Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Decisions 2018

Carson v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: September 19, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0206-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Gary Carson was charged with three counts of assault on a public servant and three counts of bail jumping. After Appellant agreed to waive his right to appeal, the State agreed to waive its right to a jury tria...

Ette v. Texas (original by judge alcala)  
Date: September 19, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0538-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In his petition for discretionary review, appellant Eddie Ette challenged the court of appeals' judgment upholding the imposition of a $10,000 fine assessed as part of his punishment for misapplication of fiduciary prope...

Ex parte Garrels (original by judge keasler)  
Date: September 19, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0710-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Elizabeth Garrels was charged by information with the misdemeanor offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI). She was tried by jury. The State’s first witness was Trooper Christopher Lucchese with the Texas Dep...

Hernandez v. Texas (original by judge hervey)  
Date: September 19, 2018
Docket Number: PD-1049-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Teodoro Hernandez was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and family-violence assault by strangulation. The evidence showed that Hernandez struck the victim on her head or body and that he stra...

Wood v. Texas (original by judge richardson)  
Date: September 19, 2018
Docket Number: PD-1100-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Cynthia Wood was indicted for the attempted capital murder of her son, K.W. Wood attempted to suffocate the child twice while he laid in the hospital, brought in because he allegedly stopped breathing while at...

Ingerson v. Texas (original by judge hervey)  
Date: September 19, 2018
Docket Number: PD-1445-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Fred Earl Ingerson III was convicted of capital murder for killing Robyn Richter and Shawna Ferris. The bodies of Richter and her friend Ferris, were found in Richter’s vehicle outside of a Japanese restaurant...

Beham v. Texas (original by judge keasler)  
Date: September 12, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0638-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Roderick Beham posted several pictures on Facebook in which he appeared to “hold[] himself out as” a gang member. These pictures were shown in a punishment hearing as evidence of Beham’s character, and a law-enforcement...

Arroyo v. Texas (original by presiding judge keller)  
Date: September 12, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0797-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant was a family friend whom K.E. (victim) considered to be an “uncle.” On previous occasions, Appellant had twirled K.E.’s hair, rubbed her neck, and rubbed her arms. When K.E. was nine years old, her grandfather...

Nisbett v. Texas (original by presiding judge keller)  
Date: June 27, 2018
Docket Numbers: PD-0041-17, PD-0503-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Rex Nisbett and George Delacruz were convicted of murder in unrelated trials. The cases were factually unrelated, however, there were many factual similarities between the two, including that, in each case, th...

Rogers v. Texas (original by judge keel)  
Date: June 27, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0498-17

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury convicted Appellant William Rogers of aggravated assault and burglary of a habitation with commission or attempted commission of aggravated assault. The court of appeals vacated the aggravated assault conviction o...

Texas v. Hanson (original by judge hervey)  
Date: June 27, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0948-17

Justia Opinion Summary: A trial court entered two orders granting shock probation. The orders were identical except that the second order was styled as an “Amended Order,” containing additional findings of fact, and it was signed at a later tim...

Niles v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: June 13, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0235-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Scott Niles, a firefighter, was charged by information with two counts of Terroristic Threat - Class A, for threatening his fellow firefighters. He was arraigned, tried, convicted, and sentenced on the two Class A counts...

White v. Texas (original by judge richardson)  
Date: June 13, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0442-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Brian White was convicted of one count of engaging in organized criminal activity and one count of money laundering. The trial court assessed his punishment at ten years imprisonment for each count, suspended f...

Lee v. Texas (original by judge yeary)  
Date: June 13, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0736-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals reversed Appellant John Lee's conviction for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. The court of appeals held that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to grant his motion for mistrial. T...

Zuniga v. Texas (original by judge alcala)  
Date: June 6, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0174-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Ricardo Zuniga was convicted of two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity and one count of capital murder based on his participation in a shooting that caused the deaths of two individuals. On appea...

