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Posted by: Landry Butler on Sep 29, 2017

Head Comment: With concurring opinion by WITT

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Seth Crabtree, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jonathan David Patterson.

Attorneys 2:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Alexander C. Vey, Assistant Attorney General; Bryant C. Dunaway, District Attorney General; and Bret Gunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): EASTER

This is a matter that involves cross appeals. Defendant, Jonathan David Patterson, entered an open guilty plea to multiple offenses in four separate cases. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant to an effective sentence of thirty-one years. Defendant filed a notice of appeal. Subsequently, Defendant also filed a motion for reduction of his sentence under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 35. The trial court granted the motion, reducing Defendant’s effective sentence to eighteen years. The State appealed the reduction of Defendant’s sentence. The appeals were consolidated by this Court. After a review, we determine that the trial court abused its discretion in granting relief under Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 35 because Defendant did not present post-sentencing information or developments that warranted an alteration in the interest of justice. Accordingly, the judgments of the trial court as to the Rule 35 motion are reversed and remanded. Additionally, we determine that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in its original sentencing decision imposing an effective thirty-one-year sentence and that Defendant failed to show he was entitled to plain error relief as a result of an alleged breach of the plea agreement by the State. On remand, the trial court should reinstate the original judgments and sentences. The trial court shall also enter a judgment form for Count Thirty-seven of case number 2015-CR-731.