03-12-00716-CR Courtney Trapp v. The State of TexasAppeal from 207th District Court of Hays County

Appellant Courtney Trapp appeals three trial court judgments: a judgment

adjudicating him guilty of aggravated assault, a judgment of conviction for aggravated assault, and
a judgment of conviction for family violence assault, repeat offender. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc.
art. 42.12, § 5(b); Tex. Penal Code §§ 22.01, 22.02. In four points of error on appeal, appellant
complains about the admission of hearsay evidence and ineffective assistance of counsel. Finding Continue reading
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14-12-00833-CR Hiram Brown v. The State of TexasAppeal from Co Crim Ct at Law No 13 of Harris County

Appellant Hiram Brown was found guilty by a jury of two counts of misdemeanor assault. Based on the State’s agreed recommendation on punishment, the trial court sentenced appellant to concurrent terms of one year’s confinement in the county jail for each offense. On appeal, appellant contends that he was egregiously harmed by an erroneous charge in one of the cases and that the trial court abused its discretion by preventing cross-examination of a witness as to possible interest, bias, or motive in violation of his constitutional right to confrontation of witnesses. We affirm. Continue reading
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01-13-00897-CR Cesar Rocha v. The State of TexasAppeal from Co Crim Ct at Law No 1 of Harris County

A jury found Rocha guilty of possession of marijuana in a useable quantity
of more than two ounces and less than four ounces and assessed his punishment at
270 days’ confinement. On appeal, Rocha contends that the trial court erred in (1)
denying his motion to dismiss, because the State’s refiling of the case violated his
right to due process and articles 29.03 and 29.04 of the Texas Code of Criminal Continue reading
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01-13-00824-CR Garrison Christopher McCoy v. The State of TexasAppeal from 230th District Court of Harris County

Garrison Christopher McCoy was convicted of robbery and the jury assessed his punishment at forty-eight years’ confinement in TDCJ. In a single point of error, McCoy contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, either as a principal actor or party to the offense.1 We affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Background

Taxicab driver, Jalil Alvandi, was flagged down for a fare by a young man and woman early one morning (about one-thirty). When he stopped, the young couple entered on the passenger side and a man that Alvandi had not seen before entered on the driver’s side and sat directly behind him. Alvandi identified this second young man as McCoy. Alvandi drove the three passengers to an apartment complex and once there, McCoy got out of the cab to check on his mom to see if she was in her apartment, while the young couple waited in the van.After a few minutes, McCoy returned and began looking inside the van, under Alvandi’s seat. Becoming suspicious, Alvandi told the trio that he had to leave, at which point McCoy stepped into the van, grabbed Alvandi from behind, locked his arms around Alvandi’s throat and began choking him. As Alvandi struggled, scared for his life and unable to breathe, the female passenger began poking Alvandi’s Because we hold that the evidence is sufficient to convict McCoy as a principalactor, we need not consider whether the evidence is also sufficient under law ofthe parties. See Guevara v. State, 152 S.W.3d 45, 49 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004)
(holding that when the trial court’s charge authorizes the jury to convict on more
than one theory . . . the verdict of guilty will be upheld if the evidence is sufficienton any one of the theories) (citing Rabbani v. State, 847 S.W.2d 555, 558 (Tex.Crim. App. 1992)). hands with a box cutter, and her companion took Alvandi’s wallet, and forcefully removed the key from the van’s ignition, causing the van’s car alarm to go off and the trio of robbers to panic. At McCoy’s prompting, the second male also took Alvandi’s cell phone. When the alarm went off, Alvandi handed them the $350 hidden in his sock before they grabbed [his] lunch box from between the seats, and fled on foot. Alvandi’s van was equipped with a camera that took still photographs of the robbery that were admitted into evidence at trial. Several photos show the young man identified as McCoy, sitting behind Alvandi with his arms locked tightly around Alvandi’s throat, and Alvandi struggling to free himself. Alvandi positively identified McCoy at trial and from a photo array as the person who choked him. Continue reading
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06-14-00007-CR Derek Bernard Howard v. The State of TexasAppeal from 124th District Court of Gregg County

In 2013, Howard highlighted some of these errors in a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The trial court denied Howard’s petition, but entered a judgment nunc pro tunc in an attempt to correct the mistakes made in the original written judgment. On appeal, Howard argues that instead of merely correcting simple clerical errors, the trial court’s judgment nunc pro tunc made substantive alterations to the judgment. See Loud v. State, 329 S.W.3d 230, 235 (Tex. App.– Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, pet. ref’d). Because the trial court was without plenary power to make substantive changes to the judgment, Howard believes that the judgment nunc pro tunc was unauthorized and that he is entitled to a new trial or, at the very least, a new punishment hearing. We find that the trial court’s judgment nunc pro tunc was an appropriate attempt at making the record speak the truth. However, because it also contains a clerical error, we further reform the judgment nunc pro tunc and affirm it, as modified. Continue reading
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06-14-00006-CR Derek Bernard Howard v. The State of TexasAppeal from 124th District Court of Gregg County

