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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Nov 12, 2013

Head Comment: With Dissenting Opinion

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James W. Curry, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kyto Sihapanya.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and Matthew B. Hooper, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): TIPTON

The Defendant, Kyto Sihapanya, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident involving death, a Class E felony, and following too closely, a Class C misdemeanor. See T.C.A.§§ 55-10-101, 55-8-124 (2010). The trial court sentenced the Defendant as a Range I, standard offender to two years’ confinement. On appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred (1) by denying judicial diversion, (2) by denying probation, and (3) by sentencing him to two years. We conclude that the trial court properly denied judicial diversion and sentenced the Petitioner to two years but that the court erred by denying probation. We reverse the judgments of the trial court.