Justin Curtis Oehlert v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 251st District Court of Randall CountyAnnotate this Case
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SEVENTH DISTRICT OF TEXAS
APRIL 15, 2008
JUSTIN CURTIS OEHLERT,
THE STATE OF TEXAS,
FROM THE 251ST DISTRICT COURT OF RANDALL COUNTY;
NO. 15547-C; HON. ANA ESTEVEZ, PRESIDING
Before QUINN, C.J. and CAMPBELL and HANCOCK, JJ.
Justin Curtis Oehlert was convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to twelve
years confinement and a $10,000 fine. He contends that conviction should be overturned
because the evidence is legally and factually insufficient to show that he had reached an
agreement to act with another for a common purpose or that he acted with intent to
promote or assist in the commission of the offense. We affirm the judgment.
Standard of Review
The standards by which we review the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence
are well established. We refer the parties to Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct.
2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979) and Watson v. State, 204 S.W.3d 404 (Tex. Crim. App. 2006)
for an explanation of them.
Application of Standard
On October 5, 2003, a man (James Percy Hensley) entered the patio area and then
the rear door of Applebee’s Restaurant on Soncy Road in Amarillo after closing time and
by use of a gun forced the manager to give him three Amarillo National Bank bags
containing money. He exited the restaurant and ran to the passenger side of a white S-10
pickup truck parked next to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant. Approximately twenty
minutes later, a similar pickup truck was seen by police officers about seven blocks away.
When the vehicle was stopped, Hensley, the passenger, fled the vehicle. He was later
apprehended with two of the money bags. The third money bag was found by appellant.
Appellant contended at trial that he had borrowed a truck from a friend and when
he made a stop, Hensley entered it with a gun and forced him to drive to the restaurant.
Why appellant did not leave while Hensley left to commit the robbery went unexplained.
Moreover, Hensley informed an officer that it was appellant who made him commit the
offense to pay a drug debt. Irrespective of who forced who to act, other evidence
illustrated that 1) appellant had previously been a cook for Applebee’s Restaurant and was
known to fellow employees as “Weiner,” 2) the employees knew that after closing, the
locked back door was often propped open to allow trash to be removed from the
restaurant, 3) the employees knew that the patio door was often broken, 4) another
employee at the restaurant had met both appellant and Hensley at the home of a different
restaurant employee although not necessarily at the same time, and 5) Hensley referred
to appellant by his nickname “Weiner.”
The jury was instructed it could find appellant guilty if it believed he acted as a party
to the robbery. See TEX . PEN . CODE ANN . §7.02(a)(2) (Vernon 2003) (one acts as a party
when, with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicited,
encouraged, directed, aided, or attempted to aid in committing the offense). The foregoing
litany of evidence was enough to permit a rational jury to reasonably conclude, beyond
reasonable doubt, that appellant aided Hensley with the intent to promote or assist in the
robbery. And that the stories of Hensley and appellant differed did little more than create
fact disputes and credibility issues for the jury to resolve. Heiselbetz v. State, 906 S.W.2d
500, 504 (Tex. Crim. App. 1995). Moreover, the evidence indicative of guilt was not so
weak or minuscule to undermine our confidence in the verdict. So, we conclude that the
verdict was supported by both legally and factually sufficient evidence.
The judgment is affirmed.
Do not publish.