Castillo v. State

Decision Date30 September 1987
Docket NumberNo. 69340,69340
PartiesDavid Allen CASTILLO aka David Montana Castillo, Appellant, v. The STATE of Texas, Appellee.
CourtTexas Court of Criminal Appeals
OPINION

ONION, Presiding Judge.

This is an appeal from a conviction for capital murder. V.T.C.A., Penal Code, § 19.03(a)(2). The indictment alleged that appellant on or about July 14, 1983, caused the death of Clarencio Champion by stabbing him with a knife while in the course of committing and attempting to commit robbery. The jury returned a guilty verdict and answered affirmatively the two special issues submitted under Article 37.071(b), V.A.C.C.P. As a result, the mandatory death penalty was imposed as required by law.

Appellant presents ten points of error for review. He initially contends the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction and the trial court erred in overruling his motion for instructed verdict. He contends further the trial court erred in admitting his tennis shoes into evidence because they had been seized as the fruits of an illegal arrest, that the court erred in admitting an extraneous offense, erred in allowing a reputation witness to testify who was not qualified, erred in refusing to admit the results of a polygraph examination of another suspect, erred in denying his motion for reasonable expenses in excess of the statutory limit, erred in excusing for cause a prospective juror because of her views concerning the death penalty, and erred in denying a mistrial when it was discovered a State's witness at the guilt stage of the trial had not been sworn. And in two additional points the appellant contends the trial court erred in denying his motions to quash the indictment.

At the outset we shall consider his challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence.

Around 10 p.m. on July 14, 1983, Lucy Sonner, a Mercedes Police Department dispatcher, on her way to work, was flagged down by a man staggering along North Texas Avenue. She observed that his clothing was soaked with blood, that he had been stabbed and he had a cut on his forehead. He was in pain. The man told her he had been robbed at a liquor store, apparently across the street. The man was identified as Clarencio Champion, the deceased. A patrol unit soon arrived and the officers began administering first aid.

Sgt. Jaime Alaniz, who arrived on the scene with Officer Dennis Turley, observed that Champion had a large cut on his right arm, close to the wrist. From Champion Officer Alaniz learned that the assailant was wearing a dark colored T-shirt and blue jeans, had short hair, dark complexion and appeared to be 20 to 23 years old. Champion added that he had never seen his assailant before. On cross-examination Alaniz recalled Champion had said, "They robbed me." followed by "He robbed me." Officer Turley recalled that Champion had responded to Alaniz's question by stating "He robbed me. He stabbed me and he took some money."

Turley described the wound to Champion's right arm as starting at the top of the inside portion of the arm and then "went diagonally across to the other side. Both bones were exposed, as well as an artery." Turley pinched off the artery. The cut across the forehead "traveled down" the left side of Champion's head and stopped at the top of the right side of his lip. Turley saw two wounds in the abdomen near the navel, a wound in the throat near the larynx, the one across the face and the wound to the arm.

Turley was informed by an unidentified bystander that Champion was the manager or the "counter person" at the Party House Liquor Store on North Texas Avenue.

Rigoberto Salinas, owner of Salinas Supermarket near the liquor store, rode with Champion in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Salinas testified that Champion did not give him a physical description of the assailant, but stated, "That's the first time that I ever seen him in my life."

According to the testimony of Odelia Champion, the deceased's wife, her husband returned home shortly after 9 p.m. on July 14 for supper; that he left the house around 10 p.m. to go to the Conoco service station which he supervised. She stated it was his procedure to pick up receipts and money at night from the service station and go to the liquor store "to put them up." She related her husband at the hospital described his assailant as "a young boy, about 20, clean cut," "kind of thin" and told her about his height; that the assailant spoke broken Spanish and kept saying "Damos los dineros. I am going to kill you."

