Henriksen v. State

Decision Date17 October 1973
Docket NumberNo. 46386,46386
PartiesLarry Edward HENRIKSEN, Appellant, v. The STATE of Texas, Appellee.
CourtTexas Court of Criminal Appeals

Randy Taylor, Dallas, for appellant.

Henry Wade, Dist. Atty., and Mike G. McCollum, Asst. Dist. Atty., Dallas, Jim D. Vollers, State's Atty., and Robert A. Huttash, Asst. State's Atty., Austin, for the State.


DALLY, Commissioner.

The conviction is for robbery by assault; the punishment, forty years' imprisonment.

The appellant's first two grounds of error concern the excusing of a prospective juror. During voir dire examination, the juror responded affirmatively when asked if she had ever been interested in the outcome of a criminal case. She was then directed to come before the bench. What transpired there was not reported in the record. At the conclusion of the bench conference, the Court excused the juror for cause, although the record does not reflect that challenge for cause was made by either the State or defense counsel. Defense counsel objected to the Court's excusing the prospective juror and requested that her statements then be reported. The trial court refused, but later stated on the record that the juror had informed the Court that her son had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for robbery, and that as a juror she could not assess a life term for robbery.

When the prospective juror was not challenged for cause by the State the Court should not have excused her on the grounds shown in the record which did not constitute an absolute disqualification. See Art. 35.19, Vernon's Ann.C.C.P. and Ernster v. State, 165 Tex.Cr.R. 422, 308 S.W.2d 33 (1957). While it is quite inconceivable that the State would not have challenged the prospective juror for cause, nevertheless, such challenge could have been waived. Further, the Court should have permitted defense counsel to make a record showing the facts surrounding the Court's action. See Art. 40.09, § 4, V.A.C.C.P.; Vines v. State, 479 S.W.2d 322 (Tex.Cr.App.1972) and Evans v. State, 430 S.W.2d 502 (Tex.Cr.App.1968).

Do these errors constitute reversible error? 1

The record before us shows that the prospective juror excused by the Court was not willing to consider the full range of punishment including the maximum provided by law in the event the appellant was found guilty. Therefore, the appellant was not entitled to have her serve on the jury. See Art. 35.16(b)3, V.A.C.C.P. Furthermore, the appellant has not shown that he was tried by a jury to which he had a legitimate objection.

The appellant, prior to trial, had requested that the voir dire examination of the jury be reported. This request did not include a specific request that the bench conferences held out of the hearing of the jury be reported. The voir dire examination of the jury was reported and is included in the record but the bench conference at which the prospective juror was questioned was not reported and is not included in the record. The facts in this case are different from those in Jones v. State, 496 S.W.2d 566 (Tex.Cr.App.1973); Miller v. State, 472 S.W.2d 269 (Tex.Cr.App.1971) and Morris v. State, 411 S.W.2d 730 (Tex.Cr.App.1967), where requests that the voir dire examination be reported were refused by the trial judge. Here, no such refusal is shown; appellant simply failed to make the necessary request that the bench conferences be reported.

We conclude that grounds of error numbers one and two do not present reversible error.

In his third ground of error, appellant challenges the trial court's refusal of his application to take depositions of the witnesses named on the indictment. The trial court has wide discretion to grant or deny applications for depositions under Art. 39.02, V.A.C.C.P.; McCrea v. State, 494 S.W.2d 821 (Tex.Cr.App.1973); Beard v. State, 481 S.W.2d 875 (Tex.Cr.App.1972); Aguilar v. State, 468 S.W.2d 75 (Tex.Cr.App.1971). In order for this Court to hold that a trial court has abused his discretion, an appellant must show on appeal that he was injured by such action. Beshears v. State, 461 S.W.2d 122 (Tex.Cr.App.1970). In the instant case appellant's request was only conditionally denied, the Court saying it would be granted if the witnesses refused to talk with appellant's counsel. In view of these circumstances and on the record before us, no abuse of discretion is shown. Gentry v. State, 494 S.W.2d 169 (Tex.Cr.App.1973); Tucker v. State, 461 S.W.2d 630 (Tex.Cr.App.1970).

Appellant's complaint that the trial court refused to release him on personal bond prior to trial, ground of error number four, is moot, since appellant has now been convicted of the offense, for which the punishment exceeds fifteen years. Art. 44.04(h), V.A.C.C.P.; Ex Parte Contella, 485 S.W.2d 910, 912, (Motion for Rehearing) (Tex.Cr.App.1972); Ex Parte Clay,479 S.W.2d 677 (Tex.Cr.App.1972).

