Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Turner

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

November 1, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
RONALD TURNER

          Assigned on Briefs June 25, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County Nos. 105481, 105636 Steven Wayne Sword, Judge.

         The Appellant, Ronald Turner, appeals the Knox County Criminal Court's imposing a ten-year sentence for possession of one-half gram or more of cocaine with intent to deliver in case number 105636 and a twelve-year sentence for attempted second degree murder in case number 105481. On appeal, he contends that the trial court erred by not sentencing him to the minimum punishment in the range, eight years, for the offenses, Class B felonies. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the sentences but remand the case to the trial court for correction of judgments of conviction.

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

          J. Liddell Kirk (on appeal and at resentencing) and Michael A. Graves (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronald Turner.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; and Ta Kisha Monette Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

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

          OPINION

          NORMA MCGEE OGLE, JUDGE.

         I. Factual Background

         On December 10, 2014, the Appellant fired a gun through a glass door toward three people: his three-year-old son; the child's mother, Jahdaiah Cody; and the mother's roommate, Bredaisha Walden. State v. Ronald Turner, No. E2016-00651-CCA-R3-CD, 2017 WL 1830106, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. at Knoxville, May 5, 2017), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. Apr. 19, 2018). On January 3, 2015, a police officer began following a Ford Crown Victoria in which the Appellant was a passenger. State v. Ronald Turner, No. E2016-00790-CCA-R3-CD, 2017 WL 1379999, at *1 (Tenn. Crim. App. at Knoxville, Apr. 13, 2017), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. Apr. 18, 2018). [1] The car passed by a preschool, and the officer stopped the driver for speeding. Id. at *1, 2. During the stop, a backup officer arrived and found a loaded nine-millimeter semiautomatic handgun and .87 grams of crack cocaine base on the Appellant's person. Id.

         In May 2015, the Knox County Grand Jury indicted the Appellant in case number 105481 for the attempted first degree premeditated murders of Ms. Cody (count one), the Appellant's son (count three), and Ms. Walden (count five); three corresponding counts of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony (counts two, four, and six); and one count of unlawful possession of a handgun while at a public place (count nine). The grand jury also indicted the Appellant under the gang enhancement statute for the three counts of attempted first degree murder and the unlawful possession of a handgun. In June 2015, the grand jury indicted the Appellant in case number 105636 for one count of possession of one-half gram or more of cocaine with intent to deliver within 1, 000 feet of a preschool (count one), one count of possession of one-half gram or more of cocaine with intent to sell within 1, 000 feet of a preschool (count two), two corresponding counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony (counts three and four), one count of theft of property valued $500 or less (count five), and one count of unlawful possession of a handgun while at a public place (count six). The grand jury also indicted the Appellant under the gang enhancement statute for the two drug charges and the unlawful possession of a handgun.

         The Appellant was tried first in case number 105636, and the jury found him guilty of the two drug charges and the three weapons charges but not guilty of the theft charge. During the second phase of the trial, the State presented evidence that the Appellant was a member of the Vice Lords gang, and the jury found that the gang enhancement applied to the three underlying offenses. Id. at *2.

         At the Appellant's January 2016 sentencing hearing in case number 105636, the State introduced the Appellant's presentence report into evidence. According to the report, the Appellant was nineteen years old and left Austin-East High School in 2014 for "disciplinary" reasons. The Appellant claimed in the report that he obtained his high school diploma while incarcerated at Mountain View Youth Development Center, but the investigating officer was unable to verify the claim. In the report, the Appellant described his mental health as "fair" and said that he was taking medication for anxiety and depression. He described his physical health as "excellent" and did not report any medical issues. The Appellant said in the report that he began "heavy" use of alcohol when he was sixteen years old, that he began "heavy" use of marijuana when he was thirteen, and that he smoked eight "blunts" per day. The report showed that he worked at Red Lobster as a dishwasher for two months in 2014, that he quit the job due to transportation problems, and that he did not have any other employment. The report did not show any adult criminal history for the Appellant. However, as a juvenile, he was adjudicated delinquent of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, possession of a weapon with the intent to go armed, and reckless endangerment.

         The trial court found that the Appellant was a Range I, standard offender. The court noted that the Appellant did not have any prior convictions but that he had "a rather lengthy juvenile delinquent history." In mitigation, the trial court found that the Appellant was entitled to some consideration for his youth, because the drug offenses did not involve "a huge amount of drugs," and because the drug offenses in the school zone "occurred passing through in a car." See Tenn. Code Ann. ยง 40-35-113(13). The trial court stated that it did not think there was "any reason" to sentence the Appellant above the minimum punishment in the range for the Class A felonies. Accordingly, the trial court sentenced him to fifteen years for the convictions of possession of cocaine with intent to deliver and sell, which were elevated from Class B to Class A felonies pursuant to the preschool zone and the gang enhancements, and merged the convictions. The trial court sentenced him to four years for the convictions of possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, Class D felonies, and merged the convictions. Finally, the court sentenced him to one year for unlawful possession of a handgun, a Class A misdemeanor that was elevated to a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.