Reynolds v. Texas (original by judge richardson)Annotate this Case
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, she was convicted of official oppression. The charge was based on an allegedly unlawful search and/or seizure of a cell phone belonging to a fifteen-year-old girl who was in lawful emergency custody of the Department. Reynolds’s conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted Reynolds’s petition for discretionary review to determine whether the court of appeals correctly held that the evidence was sufficient to support Reynolds’s conviction. Based upon its review of the record, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, the Court held the evidence was insufficient to support the trial court’s finding that Reynolds knew her conduct was unlawful, which was an essential element of the offense of official oppression. The Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and rendered a judgment of acquittal.