Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Decisions 2019

Garcia v. Texas (original by judge keasler)  
Date: November 20, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0035-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Freddy Garcia was indicted on one count of aggravated sexual assault, but at trial, the victim described two separate sexual assaults. When the State rested its case in chief, Garcia asked for an election between the two...

Allen v. Texas (original by judge slaughter)  
Date: November 20, 2019
Docket Number: PD-1042-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Ruben Lee Allen made a facial challenge to the constitutionality of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 102.011, subsections (a)(3) and (b). That statute assessed court costs against a convicted defendant...

Curry v. Texas (original by judge hervey)  
Date: October 30, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0577-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Steven Curry was convicted of failure to stop and render aid after he hit a bicyclist, John Ambrose, who later died from his wounds. The jury sentenced Curry to six years’ imprisonment, but did not fine him. On...

Int'l Fidelity Ins. Co. v. Texas (original by judge richardson)  
Date: October 30, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0642-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant International Fidelity Insurance Company (Agent: Glenn Strickland) DBA A-1 Bonding, appealed the trial court’s denial of its motion for new trial in a bond forfeiture proceeding arising out of a criminal case....

Ex parte Brandon Adams (original by judge walker)  
Date: October 9, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0711-18

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether the State could prosecute Appellant Brandon Adams for aggravated assault for stabbing Joe Romero after Appellant was acquitted in an earlier trial of aggravated assault for stabbing Joe’...

Williams v. Texas (original by judge keasler)  
Date: October 9, 2019
Docket Number: PD-1199-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Andrew Williams was charged with manslaughter for killing a pedestrian with his vehicle. One of the State’s theories was that Williams was intoxicated when the crash occurred. To support this theory, pursuant to Texas Co...

Hughitt v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: September 25, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0276-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Shanna Lynn Hughitt was living with Kevin Sliger, a self-described drug addict and methamphetamine dealer. The Brown County, Texas Sheriff’s Office was conducting an investigation into methamphetamine distribution. In fu...

De La Torre v. Texas (original by judge slaughter)  
Date: September 18, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0561-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Two officers from the Columbus Police Department responded to a mid-morning call about people suspected of drinking alcohol inside a parked car at the Department of Public Safety driver’s license office. Appellant Lisand...

Texas v. Ruiz (original by judge keel)  
Date: September 11, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0176-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Jose Ruiz was charged with felony driving while intoxicated after the State took a blood sample from him without a warrant and while he was unconscious. The trial court granted his motion to suppress his blood t...

Fraser v. Texas (original by presiding judge keller)  
Date: September 11, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0711-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Marian Fraser ran a licensed day care center out of her home. She provided care for twelve children, all typically under two years of age. During an afternoon nap at the center, one of the children, C.F., stopp...

Diruzzo v. Texas (original by judge yeary)  
Date: September 11, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0745-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Joseph Diruzzo was convicted on sixteen counts of illegally practicing medicine. On appeal, he argued the district court never acquired subject matter jurisdiction over the case because the indictment only char...

Smith v. Texas (original by judge keasler)  
Date: July 3, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0715-17

Justia Opinion Summary: At the punishment-phase of trial for aggravated robbery, Appellant Joseph Smith presented evidence he suffered from a severe drug addiction. The State asked for, and received, an instruction stating that “[v]oluntary int...

Franklin v. Texas (original by presiding judge keller)  
Date: July 3, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0787-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Demond Franklin was charged with capital murder, and the State waived the death penalty. Upon conviction, he was sentenced to the mandatory sentence of life without parole. On appeal, Appellant claimed for the...

Alfaro-Jimenez v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: July 3, 2019
Docket Number: PD-1346-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Pablo Alfaro-Jimenez carried around a fake social security card in his wallet and admitted that he used it to get work. But to convict Appellant of tampering with a governmental record under the theory of liabi...

Ruiz v. Texas (original by judge keel)  
Date: July 3, 2019
Docket Number: PD-1348-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Lauro Ruiz, a former substitute teacher at a private high school, was charged with attempted production of sexual performance by a child for pictures found on his cell phone. The trial court granted his motion t...

Cuevas v. Texas (original by judge keel)  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0314-18

Justia Opinion Summary: The court of appeals reversed Appellant Jeremy Cuevas’ conviction for assault on a peace officer, holding the evidence was insufficient to show that the complainant was discharging an official duty when he was assaulted....

