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Posted by: Landry Butler on Nov 3, 2017

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andre´e S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; Nicholas W. Spangler, Assistant Attorney General; Lori Phillips-Jones, District Attorney General; and Graham Wilson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, the State of Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Lief Jeffers, District Public Defender; Robert Scott (on appeal and at hearing) and La Tasha Wassom (at hearing), Assistant District Public Defenders, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kevin E. Trent.

Judge(s): BIVINS

Kevin E. Trent pled guilty to one count of vehicular homicide by intoxication. He was sentenced by agreement as a Range I standard offender to eight years with the manner of service to be determined by the trial court after a hearing. The trial court subsequently ordered the Defendant to serve his sentence in confinement. On direct appeal, the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the trial court’s ruling and, additionally, affirmatively ordered the Defendant to be placed on full probation. We granted the State’s application for permission to appeal to review the Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision to reverse the trial court’s order that the Defendant serve his sentence in confinement and to affirmatively order that the Defendant be placed on full probation. We agree with the Court of Criminal Appeals that the trial court failed to make sufficient findings for the appellate courts to review the sentence with a presumption of reasonableness. Moreover, our review of the record reveals it is inadequate to conduct an independent review of the sentence imposed by the trial court. As a result, we also hold that the record is not sufficient to support the Court of Criminal Appeals’ modification of the Defendant’s sentence to order full probation. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals, vacate the sentencing determination of the trial court, and remand this matter to the trial court for a new sentencing hearing.