Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Assigned on Briefs July 16, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Montgomery County No.
63CC1-2018-CR-152 Jill Bartee Ayers, Judge
August 1, 2018, the Defendant, Rudolfo Valentin Gonzalez II,
pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and aggravated burglary.
The trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender
to concurrent three-year sentences, and the Defendant was
released on supervised probation. The Defendant argues on
appeal that the trial court erred in denying his request for
judicial diversion. After thorough review, we affirm the
sentencing decision of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
E. Dewerff (at hearing), and Greg Smith (on appeal),
Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rudolfo Valentin
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter;
Caitlin Smith, Assistant Attorney General; Brett Ligon,
District Attorney General; and Robert Nash, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
E. Glenn, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Thomas T. Woodall and Norma McGee Ogle, JJ., joined.
E. GLENN, JUDGE
February 6, 2018, the Montgomery County Grand jury indicted
the Defendant for aggravated assault and aggravated burglary.
According to the record, police responded to the hospital on
October 9, 2017, after a domestic aggravated assault was
reported. The victim, Crystal Townsend, informed police that
the Defendant had assaulted her at his home. The victim told
police that the Defendant had become angry and began yelling
after she walked away from him at his home. After the victim
told the Defendant not to speak to her like that, he
"grabbed her by the legs, dragged her off the bed,
causing her head to hit the floor hard. He then picked her up
by the neck and carried her by the throat into the bathroom
and sat her on the vanity." The victim said that the
Defendant "squeezed her throat so that she could not
breathe" and only released her after she shook her head
"no" in response to his question, "[A]re you
going to walk away from me again?"
the Defendant released her, the victim asked him if this was
"the way he normally treats women[.]" He
"became enraged" and started "punching her in
the abdomen and in the back of her head repeatedly." She
then told him she hated him and asked to go to the hospital.
In response, the Defendant "picked her up by the neck
and again" and "began to squeeze and put his weight
on her throat." The victim lost consciousness, and after
she came to, the Defendant "apologized but refused to
take her to the hospital." After the Defendant fell
asleep, the victim returned to her home and called a friend
to transport her to the hospital, where police took her
statement. While the victim was in the hospital, she was also
able to show police "feed and security cameras"
from her home on her phone, showing the Defendant "in
her residence" with "audio of him yelling out
looking for her." To get inside the victim's home,
he kicked the door in, breaking the door and part of the door
jam. After police contacted the Defendant, he "made some
admissions" and "admitted to holding [the victim]
during the altercation." The Defendant pled guilty to
the indicted offenses.
victim testified at the Defendant's sentencing hearing.
She stated that she and the Defendant had been dating for two
months at the time of the assault and reiterated what she
told police while she was in the hospital. After the assault,
the Defendant refused to take the victim to the hospital, and
she started throwing up "for about two hours"
because she "had a concussion." The victim managed
to leave the Defendant's home "around 3:30, 4:00 in
the morning" and called her children's father to ask
him to come to her house because she thought that the
Defendant "was going to come back over there, once he
found out I was gone, because he was so mad." Her
children's father agreed to take the victim to the
hospital because she was "still throwing up" and
"couldn't drive there[.]" She also reiterated
that her security cameras had footage of the Defendant
kicking down her door and entering her home while she was in
the hospital. The victim testified that the assault caused
her to be "scared of men" and to have nightmares.
When asked how she felt about the Defendant potentially
receiving judicial diversion, the victim stated that she was
"very against it." Though the Defendant apparently
claimed that the victim had pointed a gun at him at the time
of the assault, she denied such an assertion.
Ferreira, who had served in the military with the Defendant,
testified at the sentencing hearing that the Defendant told
him he had to defend himself from the victim. Eric
Betancourt, who had also served in the military with the
Defendant, testified that the Defendant told him he had
"choked" and "punched" the victim. He
stated he still thought of the Defendant as "a good
soldier" and still trusted him.
close of the sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced
the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to concurrent
three-year sentences, and the ...