Appeal from the 313th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2016-03439J
consists of Chief Justice Frost and Justices Boyce and
found that appellant, D.L., then a minor, committed the
offense of criminal trespass of a motor vehicle. The trial
court signed a judgment adjudicating D.L. delinquent. D.L.
appeals, arguing that no legally sufficient evidence
establishes that he had notice that entry into the vehicle
was forbidden. We agree, and therefore reverse the trial
court's judgment and dismiss with prejudice the
State's petition for adjudication of delinquency.
Harris County District Attorney filed a petition in juvenile
court seeking an adjudication of delinquency. The State
alleged that D.L., a minor at the time, had engaged in
delinquent conduct. Specifically, the State alleged that D.L.
had committed the offenses of (1) criminal trespass of a
motor vehicle while carrying a deadly weapon and (2) unlawful
possession of a firearm. D.L. pleaded "not true" to
both allegations, and the case proceeded to a jury trial.
Lezama owned the vehicle in question. Lezama parked his truck
outside his apartment one afternoon and went inside, leaving
the keys in the truck and the truck unlocked. A few minutes
later, Lezama heard a noise outside and, upon investigating,
saw someone driving his truck away. He could not identify the
driver or describe any identifying features of the driver.
twelve hours later, at around 4:00 a.m., Houston Police
Officer Derrick Dexter and his partner, Officer Julio Flores,
attempted to order coffee at a McDonald's restaurant
drive-through lane. Because no employee responded over the
speaker, Officer Dexter suspected something might be amiss
inside the restaurant. The officers drove around the side of
the restaurant and stopped next to a green truck, which was
idling at the drive-through window. Three males occupied the
truck, and all of them appeared to be minors. D.L. sat in the
front passenger seat. According to Officer Dexter, the
individuals in the truck "looked over at [the officers]
and their eyes got like deer in headlights . . . like, you
know, caught red-handed." Because the youths were
violating Houston's midnight curfew, Officer Flores ran a
computer check on the truck's license plate. The search
results indicated that the truck was Lezama's and had
been reported stolen.
truck left the restaurant's parking lot. The officers
followed and engaged the patrol car's overhead lights and
sirens. At that point, the truck began speeding. The truck
entered an apartment complex. The police pursued the truck
through the complex at speeds up to sixty miles per hour for
four to six minutes. The truck eventually hit a transformer
and stopped. All three youths fled the truck. The police
officers apprehended D.L., but failed to apprehend the other
placing D.L. in the patrol car's back seat, Officer
Flores searched the truck. He found a pistol between the
driver's seat and passenger seat and a loaded shotgun
near "where one of the passengers was sitting."
Officer Flores did not specify whether he found the shotgun
in the front or back seat. Officer Flores testified over
objection that a records search revealed that the guns had
been reported stolen.
the truck was returned to Lezama, he discovered it had been
damaged, costing him $1, 000 in repairs.
jury found that D.L. did not commit the weapons possession
offense, but found that D.L. committed the offense of
trespass of a motor vehicle. The trial court placed D.L. on
probation and imposed a $1, 000 fine in restitution.