Bien v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: June 6, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0365-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Michael Bien hired an undercover officer to kill his ex-wife’s brother. Based on his efforts, Appellant was charged with and convicted of two crimes: attempted capital murder and criminal solicitation of capita...

Ramjattansingh v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: June 6, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0972-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The State alleged appellant Jason Ramjattansingh had committed the offense of driving while intoxicated. It also alleged that he had an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more “at the time the analysis was performed,...

Ex parte Bobby James Moore (original by presiding judge keller)  
Date: June 6, 2018
Docket Number: WR-13,374-05

Justia Opinion Summary: In this habeas proceeding, Applicant Bobby Moore sought to be exempted from the death penalty on the ground that he was intellectually disabled. The habeas court agreed with Moore, citing what it considered to be the con...

Ex parte James Edward Long (original by judge newell)  
Date: June 6, 2018
Docket Numbers: WR-28,772-02, WR-28,586-09, WR-35,508-03, WR-84,754-01

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicants James Long, James Pitts, Jr., and Michael Shelton pleaded guilty to the offense of sexual assault and testified against Applicant Richard Kussmaul at his capital murder trial. Long, Pitts, and Shelton all test...

Oliva v. Texas (original by presiding judge keller)  
Date: May 23, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0398-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Jose Oliva was charged by information with DWI. The information contained two paragraphs: the first alleged the commission of the current DWI, and the second alleged a prior DWI conviction. The focus of the gui...

Estes v. Texas (original by judge keasler)  
Date: May 9, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0429-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Russell Estes had an ongoing sexual relationship with K.A. when K.A. was fourteen years old. Estes was legally married to someone else. So, in addition to charging Estes with sexual assault of a child, ordinarily a secon...

Ex parte Samuel Garcia (original by judge hervey)  
Date: May 9, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0804-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented in this case was whether Samuel Osvaldo Garcia’s claim that he was entitled to relief because his attorney gave him affirmative misadvice regarding his possible deportation is cognizable or whether it...

O'Brien v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: May 2, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0061-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Kelvin O’Brien was tried on one count of engaging in organized criminal activity. That count alleged that Appellant, with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of...

Mendez v. Texas (original by judge keasler)  
Date: April 25, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0381-17

Justia Opinion Summary: On August 5, 2011, some time after 2 A.M., Adrian Mendez and several friends arrived at Big Man Diesel Repair. The group had spent the evening socializing and consuming a variety of drugs. They were later joined by Roger...

Boyett v. Texas (original by judge alcala)  
Date: April 25, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0672-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Crystal Boyett contended the court of appeals erred by upholding the trial court’s denial of her request for a formal determination of her competency to stand trial for manslaughter. Appellant was speeding exce...

Fowler v. Texas (original by judge richardson)  
Date: April 18, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0343-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Jamel Fowler was convicted of stealing a Kawasaki Mule all-terrain vehicle (ATV) (valued at $1,500 or more but less than $20,000) from complainant Paul Blassingame. The jury assessed his punishment at confineme...

Gonzalez v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: April 11, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0181-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Juan Gonzalez was charged with capital murder of a police officer. The jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of murder and sentenced him to fifty years’ imprisonment. During the trial, the State introduced...

Ross v. Texas (original by judge richardson)  
Date: March 28, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0001-17

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, Appellant Rebekah Ross worked as an investigator for the Greenville office of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (hereinafter referred to as “the Department” or “CPS”). In 2015, she was convi...

Guthrie-Nail v. Texas (original by judge richardson)  
Date: March 28, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0441-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Vera Guthrie-Nail pled guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder. A judgment was entered against her in 2012. Without giving notice to Appellant or conducting a hearing, the trial court issued a Nunc Pro Tu...

Reynolds v. Texas (original by judge richardson)  
Date: March 28, 2018
Docket Number: PD-1452-16

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012 Appellant Natalie Reynolds worked as an investigative supervisor for the Greenville office of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (hereinafter referred to as “the Department” or “CPS”). In 2015...

