Bell v. State, 01-15-00510-CR

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtJulie Countiss, Justice
Citation649 S.W.3d 867
Parties Kendall BELL, Appellant v. The STATE of Texas, Appellee
Docket Number01-15-00510-CR
Decision Date21 July 2022

649 S.W.3d 867

Kendall BELL, Appellant
v.
The STATE of Texas, Appellee

NO. 01-15-00510-CR

Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston (1st Dist.).

Opinion issued July 21, 2022


Cheri Duncan, Houston, for Appellant.

Kim K. Ogg, Houston, Jessica A. Caird, for Appellee.

Panel consists of Justices Kelly, Countiss, and Rivas-Molloy.

Julie Countiss, Justice

After the juvenile court waived jurisdiction1 and certified appellant, Kendall Bell, to stand trial as an adult in criminal district court, appellant, without an agreed punishment recommendation from the State, pleaded guilty to the felony offense of aggravated robbery.2 The criminal district court then deferred adjudication of appellant's guilt and placed him on community supervision for six years. The State, alleging certain violations of the conditions of his community supervision, subsequently moved to adjudicate appellant's guilt. After a hearing, the criminal district court found an allegation true, found appellant guilty, and assessed his punishment at confinement for twenty years. On original submission, appellant contended that the juvenile court erred in transferring his case to the criminal district court and the evidence was insufficient to support the criminal district court's finding that he violated a condition of his community supervision.

Previously, this Court, relying on Moon v. State , 451 S.W.3d 28 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014), overruled by Ex parte Thomas , 623 S.W.3d 370 (Tex. Crim. App. 2021), held that the juvenile court erred by "waiving jurisdiction and transferring [appellant's] case to the criminal district court." Bell v. State , 512 S.W.3d 553, 554–60 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2016) ( Bell I ) (concluding, based on now-overruled Moon , "the juvenile court did not provide sufficient case-specific findings to support its waiver of jurisdiction" and holding "juvenile court abused its discretion by waiving jurisdiction and transferring [appellant's] case to the criminal district court"), rev'd on other grounds , 515 S.W.3d 900 (Tex. Crim. App. 2017) ( Bell II ). Accordingly, we vacated the juvenile court's transfer order and the criminal district court's judgment, dismissed the criminal district court case, and remanded appellant's case to the juvenile court for further proceedings consistent with our opinion. Bell I , 512 S.W.3d at 560.

The State then filed a petition for discretionary review with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing, in part, that this Court lacked jurisdiction to consider appellant's complaint that the juvenile court erred in transferring his case to the criminal district court because appellant did not raise his complaint until after the criminal district court entered its judgment adjudicating appellant's guilt.3 See

649 S.W.3d 872

Bell II , 515 S.W.3d at 901 ("The State has filed a petition for discretionary review challenging appellant's ability to attack his transfer order on appeal from the adjudication of his guilt. The State maintains that a defendant cannot attack the original proceedings on appeal from an order that adjudicated guilt after a revocation of community supervision. The State's argument suggests that the court of appeals did not have jurisdiction to address the merits of appellant's c[omplaint] ...." (internal citations omitted)). Because the State had not raised its jurisdictional argument in this Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals granted the State's petition as to that argument, vacated this Court's judgment, and remanded the case so that we could consider the State's jurisdictional issue "in the first instance." Id.

On remand, this Court addressed whether we had jurisdiction to hear appellant's complaint that the juvenile court erred in transferring his case to the criminal district court even though appellant "did not raise his [complaint] when the [criminal district] court entered its order of deferred adjudication" and instead raised his complaint on appeal from the criminal district court's judgment adjudicating appellant's guilt and assessing his punishment at confinement for twenty years. Bell v. State , 569 S.W.3d 241, 243–47 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2018) ( Bell III ), rev'd on other grounds , No. PD-1383-18, 2021 WL 2677442, at *1 (Tex. Crim. App. June 30, 2021) (not designated for publication) ( Bell IV ). After concluding that we had jurisdiction to consider appellant's complaint, we adopted our previous opinion in Bell I , which relied on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals's now-overruled Moon opinion, and held that the juvenile court erred by "waiving jurisdiction and transferring [appellant's] case to the criminal district court." Bell III , 569 S.W.3d at 243–47 ; see also Bell I , 512 S.W.3d at 554–60. We again vacated the juvenile court's transfer order and the criminal district court's judgment, dismissed the criminal district court case, and remanded appellant's case to the juvenile court for further proceedings consistent with our opinion. Bell I , 512 S.W.3d at 560 ; see also Bell III , 569 S.W.3d at 243, 247 (adopting this Court's prior opinion in Bell I ).

