Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tiller v. State

Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana

April 15, 2019

CASEY RAY TILLER, Appellant
v.
THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee

          Submitted: April 2, 2019

          On Appeal from the 196th District Court Hunt County, Texas Trial Court No. 32, 056

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

          OPINION

          JOSH R. MORRISS, III CHIEF JUSTICE

         A Hunt County jury convicted Casey Ray Tiller of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. After the jury found the State's enhancement allegation true, Tiller was sentenced to seventy-five years' imprisonment on each count. On appeal, Tiller argues that the jury charge was erroneous because it allowed for non-unanimous verdicts and that his counsel rendered ineffective assistance throughout the trial.

         We conclude (1) that the erroneous jury charge did not egregiously harm Tiller and (2) that Tiller has not shown that counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         The State's two-count indictment alleged that Tiller, (1) on or about January 1, 2011, "intentionally and knowingly cause[d] the penetration of the sexual organ of Jane Doe . . ., a child who was then under 14 years of age, by the defendant's finger," and (2) on or about January 1, 2012, "intentionally and knowingly cause[d] the penetration of the sexual organ of Jane Doe . . . by the defendant's sexual organ."[1]

         Jane's mother, Sue, testified that Tiller moved in with her when Jane was five. Thomas Patterson, a deputy with the Rain's County Sheriff's Office, testified that, in 2013, Tiller, while high on methamphetamine and suicidal, turned himself in for masturbating in front of Jane. Sue testified that officers came to her home to investigate Tiller's admission, but that Jane denied that any inappropriate activity occurred. According to Patterson, because the investigation of Tiller's admission of an indecent act did not yield enough information, Tiller was jailed only for public intoxication.

         After the police concluded their investigation into Tiller's admission, Sue testified that she received a telephone call from Jane's middle school principal, who reported that Jane was telling others she was having sex with Tiller. Sue again questioned Jane, who claimed that her friends were just making up stories. Several years later, when Jane's high school teacher told Sue that she overheard girls talking about Jane and Tiller, Sue testified that Jane finally admitted that Tiller "molested her . . . all the time." Jane's friends, Gabby and Horace, both testified that Jane indicated Tiller had engaged in inappropriate sexual acts with her.

         Jane, who was thirteen years old at the time of trial, testified that Tiller began kissing and touching her underneath her underwear on a daily basis when she was seven. She clarified that Tiller touched the inside of her vagina with his fingers on many occasions and described two of those instances in detail for the jury, one occurring when she was seven and another occurring when she was thirteen. Jane also testified that Tiller penetrated her vagina with his sexual organ more than 100 times and described, in detail, an incident that occurred when she was twelve years old. Jane said she denied the abuse for many years because she did not want to get in trouble.

         Danielle Sanchez, a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), testified that she examined Jane, who reported that Tiller forced her to have sex with him. According to Sanchez, Jane said that the abuse began when she was around six years old and ended when she was twelve, Tiller abused only her sexual organ, and he "put his penis in [her] . . . daily."

          Tiffany Williams, Tiller's ex-girlfriend, testified that their relationship ended after her eleven-year-old daughter, Mary, said Tiller "had stuck his hands down her pants and touched her." At trial, Mary testified that Tiller touched the inside of her sexual organ under her clothing with his fingers.

         Tiller testified in his defense, denying the allegations. The State cross-examined Tiller on drug- and alcohol-related convictions.

         The application paragraph of the court's charge tracked the language of the indictment, instructed the jury that their verdict was generally required to be unanimous, but failed to inform the jury that it was required to be unanimous about which instance of criminal conduct satisfied each charged ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.