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State v. Ray

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

October 18, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
JAMES WILLIAM RAY A.K.A. JAMES WILLIAM RAY, JR.

          Assigned on Briefs May 15, 2019

          Appeal 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. Dozier, Judge

         The 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.

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

          Manuel 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 of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          NORMA MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE.

         I. Factual Background

         The 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.

         The 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 ...

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