Green v. State

Decision Date01 February 2012
Docket NumberNo. 14–09–00338–CR.,14–09–00338–CR.
Citation350 S.W.3d 617
PartiesGregory Carl GREEN, Appellant,v.The STATE of Texas, Appellee.
CourtTexas Court of Appeals

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Mary Lou Shipley, Waxahachie, for appellant.Joe F. Grubbs, Cynthia W. Hellstern, Waxahachie, for state.Panel consists of Justices ANDERSON, FROST, and SEYMORE.

PLURALITY OPINION

JOHN S. ANDERSON, Justice.

A jury found appellant, Gregory Carl Green, guilty of the first degree felony offense of failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements. See Code Crim. Proc. Ann. arts. 62.102(b)(3), 62.102(c) (West 2006). The jury assessed punishment at eight years' confinement in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. We previously considered this case, and reversed appellant's conviction and remanded for a new trial. The Court of Criminal Appeals vacated our judgment and remanded for reconsideration in light of new precedent.

Factual and Procedural Background

Sergeant Rodney Guthrie of the Waxahachie Police Department, who supervises and manages the sex offender registration unit in Waxahachie, testified he is familiar with appellant because appellant is a registered sex offender in Sergeant Guthrie's unit. As a sex offender with two or more prior convictions, appellant was required to report to Sergeant Guthrie every 90 days. See Tex.Crim. Proc.Code Ann. art. 62.058(a) (West 2006). The first time appellant registered with Sergeant Guthrie was September 8, 2005. At that time, appellant listed his address as 801 Dunn Street—his parents' residence. The next time appellant provided a change in address was November 16, 2006. Appellant listed his address as 602 Highland Avenue. On May 2, 2007, Sergeant Guthrie received a telephone call from appellant informing him appellant would be changing his address. On May 3, 2007, appellant came into Sergeant Guthrie's office and gave notice that he was changing his address to 1570 Holder Road. Sergeant Guthrie reminded appellant that pursuant to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure he must stay at the Highland Avenue address for seven days before moving to the Holder Road address. At first, appellant replied he could stay at the Highland Avenue address only one to two days and then he admitted that he had already moved from the Highland Avenue address and was staying with his parents on Dunn Street. Sergeant Guthrie told appellant he was in violation of the registration requirements. As far as Guthrie can remember, appellant did not provide Guthrie with any reason for his move to 602 Highland.

After this meeting, Sergeant Guthrie contacted Billy Graham, the property manager for the landlord at 602 Highland Avenue. Graham told Guthrie that appellant and his wife had moved out of 602 Highland Avenue on or around April 15, 2007. Furthermore, Graham informed Sergeant Guthrie that a new tenant moved into the Highland Avenue residence on April 20, 2007. Sergeant Guthrie also testified he was aware appellant worked intermittently in Arizona for long periods of time and had recommended that appellant register in Arizona. Appellant complied. The Arizona records, entered into evidence, indicate appellant registered in Arizona for employment purposes on April 18, 2007. The Arizona records did not indicate appellant was permanently moving to or living in Arizona.

Billy Graham, the property manager for 602 Highland Avenue, explained to the jury that he never actually saw appellant or his wife move out of the house. Graham testified that he went to the house on or about April 15, 2007, to collect the rent and found the house abandoned, aside from some trash and items of furniture left outside. Graham assumed appellant and his wife had moved and Graham rented the house to a new tenant on April 20, 2007. Graham testified appellant had done yard-work on the Highland Avenue property sometime in March or April of 2007. Graham explained that all of the rent checks he received for 602 Highland during the time appellant and his wife lived at that address came either from appellant or appellant's parents.

The defense called Catherine Hunt, appellant's wife, as its only witness. Hunt testified she and appellant moved into 602 Highland Avenue the week before Thanksgiving 2006. Hunt explained appellant spent long periods of time working in Arizona. At some point, while they were living at 602 Highland Avenue, Hunt became pregnant. Hunt testified she was thinking about moving from the property, but appellant did not want to move because he liked their home at 602 Highland Avenue. Hunt said that while appellant was out of town working, he would send her money to pay the bills. Hunt told the jury appellant went to work in Arizona on April 11, 2007. Hunt explained that on April 16, 2007, five days after appellant left, she delivered their baby. After delivering the baby, Hunt decided to move from the 602 Highland Avenue residence into her parents' home on Holder Road. Hunt testified she did not tell appellant about the move. Hunt explained appellant returned from Arizona on April 28, 2007; however, on cross-examination, Hunt testified appellant came back into town April 20, 2007, left again on April 24, 2007, and returned on April 30, 2007. Hunt was unaware of when appellant found out she had moved their belongings from the Highland Avenue address. Hunt testified she never told appellant that she had moved from the Highland Avenue address into her parents' house; however, on cross-examination Hunt testified she informed appellant of the move on April 30, 2007. Hunt explained she knew appellant met with Sergeant Guthrie on May 3, 2007, because that was the day she discovered he was going to get charged.”

