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Posted by: Barry Kolar on Apr 29, 2013

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

William J. Harold, Assistant Public Defender, Lewisburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Lance Walker.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; Charles Crawford, District Attorney General, and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): SMITH

Appellant, William Lance Walker, was indicted by the Marshall County Grand Jury with one count of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine and one count of the delivery of .5 grams or more of cocaine. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted as charged. As a result, the trial court merged the two offenses and sentenced Appellant to a term of twelve years, to be served consecutively to Appellant’s sentence in a previous case, for a total effective sentence of forty-seven years. After a motion for new trial and a hearing on the motion, the trial court amended Appellant’s sentence from twelve years to twenty years but ordered it to run consecutively to a prior sixteen-year parole violation but concurrently with a prior nineteen- year sentence, for a total effective sentence of thirty-six years. On appeal, Appellant claims that the evidence was insufficient, the trial court erred in denying a mistrial after a witness made reference to his incarceration, and that his sentence is excessive. After a review of applicable authorities and the record, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a mistrial where the Appellant elicited the claimed offending testimony, the proof against Appellant was strong and Appellant rejected a curative instruction. We also determine that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Appellant where Appellant’s sentence is within the appropriate range and the record demonstrates that the sentence is otherwise in compliance with the purposes and principles listed by statute. Finally, we note that the record does not appear to contain amended judgment forms to reflect the trial court’s amendment to Appellant’s sentence at the hearing on the motion for new trial. Consequently, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed, but the matter is remanded to the trial court for entry of corrected judgments.