Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs May 15, 2019
from the Criminal Court for Davidson County Nos. 2017-A-556,
2017-A-557, 2017-A-689, 2017-A-781, 2017-A-782 Steve R.
Appellant, James William Ray a.k.a. James William Ray, Jr.,
entered best interest guilty pleas to multiple counts of
aggravated burglary, theft, and burglary of a motor vehicle.
The trial court sentenced the Appellant as a Range II,
multiple offender to a total effective sentence of twenty
years. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the trial court
erred in determining the length of the individual sentences
and in imposing consecutive sentencing. Upon review, we
affirm the judgments of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgments of the Criminal
B. Russ (on appeal), Sean McKinney (at sentencing hearing),
and James Moreland (at guilty plea hearing), Nashville,
Tennessee, for the Appellant, James William Ray a.k.a. James
William Ray, Jr.
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Katharine K. Decker, Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R.
Funk, District Attorney General; and J. Wesley King,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State
McGee Ogle, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Camille R. McMullen and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ.,
MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE.
Appellant was charged in multiple indictments with several
counts of aggravated burglary, theft, and burglary of a motor
vehicle. Specifically, in indictment number 2017-A-556, the
Appellant was charged with aggravated burglary, a Class C
felony, and theft of property valued more than $1, 000 but
less than $10, 000, a Class D felony. In indictment number
2017-A-557, he was charged with aggravated burglary and theft
of property valued more than $500 but less than $1, 000, a
Class E felony. In indictment number 2017-A-689, he was
charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, a Class E felony,
and two counts of theft of property valued less than $500,
Class A misdemeanors. In indictment number 2017-A-781, he was
charged with burglary of a motor vehicle and theft of
property valued more than $500 but less than $1, 000.
Finally, in indictment number 2017-A-782, he was charged with
burglary of a motor vehicle and theft of property valued more
than $500 but less than $1, 000.
Appellant entered best interest guilty pleas to the offenses
as charged. At the guilty plea hearing, the State recited the
following factual basis for the pleas:
In case number 2017-A-556, the State anticipates the proof
would show that from 3:45 p.m. on November 27, 2016, to
approximately 11:00 a.m. on November 28th, 2016, Brian
Cooper's residence was burglarized at 1032 Sharp Avenue.
Mr. Cooper had hired [the Appellant] to lay tile in the home
that Mr. Cooper was remodeling. Cooper did not approve of the
job that [the Appellant] had completed and Cooper fired [the
Appellant] prior to November 27th.
On November 18th, 2016, there was video surveillance at the
residence of Mr. Cooper that captures [the Appellant]
entering the home with another individual. The video showed
[the Appellant] and his accomplice taking a new refrigerator
out of the kitchen and it showed them loading the
refrigerator into [the Appellant's] red Ford [p]ick up
truck, which was parked outside. The new refrigerator was
valued at $1, 500.
In case number 2017-A-557, the State anticipates proof would
show that on November 16, 2016, at approximately 2:40 p.m., a
burglary occurred at 1028 Granotta Avenue, apartment A.
Michael Degarde called police on behalf of the victim since
the victim lived out of state. The residence was vac[a]nt and
the back door was left unlocked. A total of 14 cases that
contained laminate flooring were missing from the apartment.
Degarde told police that he had had receipts from Home Depot
where the flooring had been purchased. Detective Harris was
able to determine that 13 of the 14 stolen cases were
returned to Home Depot without the purchase receipt. The
flooring was returned to Home Depot at 1015 Joyce Lane.
Detective Harris obtained video surveillance from Home Depot
that captured [the ...