Weekly Case Summaries: December 17, 2010

Texas Courts of Appeals

Woodard v. State - 1st COA

12/09/10 : Cite Nos. 01-09-00133-CR and 01-09-00134-CR

Issue:

Did the evidence support convictions for possession of a controlled substance both at Woodard's residence and in a correctional institution?

Holding:

Although the evidence was sufficient to prove possession of the cocaine in her home, it was insufficient to prove she possessed it in the jail. The police arrested Woodard for domestic violence at her home and transported her along with her purse where the cocaine was found, but Woodard exercised no care, custody, control, or management over the purse in jail. Read Opinion.

Commentary:

This opinion would suggest that, in the typical case, a defendant booked into jail cannot commit the offense of possession of a controlled substance in a correctional facility because the property in which the substance is located is no longer within the defendant's control. This is an interesting holding, and one that the Court of Criminal Appeals should want to review.

State v. Holloway -6th COA

12/10/10 : Cite No. 06-10-00333-CR

Issue:

Did the State timely appeal from an order granting a DNA motion and from an order granting a new trial? Also did the trial court properly grant a new trial?

Holding:

The State's notice of appeal from the order on the DNA motion was untimely by months, but its notice of appeal on the new trial order was timely. The trial court incorrectly granted a new trial years after the conviction became final and the DNA test results did not create a reasonable probability that Holloway was innocent. Read Opinion.

Commentary:

This is a thorough opinion, and you should be able to cite it for two reasons. First, it can be cited if your trial judge grants a new trial well after the time period has passed for granting a new trial. Second, it can be cited to support your argument that a defendant is not necessarily entitled to a new trial just because arguably favorable post-conviction DNA testing has been performed.

 

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