Rodriguez v. State, 13-82-273-CR

Decision Date23 November 1983
Docket NumberNo. 13-82-273-CR,13-82-273-CR
Citation661 S.W.2d 318
PartiesFernando S. RODRIGUEZ, Appellant, v. STATE of Texas, Appellee.
CourtTexas Court of Appeals

Philip Greene, Henry L. Burkholder, III, Houston, for appellant.

John Haywood, Reynaldo Cantu, Jr., Brownsville, for appellee.

Before NYE, C.J., YOUNG and KENNEDY, JJ.


NYE, Chief Justice.

Appellant was convicted of murder by a jury which assessed punishment at thirty-five years' imprisonment. Appellant brings two grounds of error by which he contends (1) that the prosecutor improperly asked five State's witnesses whether their written reports would be helpful to the jury and (2) that he was prejudiced when forced to object before the jury to the attempts by the prosecutor to have each of the five statements admitted into evidence. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The State presented testimony (1) from Dr. Lawrence Dahm, the pathologist who performed the autopsy on the body of the victim; (2) from Mr. John McCutcheon, the supervisor of the Toxicology Section of the Texas Department of Public Safety, who examined a blood specimen taken from the deceased; (3) from Mr. Michael Goetz, a "latent fingerprint expert" with the Texas Department of Public Safety, who examined some twenty-six pieces of evidence from the case; (4) from Ms. Judith Scoggins, a "firearms expert" with the Texas Department of Public Safety, who performed ballistics tests on several bullets, including those taken from the deceased's body; and (5) from Mr. Edward Peterson, a forensic chemist specializing in firearms examination, who examined weapons allegedly used in this case. All five witnesses gave detailed testimony about their involvement with this case, after which the prosecutor requested that they examine a written report which purportedly summarized their testimony. Each witness testified that the summary was accurate. Appellant later objected to each of the prosecutor's attempts to introduce the written reports, arguing that they were "hearsay". The objections were sustained, and none of the reports were admitted into evidence.

In his first ground of error, appellant contends that the trial court erred by allowing the prosecutor to ask each of the five witnesses whether the written reports of their findings would be helpful to the jury. Appellant argues that the reports contained inadmissible hearsay evidence not yet placed in issue; that the questions were therefore improper, immaterial, prejudicial, and asked in bad faith; and that the questions called for lay, rather than expert, opinions which asked the witnesses to make a legal conclusion. Appellant further contends that he was harmed because the State "was permitted to establish that the written reports of each of their witnesses were useful documents to the jury."

Appellant's trial objection was that the question called for a conclusion on the part of the witness. A specific objection raised on appeal will not be considered if it varies from the specific objection made at trial. Carrillo v. State, 591 S.W.2d 876 (Tex.Cr.App.1979).

Even if appellant had properly preserved his complaint, we would not find reversible error. A judgment will not be reversed for admission of evidence that did not injure the accused. The question is whether there is a reasonable probability that the evidence complained of might have contributed to the conviction. Gutierrez v. State, 628 S.W.2d 57 (Tex.Cr.App.1980); Esquivel v. State, 595 S.W.2d 516 (Tex.Cr.App.1980); Weddle v. State, 628 S.W.2d 268 (Tex.App.--Corpus Christi 1982, no d.r.).

There is no reversible error merely because the jury may have been left with the impression that the witnesses thought the transcription of their own testimony would be helpful. Some of the testimony was in fact technical and very complex. There was no suggestion that the reports contained matter other than that which had already been placed in evidence by the prior testimony. The error, if any, was harmless. Appellant's first ground of error is overruled.

In his second ground of error, appellant contends that he was improperly forced to object before the jury to the prosecutor's repeated attempts to introduce the written reports into evidence. Appellant successfully objected to the introduction of the reports on grounds of "hearsay," but appellant's attorney never requested that the jury be instructed to disregard the...

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2 cases
  • Patton v. State
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • September 25, 1986
    ...ruling from the court on his request for an instruction. See Kennedy v. State, 520 S.W.2d 776, 778 (Tex.Crim.App.1975); Rodriguez v. State, 661 S.W.2d 318, 320 (Tex.App.--Corpus Christi 1983, no pet.). Appellant failed to preserve error by not renewing his request for an instruction to disr......
  • Harris v. State, 14-87-085-CR
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • August 6, 1987 the form of an instruction to disregard and a motion for mistrial. No error was preserved concerning Stevens's testimony. Rodriguez v. State, 661 S.W.2d 318, 320 (Tex.App.--Corpus Christi 1983, no Further, we find that the trial court properly admitted Martin's testimony. Rule 803(1) of ......

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