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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Nov 27, 2012

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Vanessa P. Bryan, District Public Defender, and James L. Elkins, III, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Christine Caudle.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; William E. Young, Solicitor General; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Kim Helper, District Attorney General; and Mary Katherine White, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WADE

The defendant pled guilty to reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and theft of merchandise over five hundred dollars. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range II, multiple offender to three years on each count, to be served concurrently. On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court erred by failing to apply certain mitigating factors and by failing to grant probation or an alternative sentence. The Court of Criminal Appeals, after declining to review the sentences because the defendant had failed to provide a transcript of the hearing on the guilty pleas, affirmed the judgment of the trial court based upon a presumption that the evidence was sufficient to support the sentences. After granting the defendant’s application for permission to appeal because of conflicting opinions by the Court of Criminal Appeals as to whether the absence of a transcript of a guilty plea submission hearing precludes appellate review on the merits, we ordered that the record be supplemented. In this instance, the record was adequate for a meaningful review of the sentences either with or without the transcript of the hearing on the guilty pleas. By use of the recently adopted abuse of discretion standard for the review of sentences, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.