Jerome Lamont Jordan v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 40th District Court of Ellis County

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No. 10-95-076-CR









From the 40th District Court

Ellis County, Texas

Trial Court # 21220CR




A jury convicted the appellant, Jerome Lamont Jordan, of aggravated robbery, Tex. Penal Code Ann. 29.03 (Vernon 1994), and sentenced him to twenty years' confinement in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. In his sole point of error, the appellant argues that there is insufficient evidence to prove one of the elements of aggravated robbery, specifically, that the victim was in fear of imminent bodily injury or death during the course of the robbery. Tex. Penal Code Ann. 29.03(a). We will affirm.

An offense of aggravated robbery occurs when a person in the course of committing a theft knowingly and intentionally threatens or places another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death and uses or exhibits a deadly weapon. Id.; Fortenberry v. State, 889 S.W.2d 634, 636 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1994, pet. ref'd) (citing Robinson v. State, 596 S.W.2d 130, 132 (Tex. Crim. App. 1980)). The appellant maintains the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction because the victim's acts after the robbery negate the "fear of imminent bodily injury or death" element. Under the standard of review for legal sufficiency, we must "consider all the record evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, and [ ] determine whether, based on that evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom, any rational jury could have found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." // Alvarado v. State, 912 S.W.2d 199, 207 (Tex. Crim. App. 1995); see also Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 320, 99 S. Ct. 2781, 2789 (1979).

At trial, the complainant, Walter R. Stigall, testified to the following facts: On August 19, 1994, while on an errand for his employer, Stigall was turning a corner at Wyatt and Henry Streets in Waxahachie, when a man suddenly walked in front of the vehicle he was driving. To avoid hitting the man, Stigall stopped the pickup. When he stopped, two other men, one later identified as the appellant, approached the passenger-side of the vehicle and through the opened window, offered to sell Stigall some marijuana and crack cocaine. When Stigall refused, the two men began cursing Stigall, and the third man, who had been crossing the street, ordered the appellant to "take him out." Pointing a gun at Stigall, the appellant said, "Give me your mother-fucking money, pop, or I'll blow your bitch head off." Fearing that his life was about to come to an end, Stigall complied, handing the appellant ten dollars. Stigall drove away, stopping approximately thirty feet from the men. Angered by the incident, Stigall got out of his pickup and asked for his money back, saying that he "could take a joke." The appellant pulled out his gun and began running toward Stigall, and the man who had been crossing the street in front of Stigall started picking up rocks to throw at him. Stigall got back in his pickup and hurriedly drove away.

When he returned to work, Stigall's employer convinced him to report the incident to the police. Fearing retaliation from the robbers, Stigall did not want to get involved; however, he did call the police and asked them to confiscate the gun. Later that same day, he also returned to the area where the crime occurred in order to help the police locate the robbers and the weapon, albeit unsuccessfully.

Several days later, while on another errand for his employer, Stigall encountered the same three men standing on a different street. The record is unclear as to whether the men recognized Stigall or whether Stigall called attention to himself. In either event, the men began throwing rocks and bricks and cursing at Stigall, and Stigall yelled to the men that they were "going to jail." Backing his vehicle out of range of the hurling objects, Stigall asked people nearby to call the police. The police quickly arrived on the scene but could not arrest any of the robbers without a warrant. Upset the police could not take the robbers into custody at that time, Stigall agreed to make a formal complaint so a warrant could be issued for the robbers' arrests. The appellant was arrested at a later date and identified by Stigall as one of the men who had robbed him at gunpoint.

The appellant argues that Stigall's acts of bravado in confronting the robbers immediately after the robbery and several days later nullify any fear of death or bodily injury Stigall might have felt during the robbery. Winkfield v. State, 792 S.W.2d 727, 732 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1990, pet. ref'd). In Winkfield, the court held that testimony regarding the after-effects each victim experienced was relevant to prove the victims had been put in fear of imminent death or bodily injury during the robbery. Id. The appellant urges this court to expand the holding in Winkfield by holding that after-effects evidence can also negate an element of an offense. However, in undertaking a review of the legal sufficiency of the evidence, we consider only the evidence supporting the trial court's judgment. Jackson, 443 U.S. at 320, 99 S. Ct. at 2789; Alvarado, 912 S.W.2d at 207. Evidence of Stigall's actions after the robbery do not support the verdict; therefore, it is not for our consideration. The jury, not appellate judges, are the fact-finders, and in a review of the legal sufficiency of the evidence, we "may not re-evaluate the weight and credibility of the record evidence." Alvarado, 912 S.W.2d at 207. Based on the evidence presented at trial, a rational jury could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that Stigall was in fear of imminent bodily injury or death at the time of the robbery. Consequently, the evidence was legally sufficient to support the appellant's conviction. The appellant's point of error is overruled.

The judgment is affirmed.




Before Chief Justice Davis,

Justice Cummings, and

Justice Vance


Opinion delivered and filed October 30, 1996

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