Appeal from the 300th District Court Brazoria County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 96783-F
consists of Justices Lloyd, Kelly, and Hightower.
RUSSELL LLOYD, JUSTICE
an appeal from a protective order granted by the trial court
against appellant, Brian Williams. In his first two issues,
Brian challenges the legal and factual sufficiency of the
evidence supporting the granting of the protective order. In
his third issue, he contends that the trial court abused its
discretion in denying his motion for new trial. We affirm.
and appellee, Shawntay Williams, were in a relationship for
twenty-three years. They married in 2011. They have two
daughters: Bresha who is fifteen years old and Talaya who is
protective order hearing, Shawntay testified that Brian had
been physically abusive to her throughout their relationship.
In 1997 or 1998, Shawntay and Brian were arguing when Brian
hit her in the jaw and choked her. Shawntay walked out of the
house and called her aunt.
in the early 2000s, Brian became upset while on the phone
with Shawntay and came home. When Shawntay did not let him
in, he broke a window, entered the house, and choked her.
After Shawntay called the police, Brian was arrested and
served time in county jail. Shawntay testified that Brian
drinks and often becomes intoxicated, and she believes that
he was intoxicated that evening.
or 2016, Brian became angry with Shawntay and choked her to
the point where she could not breathe. She ran to a
neighbor's house for help.
February 2016, Brian and Shawntay moved to Pearland with
Bresha and Talaya. On one occasion, Brian and Shawntay got
into a heated argument during which Brian grabbed her shirt.
The police were called and told them that one of them should
leave the house.
night of October 13, 2017, Shawntay was asleep in the master
bedroom when Brian came home intoxicated. Shawntay testified
that Brian asked her if she wanted to eat and became upset
when she answered no. When Shawntay told him to "lay
down" and "sleep it off," he asked her if she
was cheating on him. Shawntay again told him to go to sleep
and that nobody was cheating on him. Brian closed the door,
accused Shawntay of cheating, and told her that if he ever
found out that she was cheating, he would kill her and
whoever she was with. Shawntay testified that Brian then took
a samurai sword from the corner of their bedroom, held it to
her neck, and told her, "I could kill you right now if I
wanted to." Brian told her that he would find her if she
ever left him and that she better not take his kids. Shawntay
testified that she was scared that he was going to hurt her.
Brian then removed Shawntay's gun from the safe in their
closet and, sitting behind her, cocked the gun and pointed it
at her head. In an effort to keep him calm, Shawntay told him
to go to bed. She then told Brian "[y]ou know that
I'm afraid of you. I would never do anything like that to
you." Brian then walked around the side of the bed and
began choking Shawntay. When he stopped choking her, she
jumped up and ran to the bedroom door. Brian blocked her
exit, pushed her against the door, and tried to choke her
heard the commotion and got in between her parents to
separate them. Shawntay testified that Bresha told Brian,
"[y]ou're hurting my mom." Brian went to the
kitchen and asked the girls if they wanted something to eat.
Shawntay called the Pearland Police Department and two
officers arrived. They took statements from Shawntay, Brian,
and Bresha, and Brian was arrested. Afterwards, Shawntay
obtained a thirty-one day emergency protective order.
Shawntay moved out of their Pearland home on October 28,
that time, Shawntay worked as a school bus driver with
Pearland Independent School District. She testified that, on
one occasion, while Shawntay was sitting in her car in the
employee parking lot, Brian approached her and told her to
get out of the car so he could speak to her. When she
refused, he beat on the window several times and told her,
"[o]kay. Watch. You will see. I'm going to kill you,
Bitch." Shawntay called the police and Brian was
arrested for violating the emergency protective order. She
also testified that Brian would stand on her bus route and
stare at her as she drove by. Brian also came to her place of
work or her new residence several more times to try to
intimidate her. Brian also sent a text message to Shawntay to
let her know that he knew her apartment number, what side of
the building her apartment was located, and what was on her
balcony. On another occasion, Brian pulled up next to her
while she was at a red light, made eye contact with her, and
gestured as if holding a gun. Shawntay also testified that
Brian texted her, calling her a bitch and telling her that he
would kill her, and said things such as "If I go down,
we all go down."
left her job with Pearland ISD after she was diagnosed with
severe depression and had a nervous breakdown at work. She
was unemployed at the time of trial. Shawntay testified that
she feared Brian would continue threatening her without a
protective order in place. She also testified that ...