Martinez v. State, 01-21-00608-CR

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtRICHARD HIGHTOWER, JUSTICE
PartiesOLIVER Q. MARTINEZ, Appellant v. THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee
Docket Number01-21-00608-CR
Decision Date22 November 2022

OLIVER Q. MARTINEZ, Appellant
v.

THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee

No. 01-21-00608-CR

Court of Appeals of Texas, First District

November 22, 2022


Do not publish. Tex.R.App.P. 47.2(b).

On Appeal from the 339th District Court Harris County, Texas Trial Court Case No. 1516938

Panel consists of Justices Goodman, Hightower, and Guerra.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD HIGHTOWER, JUSTICE

A jury found appellant Oliver Q. Martinez guilty of the offense of aggravated assault of a public servant. See Tex. Penal Code §§ 22.01, 22.02(a)(2), (b)(2)(B). After finding the allegations in an enhancement paragraph true, the jury assessed Martinez's punishment at life in prison and a $10,000 fine. In one issue, Martinez

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contends that the evidence was legally insufficient to support the jury's finding that the allegations in the enhancement paragraph were true.

We affirm, as modified.

Background

Around midnight on July 14, 2016, Sergeant I. Hernandez of the Houston Police Department responded to a kidnapping report. Martinez was the suspect. The vehicle, a Lexus, reportedly involved in the kidnapping was located at a Houston motel. Sergeant Hernandez and eight other police officers went to the motel where they found the Lexus parked in front of Room 134. Sergeant Hernandez spoke with motel management and determined that someone matching Martinez's description was in Room 134. Sergeant Hernandez and two other officers made a tactical approach, standing to the side of the room's door. The other officers took cover behind nearby parked cars. Sergeant Hernandez knocked on the door and announced that they were Houston police officers.

At trial, Sergeant Hernandez testified that he then heard the sound of a rifle "racking," meaning that he heard the sound of a round being put "into the chamber of the weapon." The officers "immediately began to take fire from [Martinez]." Sergeant Hernandez and the other officers jumped back for safety. Sergeant Hernandez called for backup, including a SWAT team. Sergeant Hernandez testified that Martinez continued to fire "indiscriminately" at the officers. Sergeant

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Hernandez and the other officers stood behind vehicles in the parking lot as Martinez continued to shoot at them. Sergeant Hernandez could hear rounds hitting the vehicles and going over his head.

Martinez continued shooting sporadically at the officers for over an hour and a half. The officers never returned fire. Ultimately, the SWAT team took Martinez into custody. Investigators determined that Martinez had fired 105 rounds at the officers, using both an AK-47 rifle, from which 90 rounds were fired, and a 9-millimeter handgun, from which 15 rounds were fired.

Martinez was charged with the offense of aggravated assault of a public servant. The indictment alleged that, on July 14, 2016, Martinez had "unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly threatened [Sergeant Hernandez] with imminent bodily injury . . . while [Sergeant Hernandez] was lawfully discharging an official duty, by using and exhibiting a deadly weapon, namely A FIREARM, knowing that [Sergeant Hernandez] was a public servant." The indictment also included two enhancement paragraphs.

The jury found Martinez guilty of the charged offense of aggravated assault of a public servant. The trial court ruled that the enhancement allegations in the second paragraph would not be submitted to the jury. Martinez pleaded "not true" to the enhancement allegations in the first paragraph, which alleged that, before the

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commission of the primary offense, Martinez had been convicted of the felony offense of aggravated assault on March 20, 1998.

To prove the enhancement allegations in the first paragraph, the State offered into evidence a pen packet, authenticated by a custodian of records for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The pen packet contained (1) a judgment of conviction, dated March 20, 1998, reflecting that Oliver Martinez had been convicted of the offense of aggravated robbery, (2) photographs of Martinez, and (3) a card with Martinez's fingerprints.

During the punishment phase, the State called fingerprint identification expert Deputy D. Medina of the Harris County Sherriff's Office. She testified that, earlier that day, she had taken Martinez's fingerprints to use as a comparison. Deputy Medina stated that she had compared those fingerprints with the fingerprints on the card in the pen packet for the 1998 aggravated-assault conviction. She testified that the fingerprints that she had taken from Martinez matched the fingerprints on the card in the pen packet.

Although not used for enhancement purposes, Deputy Medina also testified that the fingerprints that she had obtained from Martinez matched the fingerprints from other criminal cases in which Martinez had been convicted. Deputy Medina testified that Martinez's fingerprints matched prints from another pen packet for a conviction for the offense of felon in possession of a weapon. Martinez's fingerprint

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also matched the fingerprint on a judgment of conviction for the felony offense of organized crime. And Deputy Medina testified that Martinez's fingerprint matched the print on two separate judgments of conviction reflecting that Martinez had been twice convicted of the offense of assault of a family member.

The jury was instructed that, if it found the allegations in the first enhancement paragraph to be true, it would then assess Martinez's punishment at confinement in prison for not less than 15 years nor more than 99 years or life, and it could also assess a fine of up to $10,000. See Tex. Penal Code § 12.42(c)(1) (providing that punishment range for first-degree felony enhanced by prior felony conviction is life imprisonment or any term between 15 and 99 years plus maximum $10,000 fine); id. § 22.02(b)(2)(B) (stating that...

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