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State v. Frye

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

October 3, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
JENNY FRYE

          Assigned on Briefs August 27, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Sullivan County Nos. S67173, S63174, S61586, S63569 James F. Goodwin, Jr., Judge.

         The defendant, Jenny Frye, appeals the order of the trial court revoking her community corrections sentence and ordering her to serve an increased sentence of eight years in confinement. Upon review of the record, we conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding the defendant violated the terms of her community corrections sentence. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed in part. However, because the trial court failed to conduct a sentencing hearing prior to increasing the defendant's sentence, we remand the matter for a new sentencing hearing.

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

          Andrew J. Gibbons, District Public Defender; William A. Kennedy, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Jenny Frye.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jonathan H. Wardle, Assistant Attorney General; Barry P. Staubus, District Attorney General; and Emily Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          J. Ross Dyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Camille R. McMullen and Timothy L. Easter, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          J. ROSS DYER, JUDGE.

         Facts and Procedural History

         On January 24, 2013, the defendant pled guilty to one count of failure to appear (S61, 586) and was sentenced to eighteen months on community corrections.[1] As part of her sentence, the defendant was ordered to receive treatment at the John R. Hay House ("Hay House"). However, she left the Hay House in May 2013, violating her sentence.

         On May 22, 2014, the defendant pled guilty to identity theft (S63, 569) and misdemeanor escape (S63, 174). She received an effective sentence of two years, which was to run consecutively to her sentence in S61, 586. As before, her sentences were to be served on community corrections. The defendant subsequently stopped reporting, and a violation warrant was issued on August 27, 2015.

         An additional violation warrant was issued in January 2016, and, on November 17, 2017, the defendant pled guilty to felony failure to appear (S67, 173). She received a sentence of one year on community corrections to be served consecutively to her sentences in S63, 174 and S63, 569 and was ordered to resume treatment at the Hay House. Additionally, the trial court enhanced the defendant's sentence in S63, 174 to two years, giving her an effective sentence of five years, six months.[2] However, the defendant again absconded from the Hay House, and a violation warrant was issued on January 4, 2018. The defendant was later discovered in Knoxville and arrested in April 2018.

         On September 14, 2018, the trial court held a revocation hearing, and the defendant pled guilty to the violation of her community corrections sentence. The defendant requested to be sent to a drug treatment facility to address her drug addiction, and she testified a bed was waiting for her at the Eagles Nest, a drug treatment center in Knoxville. The defendant admitted she had used drugs since the age of fourteen and testified she was "ready to change [her] life for the first time." She was particularly eager to mend her relationship with her daughter, who had tried to commit suicide due to the defendant's addiction. Additionally, the defendant's family, including her ill mother, lived in Knoxville and would support the defendant's journey to sobriety. On cross-examination, the defendant agreed she absconded every time she had the opportunity.

         Nancy Henson, the defendant's mother, testified she was very ill, and the defendant left the Hay House to care for her in Knoxville. Although Ms. Henson did not have anyone to help her around the house at the time the defendant left the Hay House, Ms. Henson testified a nurse now comes to her home to assist her. Ms. Henson described the defendant as "caring" and "loving" but stated the defendant's behavior was "different on drugs." On cross-examination, Ms. Henson agreed she did not ...


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