The State filed another petition for discretionary review with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, again asserting that this Court lacked jurisdiction to address appellant's complaint that the juvenile court erred in transferring appellant's case to the criminal district court, which the court granted. Bell IV , 2021 WL 2677442, at *1 ("On remand, the court of appeals concluded that it had jurisdiction to consider [a]ppellant's Moon challenge. It then adopted its prior holding finding the transfer order defective, vacating the conviction, and remanding the case to the juvenile court. The State again petitioned for discretionary review, and we granted the State's petition to consider whether the court of appeals correctly held that it had jurisdiction to consider [a]ppellant's challenge to his transfer order at this procedural juncture." (internal citations omitted)). But the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals noted that after it granted the State's petition for discretionary review, it issued an opinion in Ex parte Thomas , 623 S.W.3d 370 (Tex. Crim. App. 2021), which "disavowed" and overruled Moon —the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals's opinion relied on by this Court in Bell I and Bell III. Bell IV , 2021 WL 2677442, at *1. Because this Court "did not have the benefit of [the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals's Ex parte ] Thomas [opinion]" when we issued Bell I and Bell III , the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals vacated this Court's

649 S.W.3d 873

judgment and remanded appellant's case to this Court "for further consideration and disposition of [a]ppellant's issues in a manner consistent with [the court's recent decision in Ex parte ] Thomas. " Id.

On remand, we now address appellant's two issues on appeal: whether the juvenile court erred in transferring his case to the criminal district court and whether the evidence was insufficient to support the criminal district court's finding that he violated a condition of his community supervision.

We affirm.

Background

When appellant was sixteen years old, the State filed a petition in juvenile court, alleging that appellant had engaged in delinquent conduct by committing the felony offense of aggravated robbery.4 The State then moved for the juvenile court to waive its exclusive original jurisdiction over appellant's case and transfer the case to the criminal district court for appellant to stand trial as an adult.5

At the transfer hearing on the State's motion,6 Harris County Sheriff's Office ("HCSO") Deputy A. Alanis testified that on March 9, 2013, an aggravated robbery occurred at a Family Dollar Store in Harris County, Texas.7 Alanis investigated the aggravated robbery and viewed a surveillance videotaped recording from the store.

As to the aggravated robbery Deputy Alanis explained that a white truck8 "pulled up to the Family Dollar [Store]." As the store clerk opened the door to the store for a customer to enter, four males, wearing handkerchiefs over the lower part of their faces,9 jumped out of the truck and ran into the store. The first male, T.J., entered the store holding a firearm that he pointed at the store clerk. Appellant was the last male to enter the store, and he also had a firearm. After entering the store, T.J. and two of the males forced the store clerk and the store manager to move to the store register, while appellant walked to the back of the store to "clear[ ] the store[ ] ... aisle [by] aisle." In the back of the store, appellant found a woman and a small child. He pointed the firearm at the woman and the child, took the woman's purse, and walked back to the store register where T.J. and the other males were "trying to force" the store manager and store clerk to "open a safe." T.J. held his firearm on the store clerk's back, and he hit the clerk in the back of the head. The store clerk and store manager were unable to open the store register because of a "time delay."

According to Deputy Alanis, at some point, T.J., appellant, and the other two males "realize[d] that [law enforcement officers] were on the way," and they ran out of the store and jumped into the stolen white truck. The truck drove off, and law enforcement officers pursued it. During the pursuit, the driver of the truck "crash[ed]" into a...

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2 practice notes
  • Ex parte Bell, 01-22-00473-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • December 6, 2022
    ...On July 21, 2022, while appellant's habeas appeal was pending, this Court issued an opinion in the direct appeal. See Bell v. State, 649 S.W.3d 867 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2022, pet. filed) (Bell V). In its opinion, this Court addressed whether the juvenile court erred in transferrin......
  • In re I.M., 10-22-00273-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • December 28, 2022
    ...juvenile court's decision to waive its jurisdiction and to transfer a case to the criminal district court using two steps. Bell v. State, 649 S.W.3d 867, 887 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2022, pet. filed).[1] We first review the juvenile court's findings using traditional standards for ev......
2 cases
  • Ex parte Bell, 01-22-00473-CR
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • December 6, 2022
    ...On July 21, 2022, while appellant's habeas appeal was pending, this Court issued an opinion in the direct appeal. See Bell v. State, 649 S.W.3d 867 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2022, pet. filed) (Bell V). In its opinion, this Court addressed whether the juvenile court erred in transferrin......
  • In re I.M., 10-22-00273-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • December 28, 2022
    ...juvenile court's decision to waive its jurisdiction and to transfer a case to the criminal district court using two steps. Bell v. State, 649 S.W.3d 867, 887 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2022, pet. filed).[1] We first review the juvenile court's findings using traditional standards for ev......

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