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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 3, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Emma Rae Tennent, Assistant Public Defender, (on appeal), and Jerrilyn Manning, Assistant Public Defender, (at hearing), Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Arnes’a Hart.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Lacy Wilber, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General, and Brian Holmgren, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Appellant, Arnes’a Hart, was indicted by the Davidson County Grand Jury for one count of felony murder, one count of aggravated child neglect, and one count of child neglect after the death of her infant son. In exchange for pleas of guilty to criminally negligent homicide and child neglect, Appellant received sentences of six years and one year, respectively. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. The charge of aggravated child neglect was dismissed. The plea agreement specified that the trial court would determine the manner of service of the sentence after a hearing. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court denied alternative sentencing, ordering Appellant to serve her sentence in confinement in order to avoid depreciating the seriousness of the offense and due to Appellant’s lack of truthfulness at the sentencing hearing. Appellant appeals the denial of alternative sentencing. After a review of the record and the applicable authorities, we conclude the record indicates that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying an alternative sentence where the proof showed that there was a need for deterrence of similar crimes, and Appellant was untruthful at the sentencing hearing. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.