The original written judgment of conviction contained a number of errors, including: (1) an incorrect label for the offense for which Howard was convicted, (2) the wrong statute for the offense, (3) the wrong degree of offense, (4) the wrong date of offense, (5) an incorrect description of the enhancements, and (6) an incorrect name of the attorney representing the State.
In 2013, Howard had highlighted some of these errors in a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The trial court denied Howard’s petition, but entered a late-2013 judgment nunc pro tunc correcting most of the mistakes in the original written judgment. On appeal, Howard argues that, instead of merely correcting simple clerical errors, the trial court’s judgment nunc pro tunc made substantive alterations to the judgment. See Loud v. State, 329 S.W.3d 230, 235 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, pet. ref’d). Howard claims that the trial court was without power to make what were substantive changes to the judgment. We find that the trial court’s judgment nunc pro tunc was an authorized attempt at making the record speak the truth. 1The trial court sentenced Howard to twenty years’ imprisonment after he pled true to the State’s only enhancementallegation. However, because uncorrected clerical errors remain, we further modify the judgment nunc pro tunc and affirm it, as modified. Continue reading
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04-14-00052-CR Carli McGaa v. The State of TexasAppeal from 399th Judicial District Court of Bexar County

Carli McGaa challenges her conviction for the offense of possession of a controlled
substance, arguing that the trial court erred in denying her pre-trial motion to suppress. We affirm
the judgment of the trial court.

BACKGROUND

At the suppression hearing, San Antonio Police Officer David Jacobs testified that, on July 9, 2012, he was dispatched for a disturbance. Specifically, he was notified that a suspicious person was passed out in a vehicle in front of a convenience store. Jacobs arrived on the scene 04-14-00052-CRand observed that the vehicle was running, a female was sitting in the driver’s side seat, and it appeared as though she were sleeping. An officer assisting Jacobs tried to wake the driver by banging on the passenger-side window. When the driver did not respond, Jacobs looked inside the vehicle to determine if the car was in gear or parked, and he observed a bottle of pills in between the driver’s legs. Jacobs believed that the cap was on the bottle. Jacobs then opened the driver’s side door to turn the car off. Jacobs believed that the driver might be intoxicated because she was passed out behind the wheel of a running car. Jacobs testified that since the pill bottle was in plain view, he grabbed it, put it on top of the car, turned the engine off, put the keys on top of the car, and then started talking to the driver. According to Jacobs, the driver seemed a little lethargic, and because she had been holding a pill bottle, he requested that EMS come examine her. Jacobs requested identification from the driver. The driver’s identification did not match that of the prescription label on the pill bottle. Jacobs called poison control to identify the pills. The driver was given an HGN field test, cleared by EMS, and then arrested for possession of a controlled substance (penalty group 3) in an amount more than twenty-eight grams but less than two hundred grams. Jacobs identified McGaa as the driver of the vehicle. Continue reading
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04-14-00042-CR Keith Coleman v. The State of TexasAppeal from County Court at Law No. 2 of Bexar County

Keith Coleman appeals his conviction for assault-bodily injury, asserting the evidence
presented at trial was legally insufficient to support the jury’s finding of guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt. We affirm the trial court’s judgment.

BACKGROUND

04-14-00042-CR

On November 17, 2012, Antoine Thompson, the complainant, was with his girlfriend, Angela Hageman, at Thompson’s parents’ house. A friend of Thompson, Daniella Chavez, also came to the house. The three decided to go to Chavez’s house. Hageman rode in Chavez’s car, and Thompson drove his own car. Upon their arrival at Chavez’s house, they got out of the cars and started heading toward Chavez’s home. Chavez’s mother was at the house and told Hageman and Thompson that they had to leave. At that moment, Keith Coleman pushed past Hageman and hit Thompson several times with his closed fist. Both Hageman and Thompson testified that Thompson did not try to fight back or defend himself; rather, he tried to reason with Coleman. Nevertheless, Coleman continued to strike Thompson, until Thompson was eventually able to get up and get to his car. Hageman and Thompson got into Thompson’s car and drove to Christus Santa Rosa Hospital on Babcock Road. A few hours later, they were referred to Brooke Army Medical Center, where Thompson spent the night. Hageman documented Thompson’s injuries by taking pictures using her phone’s camera. Thompson suffered three or four facial fractures, a broken nose, a broken eye socket, and his lip required stitches. Continue reading
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04-13-00703-CR Aaron T. Alvarez v. The State of TexasAppeal from 379th Judicial District Court of Bexar County

