State v. Lonnie Cross (SCALES at Cookeville)

Date / Time

After the appellant, Lonnie L. Cross, led police on a high-speed chase, a Bradley County Criminal Court jury convicted him on two counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, felony evading arrest with risk to others, driving on a revoked license, and speeding. The trial court sentenced the appellant to an effective sentence of eight years in custody. On appeal, the appellant contends that the evidence was insufficient to support two of his convictions: the evading arrest conviction and one of the reckless endangerment convictions. The appellant also challenges the trial court’s reliance on two sentencing enhancement factors. Upon review, we conclude that there was sufficient evidence for the appellant’s convictions. We also conclude that, although the trial court erred in its application of one of the enhancement factors, the error was harmless. However, our review of the record reveals that the trial court committed plain error. The appellant’s conviction on the reckless endangerment in count three violates constitutional double jeopardy protections. We therefore affirm the judgements of the trial court as to count one, reckless endangerment, and count two, evading arrest. The judgment of conviction in count three is vacated, and the case is remanded to the trial court for merger of the conviction in count three with the evading
arrest conviction in count two.

Supreme Court
Eastern Section