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Vidal v. State

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District, Houston

December 19, 2013

Jaime Hernandez VIDAL, Appellant
v.
The STATE of Texas, Appellee.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 909

George O. Jacobs, Houston, for appellant.

Heather Hudson, Houston, for the State of Texas.

Panel consists of FROST Chief Justice and JAMISON and WISE Justices.

OPINION

KEM THOMPSON FROST, Chief Justice.

Appellant Jaime Hernandez Vidal appeals his conviction for recklessly causing serious bodily injury to a child, asserting the trial court erred by denying his request for an instruction regarding defense of a third person, by denying his request for a hearing on his motion for new trial regarding prosecutorial misconduct, and by denying his motion for a mistrial. We affirm.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In the early morning, appellant and Maria Martinez [1] were involved in a collision of two trucks near Martinez's mother's home, where Martinez was living. Both of Martinez's young sons, Juan Carlos and Nathaniel, sustained injuries from the collision. Nathaniel, the complainant in this case, was five years old at the time of the incident and suffered extensive injuries. After police investigated, appellant was charged with recklessly causing serious bodily injury to a child, to which he pleaded " not guilty."

At a jury trial, the State presented evidence from Martinez and law enforcement officers. Martinez testified that she noticed appellant's truck in the carport as she was returning home from visiting her new boyfriend. As she turned into the driveway, appellant turned on the headlights and accelerated his truck toward her truck. She quickly reversed her truck out of the driveway and began driving away with appellant following behind. Shortly thereafter, appellant's truck hit Martinez's truck multiple times, pushing her truck into a ditch. Martinez and her two children were then transported to the hospital.

Appellant testified that the evening before the incident Martinez telephoned him three times. According to appellant, during those calls she informed him that a car was following her and she needed his help. He proceeded to her home to render assistance and waited several hours for her to arrive. Eventually, he saw Martinez's truck and a dark-colored car arrive. Martinez attempted to pull her truck into the driveway, but she was unable to do so because of appellant's truck. Instead, she pulled out and began driving away. Appellant was inconsistent as to whether the dark-colored car or Martinez approached

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the house first, but appellant consistently stated that eventually the dark-colored car fled the area with Martinez in pursuit. According to appellant, he joined the pursuit to obtain the license plate number of the dark-colored car and confront the driver. Appellant testified that while pursuing the dark-colored car, Martinez moved onto the left-hand side of the street and he took that as an ...


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