A jury found appellant Aaron T. Alvarez guilty of three counts of aggravated sexual
assault. The jury recommended a sentence of seventy-five years and a fine of $10,000.00 on each
count. The trial court sentenced Alvarez in accordance with the jury’s recommendation. On
appeal, Alvarez contends: (1) the evidence is legally insufficient to support the conviction ; and
1 In his first point of error, Alvarez actually contends the trial court erred in overruling his motion for directed verdictbecause the evidence is legally insufficient to support his conviction. However, a challenge to the denial of a motionfor directed verdict is treated as a challenge to the legal sufficiency of the evidence and is reviewed under the standardapplicable to a legal sufficiency challenge. Orellana v. State, 381 S.W.3d 645, 652 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 2012,pet. ref’d); Sony v. State, 307 S.W.3d 348, 353 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 2009, no pet.) (citing Williams v. State, 937 Continue reading
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04-13-00390-CR David Loven v. The State of TexasAppeal from 186th Judicial District Court of Bexar County

In three related cases, Loven appeals his convictions for super aggravated sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child, sexual performance by a child, and possession of child pornography. We affirm the trial court’s judgment in all three cases.

BACKGROUND

Loven was indicted on multiple counts in three cases involving two known complainants and one unknown complainant. In Trial Court Cause No. 2013-CR-3348 involving complainant K.N., who was a child under the age of 17 years old, Loven was charged with eleven counts 04-13-00390-CR through 04-13-00392-CRconsisting of one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact, one count of sexual performance by a child, and multiple counts of possession of child pornography. In Trial Court Cause No. 2013-CR-3350 involving complainant P.T., who was a child under the age of 6 years old, Loven was charged with thirty-six counts consisting of one count of super aggravated sexual assault of a child, several counts of sexual performance by a child, and multiple counts of possession of child pornography. The case involving unknown complainants consisted of forty- five counts of possession of child pornography under Trial Court Cause No. 2013-CR-3349. The three cases were consolidated for purposes of trial upon Loven’s request. Loven pled not guilty by reason of insanity to each count. Continue reading
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14-14-00499-CR Khalon Javon Westbrooks v. The State of TexasAppeal from 351st District Court of Harris County – Pub.

The reporter’s record in these cases was due August 11, 2014. See Tex. R.

App. P. 35.1. This court granted the court reporter, Gayle Patterson, two

extensions of time to file the record until October 11, 2014. When the second
extension was granted, the court noted no further extensions would be granted
absent exceptional circumstances. On October 10, 2014, the court reporter
requested a third extension of time to file the record, but she did not provide any Continue reading
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14-13-00959-CR Robert Dale Harger v. The State of TexasAppeal from 182nd District Court of Harris County

After a guilty plea to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, the trial court deferred adjudication and placed appellant on deferred adjudication community supervision for five years.
Appellant is represented on appeal by retained counsel. Appellant’s brief was originally due April 10, 2014, but no brief has been filed. This court abated the appeal and directed the trial court to conduct a hearing to determine the reason for the failure to file a brief pursuant to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 38.8(b). The trial court held the hearing, and appellant confirmed to the court that he wished counsel to remain his attorney on appeal. At the hearing, counsel advised the court that he would file an appellate brief within 30 days. The trial court found appellant is not indigent, and that he desires to have retained counsel represent him on appeal. Continue reading
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14-13-00692-CR Saundrea Annette Jackson v. The State of TexasAppeal from 263rd District Court of Harris County

Appellant appeals her conviction for aggravated robbery.[1] Appellant’s appointed counsel filed a brief in which he concludes the appeal is wholly 1
frivolous and without merit. The brief meets the requirements of Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), by presenting a professional evaluation of the record and demonstrating why there are no arguable grounds to be advanced. See High v. State, 573 S.W.2d 807, 81113 (Tex. Crim. App. 1978). Continue reading
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14-13-00453-CR Reginald Ray Washington, Jr. v. The State of TexasAppeal from 268th District Court of Fort Bend County – Pub.

The State presented evidence that appellant Reginald Ray Washington, Jr.aided another man who opened fire on a crowd of people at a night-time socialgathering; nearby, a child who was outside was struck by a bullet. A jury foundappellant guilty of causing serious bodily injury to a child, and the trial courtassessed punishment at thirty years’ confinement. Appellant challenges his
conviction in six issues. We affirm.

I.