Chambers v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: June 26, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0771-17

Justia Opinion Summary: The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement audited the Indian Lake Police Department and found what it believed to be deficiencies in firearms-proficiency records for several volunteer reserve officers. To cure the deficien...

Hyland v. Texas (original by judge yeary)  
Date: June 5, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0438-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Richard Hyland was involved in a motorcycle accident that injured him seriously and killed his wife. An investigating officer subsequently obtained a search warrant for and then obtained a sample of Appellant’s...

Fisk v. Texas (original by judge keel)  
Date: June 5, 2019
Docket Number: PD-1360-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Texas Penal Code Section 12.42(c)(2) mandates a life sentence for defendants who are convicted of a listed sex offense and have been previously convicted of an enumerated sex offense. The question this case presented for...

Texas v. Ross (original by judge keasler)  
Date: May 15, 2019
Docket Number: PD-1066-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Dai’Vonte Ross was accused of committing disorderly conduct for “intentionally or knowingly . . . display[ing] a firearm . . . in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm. The information charging him with...

Colone v. Texas (order by presiding judge keller)  
Date: May 8, 2019
Docket Number: AP-77,073

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Joseph Colone convicted of capital murder for killing two individuals during the same criminal transaction, for which a jury sentenced him to death. Direct appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeal was autom...

Couthren v. Texas (original by judge richardson)  
Date: April 17, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0560-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Douglas Couthren was convicted by a jury of felony driving while intoxicated. The jury also found that, during the commission of the offense, Appellant used or exhibited a deadly weapon: a motor vehicle. The co...

Delafuente v. Texas (original by presiding judge keller)  
Date: April 10, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0710-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Jesse Delafuente was convicted of evading arrest or detention with a vehicle and sentenced to ten years in prison. The trial court pronounced its sentence on October 31, 2016. On November 8, Appellant filed a n...

Milton v. Texas (original by judge newell)  
Date: April 3, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0207-18

Justia Opinion Summary: During closing argument for the punishment phase of a non-violent robbery case, the State played a YouTube video of a lion at a zoo trying to eat a human baby through protective glass. Appellant was charged with robbery....

Dunning v. Texas (original by judge hervey)  
Date: April 3, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0445-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Johnnie Dunning pled guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child under fourteen years of age pursuant to a plea bargain and was sentenced as a habitual offender to 25 years’ confinement. He appealed, but his...

Jones v. Texas (original by judge yeary)  
Date: March 27, 2019
Docket Number: PD-1289-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Dedric Jones was convicted of the offense of assault on a family member, and because he had previously been convicted of such an offense, this repeat offense was a third degree felony. Appellant pled true to tw...

Ex parte Kristopher LaLonde (original by judge walker)  
Date: March 27, 2019
Docket Number: WR-87,660-01

Justia Opinion Summary: Kristopher LaLonde was convicted of possession of methamphetamine and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. On direct appeal, the court of appeals overruled his claims and affirmed the trial court’s...

Texas v. Martinez (original by judge walker)  
Date: March 20, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0878-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Juan Martinez, Jr. was indicted for intoxication manslaughter. He moved to suppress evidence, challenging the State’s seizure and search of vials of his blood which were previously drawn at a hospital for medica...

Texas v. Doyal (original by presiding judge keller)  
Date: February 27, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0254-18

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Craig Doyal was the Montgomery County, Texas Judge, and as such, he was a member of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. He was indicted for violating a provision of the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA), whi...

Hall v. Texas (original by presiding judge keller)  
Date: January 30, 2019
Docket Number: AP-77,072

Justia Opinion Summary: The Office of Capital and Forensic Writs (OCFW), on behalf of Appellant Justen Hall, sought DNA testing on a power cord that was wrapped around the victim's neck. Appellant was convicted of the murder of Melanie Billhart...

Rhomer v. Texas (original by judge keel)  
Date: January 30, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0448-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant William Rhomer was convicted by jury of felony murder for causing the death of another while committing felony driving while intoxicated. He was sentenced to seventy-five years in prison. The court of appeals a...

Sims v. Texas (original by judge hervey)  
Date: January 16, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0941-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Christian Sims was charged with murder. He filed a pretrial motion to suppress evidence of real-time location information used to track his cell phone by “pinging” it without a warrant. Using that information,...

Texas v. Martinez (original by judge walker)  
Date: January 9, 2019
Docket Number: PD-0324-17

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Roger Martinez sought to suppress challenging the legality of his arrest for public intoxication. The motion was granted by the trial court, and the court of appeals affirmed. Because there was probable cause to...

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