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Mead v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

August 10, 2018

Jody Alan Mead
v.
State of Alabama

          Appeal from Cullman Circuit Court (CC-16-52, CC-16-372, and CC-16-547)

          JOINER, Judge.

         Jody Alan Mead appeals the Circuit Court's order revoking his probation. On October 28, 2016, Mead pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree theft of property, see § 13A-8-3, Ala. Code 1975. He was initially sentenced to 84 months' imprisonment; that sentence was split, and Mead was to serve 15 months' imprisonment followed by 5 years' supervised probation. Mead did not appeal his convictions and sentence.

         Mead began serving the probationary period of his sentence on September 22, 2017. On December 15, 2017, Mead's probation officer, Shannon Hale, filed a delinquency report alleging that Mead had violated the terms and conditions of his probation. Specifically, the report alleged that Mead: (1) had committed the new offense of second-degree domestic violence, see § 13A-6-131, Ala. Code 1975, and (2) had failed to report as directed. As a result of the delinquency report, Mead was arrested on December 27, 2017.

         On March 14, 2018, the circuit court conducted a probation-revocation hearing at which Mead was present and represented by counsel. During that hearing, the State presented testimony from only Deputy Chris Cahoon with the Cullman County Sheriff's Office.

         Deputy Cahoon testified that, on December 1, 2017, he was dispatched to the Cullman Regional Medical Center concerning a possible "domestic disturbance." (R. 6-7.) When he arrived at the hospital, Deputy Cahoon stated, he spoke with the nurses who told him that a woman had been brought to the hospital with "extreme road rash and trauma to her head." (R. 7-8.) Deputy Cahoon further testified that, according to the nurses, the woman had said that she had been "pushed from a vehicle." (R. 8.)

         In light of that information, Deputy Cahoon decided to speak with the victim whom he identified as Lisa McClendon. According to Deputy Cahoon, McClendon was initially afraid to tell him what happened. She later told him, however, that, earlier that day she had borrowed Mead's truck and had failed to return it at the time he had told her to do so. McClendon also told him that, when she eventually returned the truck to Mead, he was "highly irate," which led to an argument. (R. 8-9.)

         Deputy Cahoon also testified that McClendon had told him that, at some point, Mead's father, who lived across the street from Mead, told Mead to take McClendon home. McClendon told Deputy Cahoon that, as they drove down County Road 1545, Mead reached over, opened the truck door, and pushed McClendon out onto the roadway. After that happened, McClendon told Deputy Cahoon that Mead's father picked her up, drove her to the hospital, and then left. Deputy Cahoon testified that, when he interviewed her, McClendon had a massive wound on the top of her head that, he said, looked like a "gunshot wound." (R. 9.) He further stated that she had a rash all down her face and down the side of her body.

         After speaking with McClendon, Deputy Cahoon contacted her stepmother, Linda, to ask if she could pick up McClendon from the hospital. When she arrived, Linda told Deputy Cahoon that Mead had telephoned her earlier that evening and that he had been irate and screaming about McClendon having his truck. Deputy Cahoon testified that Linda had told him that she was "scared that when [McClendon]--if she showed back up that ... harm would come to her, and it wouldn't be the first time that [Mead and McClendon] had been in a physical domestic situation." (R. 10.)

         Deputy Cahoon testified that, following that conversation, he made contact with Mead at an address off County Road 1545 and arrested him for second-degree domestic violence. According to Deputy Cahoon, as he was driving Mead to the county jail, Mead told him that McClendon was the one who had opened the door and jumped out of the truck.

         After the State rested its case, Mead's defense counsel objected to the State's use of hearsay to satisfy its burden of proof. That objection was overruled. Mead did not offer any evidence or testimony in his own defense.

         After hearing the above testimony from Deputy Cahoon, the circuit court found that it was reasonably satisfied that Mead had violated the terms and conditions of his probation by committing the new offense of second-degree domestic violence and by failing to report as directed. The court revoked Mead's probation and ordered him to serve his original sentence of 84 months' imprisonment with credit for time served. Thereafter, Mead filed a timely notice of appeal.

         I.

         Mead argues that the circuit court lacked the authority to revoke his probation for "failing to report as directed." (Mead's brief, pp. 9-11.) Specifically, Mead argues that, before his probation officer filed her delinquency report against him in December 2017, he had never received a copy of the "Order of Probation" containing the terms and conditions of his ...


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