ordered the Defendant to serve his sentence on community corrections. On July 31, 2017, a community corrections violation warrant was issued, alleging that the Defendant tested positive for cocaine and benzodiazepine on July 5, 2017. At the October 2, 2017 revocation hearing, the Defendant conceded he had violated the conditions of his release. The court revoked the Defendant's community corrections sentence but returned him to community corrections, which was to be supervised in another county.

         On February 9, 2018, a community corrections violation warrant was issued, alleging that the the Defendant failed to report to his community corrections officer on January 29, 2018, that he admitted using heroin on January 8, 2018, and that he violated his curfew. On July 30, 2018, a subsequent community corrections violation warrant was issued, alleging that he had been convicted of three counts of "Possession or Casual Exchange" on May 2, 2018.

         At the October 29, 2018 revocation hearing, community corrections officer Brandi Jimerson testified that the Defendant admitted to her that he used heroin on January 8, that he failed to report to her on January 29, and that he failed to comply with his curfew. She said that she sought a second violation warrant after she learned the Defendant had been convicted of three counts of possession of a controlled substance on May 2. Certified copies of the judgments of conviction were received as an exhibit.

         On cross-exmaination, Ms. Jimerson testified that the Defendant was participating in a "dual disorder program," which she described as a treatment team composed of a psychiatrist and a program specialist to ensure that a defendant received any necessary mental health and substance abuse treatment. She identified a judgment of conviction, which reflected that on April 21, 2016, the Defendant pleaded guilty to the sale of a controlled substance and received a ten-year sentence to be served on community corrections. Ms. Jimerson agreed the drug-related judgment reflected that, in April 2018, the Defendant was ordered to serve one year in confinement for violating the conditions of his release and was returned to community corrections. She said that the grounds for the April 2018 revocation in the drug-related case were the same grounds for seeking revocation in the present case.

         Ms. Jimerson testified that she had reviewed the Defendant's medical records, which were received as an exhibit. She knew the Defendant had received mental health treatment at multiple facilities and had been diagnosed with opioid use disorder, a mood disorder, schizophrenia, amphetamine-type substance use disorder, and suicidal ideations. She recalled the medical records showed the Defendant had attempted suicide previously. She said that she met with the Defendant before he was initially placed on community corrections, that he appeared to be "very psychotic," that he would not make eye contact with her, and that he was mumbling, skinny, and disheveled. She recalled having difficulty understanding him. She agreed that some defendants with substance abuse problems reported using drugs "to try and drown out the noise."

         Ms. Jimerson testified that the Defendant was always pleasant and respectful. She said that he had a girlfriend, who appeared to cause "issues" for him, but that he decided not to comply with the conditions of his release. She said that, at some point, the Defendant lived at a group home, that he took his medication as directed during this time, and that he remained in compliance when he took his medication. She said, though, that the Defendant absconded from the group home without his medication. She said the Defendant reported in January 2018 that the manager of the group home had asked the Defendant to obtain ...


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