A jury found appellant guilty of failing to report his intended move not later than the seventh day before the anticipated move date. The jury found the enhancement paragraph in the indictment true and sentenced appellant to eight years' confinement in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

On appeal, we determined the evidence was factually insufficient to support conviction. After issuing our opinion, the Court of Criminal Appeals issued Brooks v. State, 323 S.W.3d 893, 894–95 (Tex.Crim.App.2010) (plurality opinion) abolishing factual sufficiency review as prescribed under Clewis v. State. Howard v. State, 333 S.W.3d 137, 138 n. 2 (Tex.Crim.App.2011) ([W]e have abolished factual-sufficiency review.”); Clewis v. State, 922 S.W.2d 126 (Tex.Crim.App.1996). The State appealed for discretionary review based on Brooks. Green v. State, No. PD–1685–10, 2011 WL 303818, at *1 (Tex.Crim.App.2011). The Court of Criminal Appeals granted the State's petition and remanded to this court for consideration under the new standard of review for sufficiency of evidence. Brooks, 323 S.W.3d at 894–95.

Discussion

I. Is the evidence sufficient to support appellant's conviction?

In appellant's first issue, he challenges the factual sufficiency of the evidence. Specifically, appellant contends the evidence is factually insufficient to show he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly failed to comply with the sex-offender reporting requirements.

A. Standard of Review

Five judges on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals have determined that “the Jackson v. Virginia legal-sufficiency standard is the only standard that a reviewing court should apply in determining whether the evidence is sufficient to support each element of a criminal offense that the State is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.” Brooks, 323 S.W.3d at 894–95 (plurality opinion).1 Therefore we review appellant's factual sufficiency issue on appeal under the Jackson v. Virginia legal sufficiency standard. Id.

In a sufficiency review, we view all evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict and determine whether any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Salinas v. State, 163 S.W.3d 734, 737 (Tex.Crim.App.2005). The jury, as the sole judge of the credibility of the witnesses, is free to believe or disbelieve all or part of a witness' testimony. Jones v. State, 984 S.W.2d 254, 257 (Tex.Crim.App.1998). The jury may reasonably infer facts from the evidence presented, credit the witnesses it chooses to, disbelieve any or all of the evidence or testimony proffered, and weigh the evidence as it sees fit. Sharp v. State, 707 S.W.2d 611, 614 (Tex.Crim.App.1986). Reconciliation of conflicts in the evidence is within the jury's discretion and such conflicts alone will not call for reversal if there is enough credible evidence to support a conviction. Losada v. State, 721 S.W.2d 305, 309 (Tex.Crim.App.1986). An appellate court may not reevaluate the weight and credibility of the evidence produced at trial and in so doing substitute its judgment for that of the fact finder. King v. State, 29 S.W.3d 556, 562 (Tex.Crim.App.2000). Inconsistencies in the evidence are resolved in favor of the verdict. Curry v. State, 30 S.W.3d 394, 406 (Tex.Crim.App.2000). We do not engage in a second evaluation of the weight and credibility of the evidence, but only ensure the jury reached a rational decision. Muniz v. State, 851 S.W.2d 238, 246 (Tex.Crim.App.1993); Harris v. State, 164 S.W.3d 775, 784 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, pet. ref'd.).

B. Analysis—April 2007 Address Change

A person commits the offense of failure to comply with registration requirements if the person “is required to register and fails to comply with any requirement” of Chapter 62. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 62.102 (West 2006). Under article 62.055(a), [i]f a person required to register under this chapter intends to change address, ... the person shall, not later than the seventh day before the intended change, report in person to the local law enforcement authority designated as the person's primary registration authority by the department and to the...

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