James Jerome Brown v. The State of Texas--Appeal from 363rd District Court of Dallas CountyAnnotate this Case
TENTH COURT OF APPEALS
JAMES JEROME BROWN,
THE STATE OF TEXAS,
From the 363rd District Court
Dallas County, Texas
Trial Court Nos. F95-00291-W & F95-00290-W
O P I N I O N
In Cause No. 10-95-109-CR Appellant Brown appeals his conviction for murder, enhanced by a prior felony conviction, for which he was sentenced to life in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division, and a $10,000 fine.
In Cause No. 10-95-110-CR Appellant Brown appeals his conviction for aggravated assault, enhanced by a prior felony conviction, for which he was sentenced to 35 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division, and a $10,000 fine.
These two cases were tried together; there is one statement of facts; and the briefs are identical.
Appellant was indicted for the murder of Clemencia Mederos and the aggravated assault of Alejandro Mederos, the date of the alleged offenses being December 3, 1994. The jury found Appellant guilty of both offenses; found that a deadly weapon was used in both offenses; and found the enhancement paragraph of both indictments "true." The jury set punishment at life in prison and a $10,000 fine in the murder case, and at 35 years and a $10,000 fine in the aggravated assault case.
About 11:30 p.m. on December 3, 1994, Alejandro Mederos, his sister, Clemencia Mederos, and Francisco Sanchez left their apartment to use a pay phone in the apartment complex. When they reached the phone, Clemencia started to place a call when Francisco saw a black man approaching them and told Clemencia to hang up the phone, and the trio turned to leave and began running toward the apartment. They had taken about three steps when Appellant started shooting at them. Clemencia was shot and killed, Alejandro was shot and injured. Neither of the trio said anything to Appellant or possessed any weapon. Appellant had a Tech-9 gun and he was identified, arrested, indicted, and convicted of Clemencia's murder and of the aggravated assault on Alejandro. At the punishment phase, the jury assessed life and a fine for the murder, and 35 years and a fine for the aggravated assault.
Appellant appeals in each case by one point: "The trial court erred in failing to charge the jury (at the punishment phase) regarding parole as mandated by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 37.07, 4(a)."
Article 37.07, 4(a) requires the court to give written instructions on parole laws in felony cases where the jury is to assess punishment and the defendant was convicted of a 3(g) offense or there is a deadly weapon finding. The required instructions are as follows:
Under the law applicable in this case, the defendant if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, may earn time off the period of incarceration imposed through the award of good conduct time. Prison authorities may award good conduct time to a prisoner who exhibits good behavior, diligence in carrying out prison work assignments, and attempts at rehabilitation. If a prisoner engages in misconduct, prison authorities may also take away all or part of any good conduct time earned by the prisoner.
It is also possible that the length of time for which the defendant will be imprisoned might be reduced by the award of parole.
Under the law applicable in this case, if the defendant is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, he will not become eligible for parole until the actual time served equals one-half of the sentence imposed or 30 years, which ever is less, without consideration of any good conduct time he may earn. If the defendant is sentenced to a term of less than four years, he must serve at least two years before he is eligible for parole. Eligibility for parole does not guarantee that parole will be granted.
It cannot be accurately predicted how the parole law and good conduct time might be applied to this defendant if he is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, because the application of these laws will depend on decisions made by prison and parole authorities.
You may consider the existence of parole law and good conduct time. However you are not to consider the extent to which good conduct time may be awarded to or forfeited by this particular defendant. You are not to consider the manner in which the parole law may be applied to this particular defendant.
The above instructions were originally in the charge and were removed after Appellant objected to the inclusion of the instructions. The court sought clarification of exactly what the defense was asking the court to do, and defense counsel then stated he did not want the instructions on parole in the charge because he feared that the instructions would result in a higher sentence for Appellant. The court then deleted the parole law instructions "at defendant's request," and submitted the charge to the jury without the instructions.
Under the invited error doctrine, an appellant may not allege error on appeal which was the result of appellant's own actions. Regarding instructions in a jury charge, our Court of Criminal Appeals has explained that "it is a long standing rule that a defendant may not request a charge and when that charge is given as requested, complain on appeal of any error." Livingston v. State, 739 S.W.2d 311, 341 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987), cert. denied, 487 U.S. 1210 (1988). This rule applies "even if the charge is later found to be erroneous." Tucker v. State, 771 S.W.2d 523, 534 (Tex. Crim. App. 1988), cert. denied, 492 U.S. 912 (1989).
Appellant's point is overruled in both cases. The judgments in both case are affirmed.
FRANK G. McDONALD
Chief Justice (Retired)
Before Justice Cummings,
Justice Vance, and
Chief Justice McDonald (Retired)
Opinion delivered and filed February 21, 1996
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