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State v. Murray

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

September 26, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
JOHN C. MURRAY

          Assigned on Briefs May 15, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Wilson County No. 16-CR-142 Brody Kane, Judge

         The Defendant was convicted upon his guilty plea to theft of property valued at more than $1, 000 but less than $10, 000, a Class D felony. See T.C.A. § 39-14-103(a) (2018) (theft), 39-14-105 (Supp. 2015) (amended 2016) (grading of theft). The trial court sentenced the Defendant to serve eight years as a Range II, multiple offender. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in sentencing. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Shelley Thompson Gardner, District Public Defender; and Kelly Skeen, Assistant District Public Defender, for the Appellant, John C. Murray.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney General; Justin Harris, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Norma McGee Ogle, and Camille R. McMullen, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE

         According to the presentence report, which was received as an exhibit at the sentencing hearing, [1] the Defendant's offense relates to his theft of a diamond from a jewelry store on October 13, 2015. The Defendant replaced the diamond with a counterfeit gem while the shopkeeper was distracted. The theft was not immediately discovered, and the Defendant was eventually identified as the perpetrator after security footage of the incident was released to the media. The Defendant admitted the theft and told the authorities he had stolen diamonds and jewelry, which he sold to the owner of a pawn shop, in order to obtain money to support his drug addiction. The Defendant stated that he and others were involved for years in an ongoing theft scheme with the pawn shop owner.

         The presentence report also reflects that the Defendant was fifty-two years old, had dropped out of school in the ninth grade, had a lengthy history of criminal convictions spanning his entire adult life, and had little employment history. The conviction offenses listed in the presentence report include the following:

theft of property valued at more than $1, 000 but less than $10, 000 – 7 counts
theft of property valued at $500 or less – 11 counts
attempted theft of property valued at $10, 000 but
less than $60, 000 theft of property valued at $10, 000 but ...

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