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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Feb 27, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Claudia Jack, District Public Defender, and Richard H. Dunavant, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Ronald Earl Cook.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Benjamin A. Ball, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General; and Larry Nichols, Assistant District Attorney General; for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

Defendant pled guilty to eleven counts of observation without consent, Class A misdemeanors, two counts of stalking, Class A misdemeanors, one count of phone harassment, a Class A misdemeanor, one count of theft of property worth less than $500, a Class A misdemeanor, and ten counts of criminal trespass, Class C misdemeanors. The defendant was sentenced to the maximum sentence on all counts—eleven months and twenty-nine days on each of the Class A misdemeanors and thirty days on each of the Class C misdemeanors. The trial court ordered the defendant to serve all sentences consecutively, for a total effective sentence of almost sixteen years. In addition, the trial court placed a special condition on each judgment that “further ordered that the defendant shall not receive good time credit or work release” on any of his sentences. On appeal, the defendant claims the trial court erred by ordering consecutive sentences and ordering that he not receive “good time” credit. After careful review of the record, we hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by ordering the defendant to serve all of his sentences consecutively. However, the trial court was without authority to order the denial of the defendant’s statutory “good time” credit. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court’s judgments with respect to the special condition directing that the defendant be denied “good time” credit and remand the case for entry of judgments deleting this special condition. We otherwise affirm the judgments.