In his fifth ground of error, appellant complains that the Court refused to allow him personally to consult with the defense witnesses. Appellant's counsel was appointed more than ten months prior to trial, giving counsel ample time to interview witnesses, and to consult with appellant in preparation for such interviews. The record reflects no injury to appellant arising from the Court's refusal to allow him personally to consult with the witnesses. No abuse of discretion is shown.

Appellant also alleges harm in the Court's refusal to grant him investigative expenses under Art. 26.05, § 1(d), V.A.C.C.P., which provides compensation for expenses incurred for purposes of investigation. Appellant had not incurred investigative expenses at the time, and the Court indicated no unwillingness to allow such expenses if they should be incurred. Appellant has shown no injury resulting from the ruling of the Court, and we find no abuse of discretion. See Cherry v. State, 488 S.W.2d 744 (Tex.Cr.App.1972); Shelton v. State, 462 S.W.2d 285 (Tex.Cr.App.1970); Chamberlain v. State, 453 S.W.2d 490 (Tex.Cr.App.1970); Eggleston v. State, 422 S.W.2d 460 (Tex.Cr.App.1967).

Appellant argues in his sixth ground of error that he was denied meaningful review of the record because he was denied sufficient opportunity to question the witnesses during the pre-trial identification hearing. The record reflects that appellant's counsel was allowed considerable latitude in interrogating the witnesses at the pre-trial hearing and that he was permitted unlimited cross-examination at the trial. The record does not show an abuse of discretion. This ground of error is overruled.

Appellant next complains that the in-court identification of certain witnesses was tainted because some months after the offense the witnesses were shown photographs from which they identified a picture of appellant. At a pre-trial hearing on the issue, the trial court made specific findings of fact, contained in the record, and concluded that the identification was not tainted. See Fagan v. State, 489 S.W.2d 578 (Tex.Cr.App.1973); Martinez v. State, 437 S.W.2d 842 (Tex.Cr.App.1969).

The record in the instant case supports the trial judge's conclusion that the identification was not tainted. Although some three months had elapsed from the date of the offense before the witnesses were shown the photographs, there is no evidence that either witness ever identified any other person as the robber. Each witness was interviewed separately in his home. One witness was shown a single group of twelve photographs in which the appellant's picture appeared only once. The other witness was shown three groups of photographs, appellant's picture appearing only in the last group. Both testified that appellant's picture was not emphasized in any way, that they received no help or suggestions from the police, that their identification of appellant was neither based on nor strengthened by the photographs, and that their memory of appellant was based solely on seeing him at the time of the robbery. Each witness was positive in his identification and was not shaken by extensive cross-examination. Appellant's counsel was given ample opportunity during his cross-examination to expose to the jury the potential for error involved in photographic identification procedures. Compare Simmons v. United States, 390 U.S. 377, 88 S.Ct. 967, 19 L.Ed.2d 1247 (1968) and United States v. Ash, 413 U.S. 300, 93 S.Ct. 2568, 37 L.Ed.2d 619 (1973).

The evidence does not indicate that the photographic identification procedure used here was so impermissibly suggestive as to give rise to a substantial likelihood of irreparable misidentification. Simmons v. United States, supra; Fagan v. State, supra.

Appellant also argues that the trial court erred in admitting testimony relating to the photographs viewed by the witnesses, on the ground that this action violated the 'best evidence rule.' This Court has recently dealt with this rule in detail. See Overton v. State, 490 S.W.2d 556 (Tex.Cr.App.1973). The best evidence rule applies only to documents.

In his ninth ground of error, appellant complains that the Court allowed evidence of an extraneous offense to be heard by the jury. The appellant offered testimony to show the defense of alibi. This defense raised the issue of his identity as the robber, and authorized admission of evidence of extraneous offenses for the purpose of showing identity. Fagan v. State, supra; Martin v. State, 489 S.W.2d 282 (Tex.Cr.App.1973); Frison v. State 473 S.W.2d 479 (Tex.Cr.App.1971). A rebuttal witness called by the State testified that some six months prior to the offense for which appellant was on trial appellant had robbed another supermarket where the witness was employed. The evidence reflects that the extraneous offense was committed in a manner similar to the offense charged. The evidence was properly admitted. See Martin v. State, supra; Bryant v. State, 471 S.W.2d 66 (Tex.Cr.App.1971); Owens v. State, 450 S.W.2d 324 (Tex.Cr.App.1969); ...

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