Walker v. Texas (original by judge newell)Annotate this Case
Appellant Kenyetta Walker lived in a house that police identified as a “a major distribution point” for drugs along with her two daughters and a man who went by the nickname “Pill.” One night, three intruders broke into the house through the front door. A gunfight ensued. One of the intruders escaped the home unscathed. Another limped away. The final intruder crawled out of the house to die on the lawn. Police were called out to the scene. Surveillance cameras around the house showed that after the shootout, but before the police arrived, Appellant made several trips outside. First, she carried a bag of more than 400 grams of dihydrocodeinone pills to an Infiniti parked outside. She gave a pistol to “Pill” who left the scene, but not before he hit the dead man on the lawn. Police arrived to find the dead body lying on the ground outside of the house and occasional guest, Brian Grant (who had also been shot), sitting near the porch. A subsequent search of the house uncovered a large amount of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia. Police also recovered digital scales, re-sealable plastic bags, a drawer full of small denomination bills, and the pills from the bag Appellant had placed in the parked Infiniti. The State charged Appellant with engaging in organized criminal activity by commission of the predicate offense of possession of a controlled substance. The indictment was later amended to include the allegation that Appellant had possessed the controlled substance “with intent to deliver.” Appellant did not object to the indictment or otherwise argue to the trial court that the indictment was substantively defective for alleging a non-existent offense. The issue Appellant's appeal raised for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' review was whether a jury convicts a defendant on a "non-existent" greater offense, could a court of appeals reform the judgment to reflect conviction for an existent "lesser-included" offense? The Court answered yes, if the reformed offense was authorized, as it was in this matter, by the indictment. Appellant's case was remanded for a determination of whether the jury necessarily found each element of the offense of possession with intent to deliver beyond a reasonable doubt, and whether the evidence was legally sufficient to support the conviction for that offense.