Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville
Session May 15, 2019
from the Criminal Court for Davidson County No. 2017-B-1443
Amanda McClendon, Judge
Defendant, Nathaniel David Labrecque, pleaded guilty to two
counts of failure to yield the right of way causing serious
bodily injury. See T.C.A. §§ 55-8-129,
55-8-197(a)(3) (2018). He received an effective sentence of
six months' incarceration, and the trial court ordered
the Defendant to pay restitution in the amount of $500, 000.
On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred
by (1) ordering restitution without assessing his ability to
pay and (2) ordering restitution when there was no evidence
substantiating the victims' losses. We affirm the
Defendant's convictions, but we reverse the trial
court's restitution order and remand for entry of amended
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal
Court Reversed; Case Remanded for Entry of Amended
C. Davis, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nathaniel
Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrew
C. Coulam, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Glenn R. Funk,
District Attorney General; and Ross M. Boudreaux, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of
H. Montgomery, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which Camille R. McMullen, J., joined.
H. MONTGOMERY, JR., JUDGE.
case arose following a motor vehicle collision involving the
Defendant and the victims, Lovell and Jacqueline Conner. The
Davidson County grand jury indicted the Defendant for two
counts of failure to yield the right of way resulting in
serious bodily injury, one count for each victim, and one
count of driving on a revoked license. On June 21, 2018, the
Defendant pleaded guilty to the two counts of failure to
yield, and the State dismissed the driving on a revoked
license charge. Following a sentencing hearing on August 9,
2018, the Defendant received an effective sentence of six
months' incarceration and was ordered to pay $500, 000 in
restitution. Additionally, his driving privileges were
revoked for six months.
the Defendant's guilty plea hearing, the prosecutor
stated that the proof would have established that on July 28,
2016, the Defendant was involved in a motor vehicle collision
with Mr. and Ms. Conner. Ms. Conner was driving, and Mr.
Conner was seated in the front passenger seat. The Defendant
made a left turn and drove into the Conners' car, which
had the right of way. Ms. Conner "hit the brakes"
of her car but was unable to prevent the Defendant's car
from colliding with hers. The Defendant's driver's
license was revoked at the time. The Conners suffered serious
injuries as a result of the collision.
sentencing hearing, Officer Jessie Meadows testified that on
July 28, 2016, he responded to a motor vehicle collision
involving two cars: one driven by the Defendant and one
driven by Ms. Conner. Officer Meadows said that the Defendant
had turned left without seeing the victims' car and hit
the victims' car at an angle. Officer Meadows explained
that the victims were conscious but that both were injured.
Officer Meadows determined that the Defendant did not have a
valid driver's license. Officer Meadows stated that the
Defendant was not intoxicated and was not cited for reckless
driving. Officer Meadows said that the collision was the
Conner testified that on July 28, 2016, he was a passenger in
his wife's car. He said that he was age seventy-two and
that, before the collision, he had enjoyed an active
lifestyle with no pain or physical limitations. Mr. Conner
said that they were going home from lunch when he saw the
Defendant's car coming from the opposite direction in the
left turn lane. Mr. Conner explained that the Defendant's
car swerved out of the turn lane and collided with the
victims' car. Mr. Conner did not believe that the
Defendant intentionally drove into the Conners' car but
said the Defendant was reckless. Mr. Conner said that he had
head injuries and suffered two broken legs, which required
multiple surgeries. Mr. Conner was hospitalized and later
spent 100 days in rehabilitation, where he relearned to walk.
Mr. Conner stated that one of his sons quit his job and moved
in with the Conners to help them while they recovered from
their injuries and that he paid his son's bills
throughout the duration of his stay. Mr. Conner explained
that he was retired and lived on a fixed income and that he
and his wife had incurred at least $170, 000 in medical
bills. He said that he was not sure if there was any
outstanding debt because Ms. Conner was responsible for their
finances. He said that he would need help with physical tasks
for the rest of his life and that his condition would not
improve over time.
Conner testified that she was age sixty-eight. She said that
on July 28, 2016, she was injured in a motor vehicle
collision involving the Defendant. Ms. Conner explained that
before the collision, she and Mr. Conner were healthy and
enjoyed an active lifestyle. Ms. Conner explained that she
was driving home when the Defendant's car hit her car.
Ms. Conner said that she was treated for fractured vertebrae
and abrasions to her chest. Ms. Conner said that she and Mr.
Conner suffered financial stress because of the collision and
stated that her husband's medical bills were in excess of
Defendant testified that he was involved in the motor vehicle
collision with the Conners. He conceded that he failed to
yield to oncoming traffic, causing the collision. The
Defendant explained that he was not intoxicated at the time.
He said that he was in a ...