BACKGROUND

According to eyewitness testimony, about a dozen people were socializingoutside of a few houses in Richmond, Texas. A Buick and another car belongingto Harvey Garrett stopped by the houses, and Garrett was talking with someoneabout finding somebody else. The two cars made another pass, and then the Buickalone stopped near the houses. Three or four people armed with guns got out. Oneor more of them started shooting into the crowd of people. Multiple people wereshot, including the child complainant, outside at another residence. Continue reading
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14-13-00215-CR Khahn Phan v. The State of TexasAppeal from 263rd District Court of Harris County

Appellant Khahn Phan appeals his conviction for the murder of SimonTruong. In two issues, appellant challenges (1) the admission of his confession onthe grounds that the arresting officer’s willful delay prior to bringing him before amagistrate rendered his confession inadmissible under Article 15.17 of the Texas
Code of Criminal Procedure; and (2) the trial court’s failure to instruct the jury sua
sponte that if it found appellant’s confession involuntary beyond a reasonable
doubt, it could not consider the confession as evidence. We hold that even if thedelay between appellant’s arrest and magistrate hearing was unreasonable, the trialcourt did not abuse its discretion in finding that appellant received Miranda
warnings and admitting his confession. We also conclude that even if a juryinstruction on the issue of voluntariness was required, appellant did not sufferegregious harm as a result of the omission. We therefore affirm the trial court’sjudgment. Continue reading
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03-14-00300-CR Gini Lee Taylor v. The State of TexasAppeal from 27th District Court of Bell County

Gini Lee Taylor was charged with committing aggravated robbery with a deadly

weapon. See Tex. Penal Code §§ 29.02 (listing elements for robbery), .03 (containing elements for
aggravated robbery); see also id. § 1.07(a)(17) (defining term [d]eadly weapon). Although there
was no plea bargain in the case, Taylor entered a plea of guilty. Near the end of the plea hearing, the
district court accepted Taylor’s plea after questioning her about her desire to waive her various rights Continue reading
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01-13-01010-CR Jose Humberto Alvarado v. The State of TexasAppeal from 339th District Court of Harris County

A jury found Jose Humberto Alvarado guilty of the offense of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit theft. Alvarado agreed to a punishment of thirteen years’ confinement. On appeal, Alvarado contends that (1) legally insufficient evidence supports his conviction, because the State failed to prove the element of entry; and (2) he was deprived of constitutionally effective assistance of counsel. We conclude that sufficient evidence supports Alvarado’s conviction and that Alvarado has failed to show ineffective representation; we therefore affirm. Continue reading
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03-13-00511-CR Manuel Perales v. The State of TexasAppeal from County Court at Law No. 8 of Travis County

Manuel Perales was charged with the crime of public lewdness. See Tex. Penal Code

§ 21.07. Specifically, Perales was alleged to have touched the genitals of I.S. with his hand while in
a public place. The jury charge contained instructions for public lewdness and alternative instructions
for the offense of assault. See id. § 22.01 (listing elements for assault and stating that, in general,
offense without causing bodily injury is Class C misdemeanor). At the end of the trial, the jury found Continue reading
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14-14-00802-CR In Re Tiffany Davis and Nayajah DavisAppeal from 262nd District Court of Harris County

On October 7, 2014, relators Tiffany Davis and Nayajah Davis filed a petition for writ of mandamus in this court. See Tex. Gov’t Code § 22.221; see also Tex. R. App. P. 52. In the petition, relators ask this court to compel the Honorable Denise Bradley, presiding judge of the 262nd District Court of Harris County, to vacate a purported order granting a motion to quash a subpoena duces tecum filed by real party in interest Harris County Precinct One Constable’s Office . Also on October 7, 2014, relators filed a motion for emergency relief, asking this court to stay the trial scheduled in the underlying proceedings pending this court’s consideration of relators’ petition. Continue reading
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14-13-00104-CR Yantsey Gonzales v. The State of TexasAppeal from 178th District Court of Harris County

In one issue, appellant Yantsey Gonzales complains that the trial court abused its discretion in excluding testimony regarding the murder complainant’s violent nature to show the complainant was the first aggressor. We affirm.

Background

The following facts are taken from appellant’s statement offered by the State and admitted at trial. The complainant, Eric, told appellant’s father (known as Boo) that a man named Shane had sold a gun to a woman, Linda, to kill Boo. Boo and Shane subsequently were shooting dice at Eric’s house when they got into an argument.[1] Appellant went to the dice game and asked Shane about the gun. Shane said he had gotten the gun back from Linda, but he did not sell it to her to kill Boo. According to Shane, Linda told him she was buying the gun for protection. Appellant left. Continue reading
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