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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jul 30, 2012

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Charles R. Hughes, Jr., District Public Defender; Larry D. Wright, Assistant Public Defender, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the Defendant-Appellant, Keisha M. Howard.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Robert Steven Bebb, District Attorney General and Stephen M. Hatchett, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): MCMULLEN

The Defendant-Appellant, Keisha M. Howard, was indicted for theft of property valued at $60,000 or more and for violating the Tennessee Computer Act, both Class B felonies. She entered guilty pleas to the offenses as charged in the Bradley County Criminal Court, with the trial court to determine the length and manner of her sentence as well as the amount of restitution, if any. See T.C.A. §§ 39-14-103, -105(5), -602(a)(1) (2006). The trial court sentenced Howard as a Range I, standard offender and imposed concurrent sentences of eight years. Under the special conditions in the theft judgment, the court ordered that Howard “may apply to Community Corrections” and that she “owes $215,000 [and] cannot pay that amount but must pay no less than $200 a month.” Howard filed a motion to clarify the total amount of restitution owed, and the trial court, in determining that its previous judgment regarding restitution violated Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-304(c), ordered Howard to pay $1,000 per month for eight years, for a total of $96,000 in restitution. On appeal, Howard argues that the trial court’s order requiring her to pay $96,000 in restitution was unreasonable, given her financial resources and ability to pay. Upon review, we reverse the trial court’s order that Howard pay $1,000 per month for eight years for a total of $96,000 in restitution, and we amend the judgments to show that the victim’s loss in this case is $156,951.30 and that the restitution, based on the proof established of Howard’s present ability to pay, is reduced to $48,000, which shall be paid at the rate of $500 per month for eight years. In all other respects, the trial court’s judgments are affirmed.