Appeal from the 228th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 1456812
consists of Justices Christopher, Bourliot, and Spain.
Frances Bourliot, Justice.
Davis challenges the legal sufficiency of the evidence in
support of his capital murder conviction and challenges the
constitutionality of his mandatory life sentence. The State
charged appellant by indictment with capital murder, alleging
that he intentionally caused the death of the complainant
while burglarizing or attempting to burglarize a habitation.
In the course of committing the offense, appellant entered
the apartment that he previously had shared with his
ex-girlfriend. Appellant contends his ex-girlfriend did not
have a greater right to possess the apartment and thus the
jury's finding that he committed burglary is not
supported by legally sufficient evidence. Because we conclude
otherwise and because appellant waived his constitutional
challenges, we affirm.
and his ex-girlfriend, Ms. Daniels, began dating in 2013.
They moved into an apartment in November 2014 that had been
leased by Daniels' cousin, Michael Rose. Rose allowed
Daniels and appellant to live together in the apartment. They
did not sign a lease, but both had keys. Rose paid the
mid-December, appellant told Daniels that he wanted to move
out. When he did so, he left a television and some other
personal items. Appellant later attempted to reconcile with
Daniels, but she did not want to resume the relationship. In
the meantime, Daniels had begun dating Searrier Smith.
appellant moved out, he still had his key but never used it
to reenter the apartment. Rose testified that both Daniels
and appellant had permission to come and go from the
apartment as they pleased. Rose thought that appellant was
"coming and going from the apartment as the relationship
was on and off," but Daniels testified that appellant
did not return to the apartment until the morning of the
offense or possibility the night before.
early February 2015, Daniels was staying with Smith at his
mother's house and "[e]very now and then . . . but
not every night" staying in the apartment. One night,
Daniels and Smith spent the night in the apartment. Daniels
testified that appellant called Daniels about 20 times that
night and someone knocked on the door. She assumed it was
appellant but did not open the door.
next morning, Daniels and Smith were in bed while appellant
persistently knocked on the door. He started beating on the
door and yelling at Daniels to open it. Appellant called
Daniels and told her he brought her breakfast and wanted to
take her to work. She said she did not want any breakfast or
a ride to work. The knocking stopped, so Daniels assumed
appellant had left.
came back and began beating on the door again. Daniels called
Rose and asked him to tell appellant "to stop knocking
at the door because if something gets broken, I don't
want to be responsible for it." Rose responded,
"Nah, you tell him" and "If you have a
problem, call the police." At some point during this
timeframe, appellant called Daniels and told her, "if he
couldn't have [her], can't nobody have [her]."
Daniels hung up on him.
and Smith were still in the apartment when they heard a loud
boom-the sound of appellant breaking the window. Appellant
came in through the window and ran toward Daniels. Appellant
brought two butcher knives, began stabbing Daniels, and said,
"Bitch, you gonna die today."
came up behind appellant while he was attacking Daniels.
Daniels looked at Smith, alerting appellant that Smith was
there. Appellant turned around and was surprised to find a
man with Daniels. Appellant stabbed Smith in his abdomen.
Smith said, "Bro, you stabbed me," fell to his
knees and onto his face, and never got up again.
went back to stabbing Daniels. He then dragged Smith to the
window, kicked him multiple times in the face, and said,
"This is my woman. She belongs to me. . . . And you over
here trying to F her." Appellant turned back, grabbed
Daniels by the head, stabbed her again, and cut around her
neck. He walked back to Smith and checked Smith's pulse.
Daniels then closed her eyes and pretended to be dead.
Appellant walked on her from her head to her feet. He then
washed his hands and checked ...