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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 23, 2014

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Hershell Koger (on appeal), Pulaski, Tennessee, and Forest A. Durard, Jr. (at trial and on appeal), Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kiara Tashawn King.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; William E. Young, Solicitor General; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Mark A. Fulks and Rachel E. Willis, Senior Counsel; Robert Carter, District Attorney General; and Weakley E. Barnard, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WADE

The defendant pled guilty to aggravated burglary and theft of property over five hundred dollars. The trial court imposed concurrent, Range I sentences of five years and one year and six months, respectively, all to be served on probation. On appeal, the defendant contended that the trial court erred by imposing excessive sentences and by denying her application for judicial diversion. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed. We granted the application for permission to appeal in order to clarify the appropriate standard of appellate review for the grant or denial of judicial diversion. We hold that when the trial court places on the record its considerations for the grant or denial of judicial diversion, the determination should be given a presumption of reasonableness on appeal and reviewed for an abuse of discretion. In the absence of appropriate considerations on the record, the appellate court should either remand for reconsideration or perform a de novo review. After our own de novo review of this record, we hold that the defendant is not entitled to judicial diversion.