All Content

Posted by: Landry Butler on Nov 28, 2016

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Autumn Chastain, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deshun Hampton; Linda Khumalo, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Matthew Tyler; and Stephen Bush, District Public Defender, and Harry E. Sayle, III, (on appeal), and Michael Johnson (at trial), Assistant District Public Defenders, for the appellant, Devonta Hampton.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Amy P. Weirich, District Attorney General; and Thomas Henderson and Jose Leon, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

This case represents the consolidated appeals of Defendants Deshun Hampton, Matthew Tyler, and Devonta Hampton. The three Defendants, having entered open guilty pleas to various felonies, challenge only the trial court's sentencing decisions, including its decision to impose partially consecutive sentences. The trial court sentenced Mr. Tyler to an aggregate sentence of sixty-six years, Mr. Deshun Hampton to an aggregate sentence of fifty-five years, and Mr. Devonta Hampton to an aggregate sentence of thirty-two years. Mr. Deshun Hampton and Mr. Tyler, who were between fifteen and sixteen years old at the time of the crimes, assert that their sentences amount to de facto life sentences and are therefore in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. They also challenge the application of certain enhancement and mitigating factors. All three Defendants challenge the trial court's sentencing decisions, asserting that the trial court abused its discretion in imposing partially consecutive sentences. We conclude that the sentences at issue, while lengthy, allow for a meaningful opportunity for release and do not run afoul of the Eighth Amendment, and we affirm the judgments of the trial court.