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Posted by: Chandra Williams on Jul 18, 2016

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

John M. Ballard, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher Roy McGill.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Senior Counsel; Glenn Funk, District Attorney General; and Rebecca Miller, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): EASTER

Defendant, Christopher Roy McGill, received an eight-year sentence on community corrections and was placed into a drug court treatment program. A violation warrant was filed alleging that Defendant brought drugs into the treatment program. After a hearing, the trial court revoked Defendant’s community corrections sentence after finding that Defendant failed to report other residents bringing drugs into the treatment program. On appeal, Defendant argues that the trial court improperly admitted hearsay testimony, that the evidence was insufficient to support the trial court’s finding that Defendant violated the terms of his community corrections sentence, and that the trial judge should have recused himself because he was also a member of Defendant’s drug court team. Upon our review of the record, we hold that the trial court erred by admitting hearsay testimony without a finding of good cause or reliability, that the trial court erred in revoking Defendant’s community corrections sentence on a ground of which Defendant had no notice and for which there was a lack of evidence in the record, but that the trial court did not err in failing to recuse itself. We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand the matter for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.