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Posted by: Landry Butler on Mar 31, 2017

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Anna B. Cash, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Paul William Purvis.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Courtney N. Orr, Assistant Attorney General; Garry G. Brown, District Attorney General; and Hillary Parham (at sentencing hearing and plea hearing) and Stephanie J. Hale (at pretrial motions), Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): WILLIAMS

The Defendant, Paul William Purvis, entered a best interest guilty plea to theft of property valued over $10,000, a Class C felony. The guilty plea was entered several years after the State had filed a notice that it intended to seek enhanced punishment. The State's notice listed twelve prior convictions and stated that it would seek to sentence the Defendant as a Range II, multiple offender. The parties did not negotiate a sentence as part of the plea agreement but left determination of the sentence up to the court. At the sentencing hearing, the State sought to have the Defendant sentenced as a Range III, persistent offender. The trial court sentenced the Defendant to ten years' imprisonment as a Range III, persistent offender, and the Defendant appeals, asserting that he is entitled to be sentenced as a Range II offender due to the State's inadequate notice. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the State's notice was ambiguous. However, because the Defendant has not shown that he investigated the ambiguity and has not shown prejudice from the ambiguous notice, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.