Carpenter v. State, 14-21-00166-CR

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtKevin Jewell Justice
PartiesDEXTER TRAVON CARPENTER, Appellant v. THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee
Docket Number14-21-00166-CR,14-21-00167-CR
Decision Date22 November 2022

DEXTER TRAVON CARPENTER, Appellant
v.

THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee

Nos. 14-21-00166-CR, 14-21-00167-CR

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District

November 22, 2022


Do Not Publish - Tex.R.App.P. 47.2(b).

On Appeal from the 177th District Court Harris County, Texas Trial Court Cause Nos. 1592887, 1592908

Panel consists of Justices Jewell, Bourliot, and Zimmerer.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Kevin Jewell Justice

Appellant Dexter Travon Carpenter appeals his convictions for the felony offenses of credit card abuse and aggravated robbery of an elderly individual on the grounds that his counsel was ineffective. In a single issue, he contends that his constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel was violated because his counsel failed to adequately investigate the facts and evidence of each case and failed to present key witnesses who "would have shed light as to the Appellant's character

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evidence." Because the record does not support appellant's ineffective assistance claim, we overrule his sole appellate issue.

We affirm the trial court's judgments.

Background

Appellant pleaded guilty to the felony offenses of credit card abuse and aggravated robbery of an elderly individual without an agreed recommendation on sentencing. After a presentence investigation was completed, the trial court deferred findings of guilt and placed appellant on deferred adjudication community supervision for ten years in both cases.

As conditions of his community supervision, the trial court ordered that appellant "[c]ommit no offense against the laws of this or any other State or of the United States"; "[n]ot use, possess, or consume any illegal drug or prescription not prescribed to [Appellant] by a medical professional"; and "[a]bide by the rules and regulations of the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (hereinafter referred to as HCCSCD)." The trial court also ordered that appellant successfully complete residential treatment at the HCCSCD facility Young Men About Change ("YMAC").

The State moved to adjudicate appellant's guilt in each case, alleging that he violated the conditions of his community supervision by: (1) committing assault; (2) possessing illegal drugs or drugs not prescribed to him; and (3) violating the rules and regulations of the YMAC program. At the hearing on the adjudication proceedings, the State presented the testimony of two witnesses, Isaiah Jones, appellant's YMAC probation officer, and Dionne Sims, a direct care monitor at the YMAC facility, who testified to the following.

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Shortly after appellant arrived at the YMAC residential facility, Jones explained YMAC's rules, procedures, and expectations to appellant, as well as the consequences for violating any of YMAC's regulations. Jones gave appellant a handbook detailing YMAC's regulations, and appellant signed a document indicating that he understood the facility's rules. Among YMAC's various rules and regulations, all residents must take prescribed medication in front of nurses in the medical section of the facility. YMAC forbids residents from "cheeking"-stashing medication in their mouths to take later or for other purposes-and also prohibits residents from keeping medication on their person or in their dormitory bunks.

While appellant was in the custody of YMAC, Sims conducted patrols through the dormitory as part of his job "to make sure that [YMAC]'s clients are adhering to the policies and procedures of the campus." During one of his patrols, Sims saw appellant spit pills into his hand, count them out, stuff them into one of his shoes, and tuck the shoes under his dormitory bunk before leaving the dorm to attend a required class. When appellant was gone, Sims retrieved appellant's shoes, searched them, and found prescription pills-later identified as eight Atarax pills and one Trazodone pill-under the insole of appellant's right shoe. These pills appeared "wet," "stuck together," and "semi-dissolving." Sims collected the pills and notified his supervisor. Neither appellant nor anyone else in his dormitory was prescribed both of these medications at the same time.

Appellant's trial counsel called two witnesses, Robert Moran, who was at YMAC while appellant was there, and John McCoy, who was incarcerated in the Harris County Jail in June 2020 when appellant allegedly assaulted another inmate. Moran testified that he put at least four of his pills in appellant's shoes on the date that Sims found the prescription medications there. Moran stated that he takes five kinds of prescription medications, although he conceded he is not prescribed Atarax

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or Trazodone and does not take either of these medications. McCoy testified that, while he was incarcerated with appellant, McCoy and two other inmates got into an altercation while appellant was present. According to McCoy, although appellant was...

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