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Harty v. State

Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana

June 21, 2018

RANDAL CHAISE HARTY, Appellant
v.
THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee

          Submitted Date: June 14, 2018

          On Appeal from the 188th District Court Gregg County, Texas Trial Court No. 46, 602-A

          Before Morriss, C.J., Moseley and Burgess, JJ.

          OPINION

          Bailey C. Moseley Justice

         Following a jury trial, Randal Chaise Harty was convicted of indecency with a child by exposure[1] and was sentenced to twenty years' incarceration.[2] On appeal, Harty claims that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict and that the admission of two prior convictions pursuant to Article 38.37 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure violated Harty's due process rights as well as Rule 403 of the Texas Rules of Evidence. Because we find that (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the verdict and (2) the extraneous-offense evidence was properly admitted, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         I. Sufficient Evidence Supports Harty's Conviction

         On appeal, Harty complains of the legal sufficiency of the evidence on two bases. First, he complains that the evidence is insufficient to prove exposure. Second, he complains that the evidence is insufficient to prove that he knew that a child was present.

         In evaluating legal sufficiency, we review all the evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court's judgment to determine whether any rational jury could have found the essential elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Brooks v. State, 323 S.W.3d 893, 912 (Tex. Crim. App. 2010) (plurality op.) (citing Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (1979)); Hartsfield v. State, 305 S.W.3d 859, 863 (Tex. App.-Texarkana 2010, pet. ref'd). Our rigorous legal sufficiency review focuses on the quality of the evidence presented. Brooks, 323 S.W.3d at 917-18 (Cochran, J., concurring). We examine legal sufficiency under the direction of Brooks, while giving deference to the responsibility of the jury "to fairly resolve conflicts in testimony, to weigh the evidence, and to draw reasonable inferences from basic facts to ultimate facts." Hooper v. State, 214 S.W.3d 9, 13 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007) (citing Jackson, 443 U.S. at 318-19); Clayton v. State, 235 S.W.3d 772, 778 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007).

         We measure the sufficiency of the evidence against the challenged elements of the offense using a hypothetically correct jury charge applicable to the case. See Malik v. State, 953 S.W.2d 234, 240 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997). That hypothetically correct jury charge "accurately sets out the law, is authorized by the indictment, does not unnecessarily increase the State's burden of proof or unnecessarily restrict the State's theories of liability, and adequately describes the particular offense for which the defendant was tried." Id.

         The indictment alleged that Harty, with the intent to arouse or gratify his sexual desire, exposed his genitals, "knowing that Jane Doe, a child younger than 17 years-of-age, was present." Harty committed the offense of indecency with a child by exposure "if, with a child younger than 17 years of age, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex, " he (1) exposed any part of his genitals, (2) knowing the child was present, (3) with the intent to arouse or gratify his sexual desire. Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 21.11(a)(2)(A). We review the evidence in light of Harty's complaints.

         Karina Rivera was shopping with her two young daughters on November 18, 2016, at the Supermarket Monterrey in Longview. As she and her young daughters exited the market, Rivera saw Harty in a gray, four-door truck with temporary tags. The truck was parked in the supermarket's parking lot, and the driver's side door was open. Rivera could see that Harty was bare from his waist to his legs and that he was massaging his penis with his genitals exposed. Rivera was able to see the full length of Harty's legs and was able to see that his truck seat was leaned slightly back. Rivera testified that she saw Harty's face, body, hand, and legs, including his calves. She could see that Harty's penis was in his hand and that he was masturbating. Harty was looking out of the truck window as these events occurred. Rivera testified that Harty was "looking to someone on the outside because he could have seen [her]."

         Meanwhile, a grandmother and her two-year-old granddaughter were waiting in the parking lot for the child's mother to finish shopping in the supermarket. They were in a red sports-utility vehicle (SUV) parked one space over from Harty's truck. When Rivera saw the child in the SUV, she was in the middle seat of the vehicle looking out of the passenger side window, facing Harty's truck. The red SUV was in Harty's line of sight when he was exposing himself and masturbating. Rivera did not know the child's position inside the vehicle at the time she initially saw Harty.

         Rivera attempted to record Harty on her cell phone to prove that he "was doing those things." At that moment, however, Harty saw Rivera. He closed the truck door and left the parking lot. Rivera was, however, able to record Harty driving his truck out of the parking lot. Rivera's video recording was played for the jury and revealed that this course of events happened during daylight hours.

         After this incident, Rivera spotted Harty's truck again. This time, the truck was parked beside the McDonald's playground located across from the grocery store. Rivera photographed ...


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