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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jul 17, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Ryan C. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lawrence Brown.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Debbie Housel and Leticia Alexander, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): BIVINS

Lawrence Brown (“the Defendant”) was convicted of two counts of aggravated robbery, a Class B felony. The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I standard offender to twelve years’ incarceration. In doing so, the trial court enhanced the Defendant’s sentence based upon the following factors: (1) the Defendant has a previous history of criminal convictions or criminal behavior; (2) the offense involved more than one victim; and (3) the Defendant had no hesitation about committing a crime when the risk to human life was high. The Defendant argues on appeal that the trial court erred when it enhanced his sentence based upon his prior convictions, which were misdemeanor traffic offenses. Because we are not permitted to assess the weight given by the trial court to enhancement factors, we conclude that the Defendant is not entitled to relief on this issue. However, because we also determine that the trial court erred in its application of the other two enhancement factors, under the particular facts of this case, we conclude that it is necessary to vacate the judgments of the trial court and remand for resentencing.