Delafuente v. Texas (original by presiding judge keller)Annotate this Case
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 notice of appeal, the later moved for “shock probation.” On February 20, 2017, the trial court granted that motion. On May 2, 2017, Appellant filed a second notice of appeal, referring to his prior notice of appeal and stated that he “maintained his pursuit of his appeal thereafter.” The notice further stated, “in the interest of clarity, the Defendant in the above cause, hereby gives additional Notice of Appeal from the Judgment and Sentence entered in the above entitled and numbered cause.” Appellant’s brief raised challenges to the original conviction, specifically the constitutionality of the statute under which he was convicted,raised a voir dire complaint, argued he was deprived of cross-examination at the guilt stage of trial, and he argued that the trial court should have granted his motion for new trial because the State had withheld exculpatory evidence. The court of appeals held the trial court had entered a new judgment when it granted shock probation, and that this new judgment rendered the original judgment of conviction moot. Because the original judgment was moot, the court of appeals found the timely filing of a notice of appeal of that judgment was of no consequence. And because Appellant’s second notice of appeal was filed more than 30 days after the judgment granting shock probation, the court of appeals found that second notice of appeal to be untimely. The issue this appeal presented for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was what happens to a timely filed notice of appeal from an original judgment of conviction when a trial court subsequently grants “shock probation.” The Court held the granting of shock probation, even if labeled a “judgment,” did not undermine the validity of a timely filed notice of appeal of the original conviction.