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State v. Paige

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

December 30, 2019

STATE OF TENNESSEE
v.
GAILOR PAIGE

          Assigned on Briefs November 5, 2019

          Appeal from the Criminal Court for Shelby County No. 17-00415, 17-02933 Chris Craft, Judge

         The Defendant, Gailor Paige, entered a negotiated guilty plea to possession with intent to sell heroin and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon with a prior crime of violence. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to consecutive six-year sentences as a Range I offender for each count. The Defendant filed a "petition to suspend the remainder of sentence after 120 day[s]," based upon his completion of four "intense" programs while incarcerated. The trial court summarily denied the request based upon a condition in the negotiated plea agreement that required the Defendant to "waive[ ] his right to later request a petition for suspension of remainder of his sentence." The Defendant appeals, asserting that the trial court erred by denying his request for suspension of the remainder of his sentence. After review, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

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

          Gailor Paige, Memphis, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Melanie H. Cox, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Camille R. McMullen and Robert L. Holloway, Jr., JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE

         The Defendant appeals the trial court's denial of his request for suspension of his remaining sentence. We gather from the minimal record that the Defendant was indicted in January 2017 for unlawful possession of a controlled substance (heroin) with the intent to sell and unlawful possession of a controlled substance (heroin) with the intent to deliver. In June 2017, a Shelby County grand jury indicted the Defendant for convicted felon (underlying offense aggravated burglary) in possession of a firearm, theft of property valued over $500, and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana).

         By negotiated plea agreement, the Defendant entered a guilty plea to felon in possession of a handgun with a prior crime of violence and unlawful possession of a controlled substance (heroin) with intent to sell. The written plea agreement is included in the record and reflects that the Defendant was to be sentenced to six years for each count, with the sentence to be served in "SCCC," Shelby County Correctional Center. The judgment forms indicate that the two convictions were to run consecutively, and the remaining counts were to be dismissed. On the judgment forms filed April 24, 2018, in the "special conditions" box, there is a notation: "No PSS/No PSRS."

         On October 5, 2018, the Defendant filed a "petition to suspend the remainder of sentence after 120 day[s]." On November 26, 2018, the trial court, by order, denied the Defendant's petition. In the order, the trial court found:

this petition should be denied without a hearing, as an express condition of the [Defendant]'s guilty plea, entered on the judgment of conviction, was that he waived his right to later request a petition for suspension of remainder of his sentence pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §40-35-306(c). As this is a statutory right which he waived in open court during his guilty plea voir dire, this court has no jurisdiction to suspend or reduce the petitioner's sentence.

         There is no transcript of the guilty plea hearing in the record.

         On appeal, the Defendant challenges the trial court's denial, objecting to the trial court's finding that the Defendant waived his right to request a suspended sentence "in open court during his guilty plea." The Defendant contends that, at the guilty plea hearing, the trial court did not "orally order the [Defendant] not to later file a motion to suspend the remainder of sentence" but acknowledges that the trial court did later include "No PSS/No PSRS" in the special conditions box on each of the judgment forms. The Defendant concludes that, because of the trial court's erroneous reference to a ...


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