State v. Steed, E2022-00145-CCA-R3-CD

CourtCourt of Appeals of Tennessee. Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee
Writing for the CourtROBERT W. WEDEMEYER, JUDGE
Docket NumberE2022-00145-CCA-R3-CD
Decision Date21 November 2022



No. E2022-00145-CCA-R3-CD

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

November 21, 2022

Assigned on Briefs October 27, 2022

Appeal from the Criminal Court for Knox County No. 115769 Scott Green, Judge

In 2019, the Defendant, Robert Lancaster Steed, Jr., pleaded guilty to evading arrest, false imprisonment, domestic assault, and theft. The trial court sentenced the Defendant, by agreement of the parties, to an effective sentence of six years of probation. After several violations, the trial court ultimately revoked the Defendant's probation and ordered him to serve his sentence in the Department of Correction. On appeal, the Defendant contends that his poor performance on probation was due to his drug addiction, so the trial court should have ordered a period of confinement followed by intensive outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment. After review, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Criminal Court Affirmed

Clinton Evan Frazier, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert Lancaster Steed, Jr.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Charme P. Allen, District Attorney General; and Joseph Welker, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Robert W. Wedemeyer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which James Curwood Witt, Jr., P.J., and Camille R. McMullen, J., joined.



I. Facts

This case arises from a domestic assault incident during which the Defendant drove his father's vehicle, without permission, into the victim's house, assaulted her, and then forced her to get into his car and leave with him. For these events, the Knox County grand jury indicted the Defendant for evading arrest, Count 1, false imprisonment, Count 2, domestic assault, Count 3, and theft of property valued between $1,000 and $10,000, Count 4. The Defendant pleaded guilty to all four of the indicted offenses.


The transcript of the guilty plea is not included in the record; however, we glean the underlying facts of this case from the presentence investigation report, which summarizes the facts as follows:

The warrant alleges that on or about Monday, February 18 2019, at 21:48 hours officers responded to an aggravated assault call . . . [on] Sunshine Circle, Knoxville. While in route to the above location, officers received information that a black male had driven a blue Dodge Caravan . . . into the residence . . . [on] Sunshine circle and was then beating a female. At this time officers arrived on scene and observed the Defendant leaving the scene in a blue Caravan. Officers initiated primary emergency lights and siren in an attempt to stop the Defendant, however, the Defendant did not stop and officers pursued the vehicle reaching speeds of 97 MPH. The Defendant was weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights endangering the lives of other drivers and pedestrians, as well as, the life of the victim . . . who was put in the situation against her will. The Defendant stopped at Bradshaw Gardens at Fountain Drive, Knoxville, where the victim bailed out of the front passenger side of the vehicle in an attempt to escape the vehicle. The Defendant then pulled onto Fountain Drive and exited the vehicle where he was taken into custody. Officers spoke with the victim who stated that the Defendant had pushed her which caused her to fall down. Officers observed a fresh abrasion on her elbow The victim also stated she did not want to go with the Defendant, but the Defendant grabbed her and shoved her in the vehicle with him, knowing she did not want to go with him. The Defendant also admitted that he saw the police attempting to stop him and chose not to stop. The Defendant also said that the victim was pleading with him to stop the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed under 10 grams of a green leafy substance in a clear plastic baggy believed to be marijuana and a pipe with what is believed to be marijuana residue. An investigation revealed that the vehicle belongs to the victim's father and that the Defendant did not have permission to drive it. Officers spoke with multiple witnesses at [the Sunshine Circle address] who stated that the Defendant and victim were in an argument when the Defendant hit the victim and then got into the vehicle and dr[o]ve it towards the victim, but lost control and collided with the residence at the above address. An NCIC records check revealed an outstanding warrant on file for the Defendant for simple possession and it showed that he had a revoked license. The Defendant could also not provide proof of financial responsibility for the vehicle

The presentence report also included the Defendant's extensive criminal record, his mental health diagnoses, and his life-long issue with substance abuse. On June 21, 2019, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of six years of probation.

On September 11, 2019, the trial court issued a probation violation warrant based on the Defendant's probation officer's allegation that the Defendant failed to report for intake on or about August 20, 2019, and August 27, 2019. On October 8, 2019, the trial court amended this warrant to include that the Defendant had also violated his probation by being arrested on or about October 3, 2019, for theft of property valued between $2,500 and $10,000.

On October 30, 2019, the trial court found the Defendant indigent and ordered that the Defendant be released on his own recognizance. It continued the case until November 21, 2019.

At the November 21, 2019 hearing, the trial court noted that the Defendant had had a positive drug screen. It ordered that the Defendant report to the Knox County Jail on November 29, 2019, at 6 pm to serve a forty-eight-hour sanction. It also issued a mittimus to the Knox County Sheriff's Department and continued the case to January...

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