Cyr v. Texas (original by judge mcclure iii)Annotate this Case
In late June 2013, Appellant Danna Cyr and her husband, Justin Cyr, took their four-month-old child, J.D., to the emergency room in Lubbock. Upon their arrival, medical staff quickly discovered J.D. was suffering from life-threatening brain hemorrhaging. Physicians were able to save J.D.’s life, but the bleeding resulted in permanent physical and cognitive dysfunction. The cause of the child’s injuries was uncontroverted: J.D. was violently assaulted by her father. Appellant was indicted, convicted, and sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment for reckless injury to a child by omission. The State sought its general verdict under two theories: (1) Appellant failed to protect J.D. from Justin; or (2) Appellant failed to seek reasonable medical care despite her duty to act as J.D.’s parent. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted discretionary review to decide whether Appellant was entitled to a jury instruction under Texas Penal Code § 6.04(a)’s concurrent causation provision for acts “clearly insufficient” to cause the proscribed harm. Because the Court found concurrent causation was not raised by the evidence presented at trial under Texas Penal Code § 22.04(a) and § 6.04(a), it reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals and affirmed the judgment of the trial court.