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August v. State

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District

November 5, 2019

ADRIENNE DERAY AUGUST, Appellant
v.
THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee

          On Appeal from the 506th Judicial District Court Waller County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 17-04-16006

          Panel consists of Chief Justice Frost and Justices Wise and Hassan.

          OPINION

          Meagan Hassan Justice

         Appellant Adrienne Deray August was convicted of burglary of a habitation and sentenced to 20 years' confinement. In three issues, Appellant asserts (1) the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress; (2) the evidence is legally insufficient to support his conviction; and (3) the trial court erred by denying his motion for new trial. For the reasons below, we reverse Appellant's conviction and remand the case for a new trial.

         Background

         Appellant was arrested and charged with burglary of a Brookshire apartment. Before he proceeded to trial, Appellant filed a motion to suppress eyewitness Daniel Glover's identification of Appellant as one of the suspects involved in the burglary. Glover observed the burglary during the early-morning hours of January 25, 2017; he said he heard glass breaking and watched three individuals carrying plastic bags and other objects from a downstairs apartment to a car parked out front. Glover later was presented with Appellant and two other men at a show-up identification. After a hearing, the trial court denied Appellant's motion to suppress.

         Appellant's three-day trial was held in May 2018. After the close of evidence, the jury found Appellant guilty. Appellant timely appealed.

         Analysis

         Appellant asserts three issues on appeal:

1. The trial court abused its discretion by denying Appellant's motion to suppress Glover's out-of-court identification.
2. The evidence is legally insufficient to support Appellant's conviction for burglary of a habitation.
3. The trial court abused its discretion by denying Appellant's motion for new trial.

         With respect to Appellant's second issue, we conclude his conviction is supported by legally sufficient evidence. Turning to Appellant's first issue, we conclude the trial court abused its discretion by denying Appellant's motion to suppress. Based on our disposition of this issue, we do not address Appellant's third challenge with respect to his motion for new trial.

         I. Legally Sufficient Evidence Supports Appellant's Conviction for

         Burglary of a Habitation.

         We begin by addressing Appellant's second issue which, if sustained, would be dispositive of his appeal. See, e.g., Wyatt v. State, 367 S.W.3d 337, 340 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2012, pet. dism'd). Appellant argues the evidence is legally insufficient to support his conviction for burglary of a habitation because "the only evidence linking appellant to this offense is the testimony of law enforcement that the witness identified appellant on the scene."

         A. Standard of Review and Governing Law

         For a legal-sufficiency challenge, we view the evidence adduced at trial in the light most favorable to the verdict and determine whether any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. See Williams v. State, 937 S.W.2d 479, 482-483 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996) (citing Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (1979)). A person commits burglary of a habitation if, without the consent of the owner, the person enters the habitation and commits or attempts to commit theft. Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 30.02(a)(3) (Vernon 2019). The Penal Code defines "enter" as intruding with any part of the body or any physical object connected with the body. Id. at (b). A person ...


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