Willie Rocha, a Mercedes police officer, testified he was in the hospital room with Odelia Champion; that he recalled the deceased described his assailant as "approximately 22 years old, skinny, very skinny, and tall." When asked by Rocha how tall the assailant was the deceased responded, "Five-eight, between five-eight and five-nine." The deceased reported to Rocha that the assailant was "dark, but not very dark" and spoke "very funny Spanish"; that his assailant said "Dame el dinero, dame dinero, o te mato" meaning "Give me money or I will kill you." The deceased told Rocha he had seen the young man "possibly once before," but that he was not sure.

After several operations 1 Clarencio Champion died on July 20, 1983. According to his doctors he died of septic shock due to generalized peritonitis which set in after having received penetrating stab wounds to the abdomen. Dr. Ruben Santos, pathologist, performed the autopsy and also concluded the 59-year-old deceased "died from complications secondary to the stab wounds to his abdomen, and with a perforation to his stomach." Dr. Santos listed other complications such as bilateral bronchial pneumonia, sepsis, renal failure, all brought on by bacterial infection. He concluded the cause of death was "definitely" the stab wounds.

Adelina Anciso, an employee at the Conoco station, testified the station and the Party House Liquor Store were owned by the same individual, Rudy Garza. On July 14, 1983, she testified she worked at the Conoco station from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. when according to procedure she closed the station, locked the door, opened the register and placed all the money, checks, credit card receipts, in a blue money bank bag and put it in a back room. She stated the money bag contained about $1,000.00 in cash when she gave it to the deceased Champion when he appeared at the station about 10:15 p.m. and that he "picked up the money and took it to the Party House." She testified that she was familiar with the deceased's routine. He would close the liquor store at 9 p.m., go home, and return to the Conoco station about 10:15 p.m. to pick up the money and take the money to the liquor store.

Sylvia Anciso worked as a bookkeeper for the Conoco station and was in that position on July 14, 1983. She testified that Rudy Garza owned both the service station and the liquor store, while the deceased managed the liquor store and supervised the Conoco station. She corroborated Adelina Anciso's testimony about the routine of the deceased at night about closing the liquor store, returning to pick up the "money" from the station and taking it to the liquor store. She stated he took the money in bank bags.

Officer Turley testified that after the ambulance took the deceased from the scene he went to the liquor store to photograph the interior and exterior of the establishment. He observed that nearly the entire floor was covered with blood. He recognized two types of shoe prints, one a cowboy boot, the other a tennis shoe. The cash register had been dislodged from its stand and was teetered on the edge of the counter. In the back room Turley found another large pool of blood larger than any of the other pools of blood in the building. The bloody footprints showed the victim's boot prints pointed to the front of the store and the tennis shoe prints faced the opposite direction. The boot prints continued backward into the rear portion of the store. The tennis shoe prints "accompanied the boot prints all the way." The same shoe prints also led through the store and out the front door.

Luis Chacon, Mercedes Police Investigator, theorized that Champion was first stabbed near the front of the store based on the pools of blood there, and observing that the prints of the victim stepped backward, Chacon could not detect an offensive step toward the assailant. Chacon made a sketch of the tennis shoe print and learned that they were "Pro-Wings" sold only in blue. He determined that the assailant fled the store going north toward the back of the liquor store to Liberty Street.

Detective Narciso Vargas investigated the alleged offense. The appellant's name was mentioned the night of the offense by Officer Jorge (George) Castillo. Narciso learned that appellant was living with Pedro and Lucinda Garcia on July 14, 1983, but that he also stayed at his father's house from time to time. Vargas contacted Juan Castillo, the father, on August 2nd and obtained permission to search appellant's room. There he seized a pair of blue jeans and socks which appeared to have bloodstains on them.

On August 7, 1983, with the consent of Pedro and Lucinda Garcia, Vargas searched the room appellant had occupied at their home. Nothing was recovered. On August 8, 1983, Lucinda Garcia called Detective Vargas reporting the discovery of a blue bloodstained T-shirt and two bank bags in a hallway closet. The money bags contained personal checks and receipts from the Conoco station located across the street from the liquor store.

Adelina Anciso identified some of the checks and credit card receipts as ones she received on July 14th at the Conoco station, and she identified the blue bank bag as the one she gave to the deceased on the night...

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