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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Feb 6, 2015

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

John G. Oliva, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jared Booth Spang.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Clark B. Thornton, Senior Counsel; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Pamela Anderson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): HOLLOWAY

Jared Booth Spang (“the Defendant”) was indicted for voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. The Defendant pleaded guilty to the lesser-included offense of reckless homicide. Pursuant to a written plea agreement signed by the Defendant and the State, the State agreed it would take no position at the sentencing hearing as to whether the sentence would be deferred pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-35-313. At the sentencing hearing, the State argued against deferral, stating that “a permanent conviction is necessary [so as] not to depreciate the seriousness of this crime.” The trial court sentenced the Defendant to three years probation and denied deferral, concluding “there is something permanent about death” and “there should be something permanent about . . . this conviction.” We conclude that the State breached the plea agreement. We, therefore, reverse and remand for a new sentencing hearing.