Ranzy, Charlie Lee v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 184th District Court of Harris County

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Affirmed and Memorandum Opinion filed November 10, 2005

Affirmed and Memorandum Opinion filed November 10, 2005.

In The

Fourteenth Court of Appeals


NO. 14-04-00666-CR





On Appeal from the 184th District Court

Harris County, Texas

Trial Court Cause No. 953,773


Charlie Lee Ranzy appeals a conviction for aggravated assault[1] on the grounds that: (1) the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to prove he committed aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; and (2) his counsel was ineffective. We affirm.

Appellant=s first and second issues argue that the State failed to prove that he threatened the complainant, Wilbert Gage, with imminent bodily injury by using or exhibiting a deadly weapon because: (1) both he and his wife were arrested for threatening Gage with imminent bodily injury;[2] (2) Gage had smoked crack cocaine and had consumed a beer on the day of the offense; and (3) the State failed to present any photographs, statements of witnesses, or scientific evidence that appellant committed the offense.

In reviewing legal sufficiency, we view all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict to determine whether a rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Salinas v. State, 163 S.W.3d 734, 737 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005). In reviewing factual sufficiency, we view all the evidence in a neutral light, both for and against the finding, and set aside the verdict only if proof of guilt is so obviously weak as to undermine confidence in the jury=s determination, or the proof of guilt, while adequate if taken alone, is greatly outweighed by contrary proof. Vodochodsky v. State, 158 S.W.3d 502, 510 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005).

In this case, Gage testified that: (1) he saw appellant with a gun in his hand when he entered the upstairs bedroom; (2) he had a very good view of appellant waiving the gun in the air; (3) he fled the bedroom, crawling down the stairs because he did not want to get shot; (4) someone he could not see shot at him from behind as he crawled down the stairs; (5) at the bottom of the stairs, he fell through the doorway onto the porch, then saw appellant step out the door, stand over him, and shoot him from 2-3 feet away; and (6) although he had consumed beer and smoked crack cocaine earlier in the day, it did not affect his recollection of how the shooting occurred. Additionally, Aquekesha Williams, appellant=s stepdaughter, testified that she saw appellant shooting at Gage while they were coming down the stairs. This evidence is legally sufficient to show that appellant threatened Gage with a deadly weapon.

In challenging the factual sufficiency of the evidence, appellant points to testimony that: (1) he had an argument with his wife and that she had started shooting at him earlier on Brandon Street; (2) his wife shot Gage; (3) both he and his wife were arrested; (4) his wife bought a crack pipe and intended to smoke some crack; (5) he was not upset to see Gage in the bedroom with his wife because he had known him since he was a little boy and Gage was the neighborhood handyman; (6) Gage had smoked crack cocaine and probably consumed a beer earlier that day; and (7) Gage didn=t actually see who shot him except for the fifth shot. Although some of this evidence conflicts with that supporting conviction, it is not so compelling as to render the evidence factually insufficient. Accordingly, appellant's first two issues are overruled.

Appellant=s third issue contends that he was denied effective assistance of counsel because his trial counsel failed, during the guilt-innocence phase of his trial, to: (1) adequately investigate the facts of the case and determine whether appellant, who has a history of mental illness, was on medication for it at the time of the offense; and (2) request a second sanity evaluation.

A defendant's right to effective assistance of counsel is denied when a defense attorney's performance falls below an objective standard of reasonableness and there is a reasonable probability that, but for the error, the result of the proceeding would have been different. Yarborough v. Gentry, 540 U.S. 1,5 (2003); Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510, 534 (2003); Scheanette v. State, 144 S.W.3d 503, 509 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004), cert. denied, 125 S. Ct. 872 (2005). Although strategic decisions made by counsel after thorough investigation are unchallengeable, strategic decisions made after less than complete investigation are reasonable only to the extent that the known evidence would not have led a reasonable attorney to investigate further. Wiggins, 539 U.S. at 521.

In this case, appellant testified repeatedly that he had taken his medication on the day of the offense.[3] He further stated that the fact he was then on his medication could be verified by the blood tests administered when he was taken to jail and by his medical records from St. Joseph=s, where he was in treatment. Similarly, regarding the failure to request a second sanity evaluation, the sanity evaluation that was conducted indicates that a doctor had interviewed appellant and reviewed his jail medical record, which, according to appellant, showed that he was on his medication on the day of the offense. Therefore, appellant=s third issue fails to show a reasonable probability that a further investigation by appellant=s counsel or a second sanity evaluation would have produced a different outcome. Accordingly, appellant=s third issue is overruled, and the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

/s/ Richard H. Edelman


Judgment rendered and Memorandum Opinion filed November 10, 2005.

Panel consists of Justices Fowler, Edelman and Guzman.

Do Not Publish C Tex. R. App. P. 47.2(b).

[1] The trial court found appellant guilty and assessed punishment of 65 years confinement.

[2] Although appellant=s wife, Chiquita St. Cyr, was charged with aggravated assault against appellant, the Grand Jury did not indict her.

[3] Although he stated once that he had not taken his medication that day, but had instead consumed drugs and alcohol, he explained that he had merely gotten ahead of himself and did not hear the prosecutor=s question before answering. He explained that he stopped taking drugs and consuming alcohol because his wife insisted he stop and get back on his medication as a condition of marrying him.