Appeal from the 207th District Court Comal County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. CR2016-899.
consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Keyes and
Radack Chief Justice.
found Anthony Jamal Cunningham guilty of the capital murder
of Christopher Lowe. The trial court sentenced Cunningham to
life in prison as statutorily required. In one issue,
Cunningham contends that the evidence was insufficient to
support the judgment of conviction.
night of August 24, 2016, Zoie B.; her mother, Denise; and
Zoie's friend, Sunee S., went to a few bars in New
Braunfels, Texas. After leaving the last bar, the hood of
Zoie's truck flew open, and they could not close it.
Sunee called her friend, Luis DeLeon, to come help with the
was DeLeon's friend, and he went with DeLeon to help with
Zoie's truck. After some effort, they realized that they
did not have the proper tools to fix the hood.
truck was drivable, and the group convinced her to take it to
a storage facility where DeLeon rented a storage unit and
kept his tools. DeLeon had constructed a makeshift apartment
in the storage unit and was living there. As they drove to
the storage facility, DeLeon and Cunningham rode in
DeLeon's car. Zoie, Denise, and Sunee followed in
Christopher Lowe had jumped the fence to the storage facility
and had entered DeLeon's storage unit to retrieve
property, including a cell phone, that had been taken from
him. Lowe was still in DeLeon's storage unit as
DeLeon's car and Zoie's truck neared the storage
facility. When they were about half a mile from the storage
facility, Sunee answered a call on Zoie's phone. After
ending the call, Sunee immediately called DeLeon. When he
answered, Sunee screamed into the phone: "Lowe. Lowe.
Get Lowe in the storage unit."
entrance to the storage facility, DeLeon got out of his car,
retrieved a baseball bat from the trunk, and got back into
the car with the bat. DeLeon then quickly drove away from the
entrance into the storage complex. Sunee urged Zoie to follow
DeLeon, yelling, "Go, go, go. Get 'em. Get 'em.
Go, go, go." Zoie followed DeLeon and within a minute
arrived at the storage unit.
Zoie pulled up, the overhead door to the storage unit was
raised. Inside the storage unit, Lowe was on a bed in the
corner. DeLeon was repeatedly striking Lowe with the baseball
bat while Cunningham repeatedly punched Lowe with his fists.
and Sunee got out of the truck, and Sunee ran into the
storage unit. She jumped on the bed and started punching
Lowe. Zoie saw DeLeon continually strike Lowe in the head
with the baseball bat, and Cunningham repeatedly punched Lowe
in the head with his fists. Sunee was standing on the bed
over Lowe punching him from above wherever she could land a
blow. Lowe was screaming for help and kept a defensive
posture with his arms up to protect his head and his legs
tucked against his body.
by what she was witnessing, Zoie decided to leave with
Denise. However, when she reached the front of the storage
facility, the gate would not open without a passcode, which
she did not know. Zoie then drove back to the storage unit.
door to the storage unit was closed, but after about 30
seconds, the door opened. Inside, Zoie saw Lowe standing up
from the bed. DeLeon was striking Lowe in his ribs with the
bat telling him, "go, go, go," while Cunningham
punched Lowe in the side. Zoie and Denise saw that Lowe was
bleeding. DeLeon and Cunningham were yelling at Lowe,
ordering him to walk out of the storage unit. Lowe was
responding that he could not see. Lowe was unsteady on his
feet, appeared disorientated, and had difficulty walking.
Cunningham and DeLeon began pushing Lowe out of the storage
unit. DeLeon left and moved his car closer to the unit while
Cunningham pushed Lowe toward the car.
opened the rear passenger door of his car, and Cunningham
forced Lowe into the backseat. Lowe tried to get out of the
vehicle; half of his body was inside the car and half was
outside. Cunningham slammed the car door into Lowe.
Cunningham then pushed Lowe all the way into the car and
slammed the door shut. At trial, Zoie testified that she knew
Lowe was still alive when Cunningham forced him into the car
because she could see Lowe moving and heard Lowe making
got into the car with DeLeon and they left the storage
facility with Lowe. Zoie and Denise followed the car out of
the storage facility but later returned. Zoie was worried
that DeLeon and Cunningham might return and harm Sunee. Zoie
found Sunee cleaning the bloodstains from the storage unit.
couple of hours after DeLeon and Cunningham left, they
returned to the storage unit without Lowe. DeLeon told Sunee
and Zoie that Cunningham had stabbed Lowe "in the
forehead" and "in the jugular." Zoie saw
Cunningham laughing when DeLeon said that Cunningham had
stabbed Lowe in the forehead.
body was discovered later that day in a historic New
Braunfels's cemetery. The following day, Zoie and Denise
went to the police to report what they had witnessed at the
storage facility relating to Lowe's death.
Cunningham, and Sunee were taken into custody. The police
noted that DeLeon and Cunningham each had cuts on their hands
known as "slip injuries." At trial, slip injuries
were described as injuries typically seen when one person
stabs another and loses his ...