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State v. Johnson

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

November 15, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
JUSTIN RYAN JOHNSON, ALIAS

          Assigned on Briefs April 23, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County Nos. 110295, 108649 Bobby R. McGee, Judge

         Following a revocation hearing, the trial court revoked the probation of Defendant, Justin Ryan Johnson, and ordered confinement for his remaining sentence. On appeal, Defendant alleges the trial court abused its discretion and requests the revocation be reversed and his sentence be returned to enhanced probation. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          J. Liddell Kirk, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Clinton Frazier, Maryville, Tennessee (at hearing) for the appellant, Justin Ryan Johnson, Alias.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Garrett D. Ward, Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; and Jordan Murray, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Thomas T. Woodall, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Robert W. Wedemeyer and Robert H. Montgomery, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          THOMAS T. WOODALL, JUDGE

         Background

         On August 8, 2016, Defendant pled guilty to five counts of theft. He received an effective six-year sentence, which the trial court suspended and ordered enhanced probation. As part of his probation, Defendant was required to complete the Exodus program in the jail and enter and successfully complete the Focus Ministries rehabilitation program. He was also required to submit to drug testing.

         At the probation revocation hearing, Lisa Mooneyham, Defendant's probation officer, testified that Defendant was not compliant with the terms of his probation. On December 13, 2016, she filed a probation violation report stating Defendant had tested positive for opiates, cocaine, and methamphetamines and was negatively discharged from the Focus rehabilitation program. Upon being discharged, Defendant contacted Ms. Mooneyham. She told Defendant to stay at the mission and wait for instructions on how to turn himself over to the court. Defendant left the mission.

         Ms. Mooneyham testified that Defendant was arrested on January 24, 2017, for burglary, theft, and criminal impersonation. On July 27, 2017, an amended probation violation was filed which included the details of the arrest. Defendant pled guilty to those charges on July 12, 2017. He received a sentence of five years, which was converted to enhanced probation to be aligned consecutively to the earlier theft cases' probation period of six years. The total probationary period amounted to eleven years. As part of this probationary decision, Defendant was transported to "Steps VA House and Knox Recovery Court." When asked how Defendant did in the programs, Ms. Mooneyham replied:

Well, he didn't do well. Had some issues with him reporting. He gave me the impression it was just inconvenient to do Drug Court and Enhanced at the same time. So when he wouldn't report, I'd have to go to Steps House to find him. And I had to reiterate to him, look, you have to report to me - - not just to Drug Court, but to Enhanced probation as well, because you're on my supervision.

         Ms. Mooneyham testified that she later discovered that Defendant had tested positive for methamphetamine at drug court on December 5, 2017, and again December 18, 2017. She said that Defendant also failed to report on November 27 and ...


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