Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana
Submitted Date: June 13, 2018
Appeal from the County Court at Law Rusk County, Texas Trial
Court No. 16-11-0782CR
Morriss, C.J., Moseley and Burgess, JJ.
R. Morriss, III Chief Justice
Larry Antone Cadwell-who goes by the name Tony and who will
be so referenced in this opinion-and his estranged wife,
Cheryl Cadwell, were involved in divorce proceedings, various
horses belonging to them but having been ordered into
Tony's custody lost weight, reportedly due to inadequate
nutrition, according to Cheryl and other witnesses. This was
particularly true of Diamond, an older horse that customarily
had been ridden by Cheryl. This resulted in Tony's
conviction for cruelty to livestock animals and a sentence of
180 days in jail, a sentence which was probated to
twenty-four months on condition that Tony serve thirty days
appeal, Tony argues the legal and factual insufficiency of
the evidence to support the element of intentional or knowing
mens rea. He also asserts, as part of his legal-sufficiency
challenge-making it a multifarious point of error-that
including the phrase "by neglect" in the
information and in the jury charge improperly lowered the
mens rea requirement.
(1) legally sufficient evidence supports Tony's
conviction and (2) the use of the phrase "by
neglect" did not improperly reduce the State's
burden to prove Tony's willful or knowing mens rea, we
affirm the trial court's judgment.
Legally Sufficient Evidence Supports Tony's
evaluating legal sufficiency of the evidence, 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, 323 S.W.3d at 912
(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). We examine legal
sufficiency under the direction of the Brooks
opinion, while deferring 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). Further, the jury is the sole
judge of the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to
be given their testimony and may "believe all of a
witnesses' testimony, portions of it, or none of
it." Thomas v. State, 444 S.W.3d 4, 10 (Tex.
Crim. App. 2014).
review, we consider "events occurring before, during[, ]
and after the commission of the offense and may rely on
actions of the defendant [that] show an understanding and
common design to do the prohibited act." Hooper v.
State, 214 S.W.3d 9, 13 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007) (quoting
Cordova v. State, 698 S.W.2d 107, 111 (Tex. Crim.
App. 1985)). It is not required that each fact "point
directly and independently to the guilt of the appellant, as
long as the cumulative force of all the incriminating
circumstances is sufficient to support the conviction."
Id. Circumstantial evidence and direct evidence can
be equally probative in establishing the guilt of a
defendant, and guilt can be established by circumstantial
evidence alone. Ramsey v. State, 473 S.W.3d 805, 809
(Tex. Crim. App. 2015); Hooper, 214 S.W.3d at 13
(citing Guevara v. State, 152 S.W.3d 45, 49 (Tex.
Crim. App. 2004)).
sufficiency of the evidence is measured by the elements of
the offense as defined by a hypothetically correct jury
charge. Malik v. State, 953 S.W.2d 234, 240 (Tex.
Crim. App. 1997). The "hypothetically correct" jury
charge is "one that 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
the relevant statute and the information, to obtain a
conviction for cruelty to livestock animals, the State had to
prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Tony (1) intentionally
or knowingly (2) failed unreasonably to provide (3) food,
water, or care (4) for one or more livestock animals (5) in
Tony's custody, where (6) Tony's
conduct was not a generally accepted and otherwise lawful
form of conduct occurring solely for the purpose of or in
support of fishing, hunting, or trapping; or wildlife or
depredation control, or shooting preserve practices as
regulated by state and federal law; or animal husbandry or
agriculture practice involving livestock animals.
See Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 42.09(a)(2), (f)
(West 2016) (cruelty to livestock animals and exception to
offense), § 2.02 (West 2001) (negating exception to
offense as element of offense). Tony challenges the
sufficiency of the evidence only as it relates to the