Safian v. Texas (original by judge alcala)  
Date: March 21, 2018
Docket Numbers: PD-0323-16, PD-0324-16, PD-0325-16

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in this case was whether, in a prosecution for aggravated assault by threat in which it was alleged that the defendant used or exhibited a motor vehicle as a deadly weapon...

Ex parte Jeremy Pue (original by judge richardson)  
Date: February 28, 2018
Docket Number: WR-85,447-01

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, Applicant Jeremy Pue was convicted by a jury of third degree felony evading arrest or detention with a vehicle. He was sentenced as a habitual offender because his sentence was enhanced by two California felony...

Shortt v. Texas (original by judge yeary)  
Date: February 14, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0597-15

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Bernard Shortt attempted to appeal an order granting him so-called “shock” community supervision under former Article 42.12, Section 6(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In that attempted appeal, he sought t...

Wagner v. Texas (original by judge alcala)  
Date: February 14, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0659-15

Justia Opinion Summary: Under Penal Code Section 25.07(a)(2)(A), the State may prosecute an individual who has intentionally or knowingly communicated in a “threatening or harassing manner” with another person in violation of a judicially issue...

Febus v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: February 14, 2018
Docket Number: PD-1369-15

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Albert Febus was a registered sex offender. He voluntarily signed a change-of-address form listing his new address as an apartment at “6110 Glenmont” even though he never intended to live there. Months later, w...

Thomas v. Texas (original by judge yeary)  
Date: February 7, 2018
Docket Number: AP-77,052

Justia Opinion Summary: In October 2014, a jury convicted appellant Steven Thomas of capital murder for the November 1980 murder by strangulation of seventy-three-year-old Mildred McKinney in the course of committing or attempting to commit the...

Texas v. Velasquez (original by judge keasler)  
Date: February 7, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0228-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Victoria Velasquez was charged with possessing a usable quantity of marijuana. She moved to suppress evidence, and the trial court decided to hear the motion on the day of trial, right before jury selection. The...

CLAY, JOHN Appeal from 156th District Court of Bee County (other per curiam)
Date: January 31, 2018
Docket Number: WR-87,763-01
Texas v. Cortez (original by judge richardson)  
Date: January 24, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0228-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Jose Cortez was stopped by a State Trooper for unlawfully driving on the improved shoulder of the highway because the tires on Cortez’s minivan purportedly touched the white painted “fog line” separating the roa...

Lerma v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: January 24, 2018
Docket Number: PD-1229-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Ernesto Lerma was charged with possession of four grams or more, but less than 200 grams, of cocaine. After the trial court denied Appellant’s motion to suppress the cocaine, he pled guilty. The court of appeal...

Rodriguez v. Texas (original by judge keasler)  
Date: January 10, 2018
Docket Number: PD-0439-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Robert Rodriguez assaulted a man, shattering the victim’s knee and causing him serious bodily injury. Rodriguez contended on appeal that, while he intended to cause some bodily injury to the victim, he did not honestly b...

Hernandez v. Texas (original by judge keel)  
Date: January 10, 2018
Docket Number: PD-1389-16

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Luis Hernandez was convicted of murder and sentenced to fourteen years in prison. The victim, Devin Toler, was sleeping with Quionecia Barber, the wife of his neighbor, Appellant. After Appellant learned of the...

Ex parte Miguel Angel Navarro (original by judge hervey)  
Date: January 10, 2018
Docket Number: WR-82,264-03

Justia Opinion Summary: In Moon v. Texas, 451 S.W.3d 28 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014), the Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with the court of appeals that a juvenile court’s transfer order waiving its exclusive jurisdiction is subject to legal and fac...

Ex parte James Douglas Jones (original by judge hervey)  
Date: January 10, 2018
Docket Number: WR-82,264-04

Justia Opinion Summary: Applicant James Jones pled guilty to and was convicted of aggravated assault of a peace officer with a deadly weapon. In this subsequent application for a writ of habeas corpus, Applicant sought relief on the ground that...

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