Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
appeal from the 319th District Court of Nueces County, Texas.
Chief Justice Contreras and Justices Longoria and Hinojosa
OPINION ON REMAND
L. LONGORIA JUSTICE
to publishing our memorandum opinion, the State filed a
motion requesting that we publish the opinion. We grant the
State's motion. Accordingly, this Court's memorandum
opinion issued on October 31, 2019, is hereby withdrawn and
the following is substituted therefor.
case was remanded to us by the Texas Court of Criminal
Appeals. Hyland v. State, 574 S.W.3d 904, 916 (Tex.
Crim. App. 2019). The Court concluded that the police
officer's affidavit as excised by the trial court
established probable cause, reversed our previous judgment,
and remanded the cause to us to address appellant Richard
Hyland's remaining points of error. Id. at 916.
The Court did not disturb our conclusion that the evidence
was sufficient to support the operation and causation
elements of an intoxication manslaughter offense. See
Hyland v. State, No. 13-16-00596-CR, 2018 WL 1633487, at
*12-13 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi-Edinburg Apr. 5, 2018) (mem.
op., not designated for publication). Accordingly, on remand,
we now must determine (1) whether the evidence was sufficient
to support a deadly weapon finding and (2) whether "the
trial court should have suppressed the results of the third,
warrantless search" of Hyland's blood. We affirm.
Deadly Weapon Finding
first issue, Hyland contends that the evidence was
insufficient to support the finding that he used or exhibited
a deadly weapon-namely, a motorcycle-during the commission of
the offense of intoxication manslaughter.
Standard of Review and Applicable Law
test for determining whether the evidence is sufficient to
support a criminal conviction is whether any rational trier
of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime
beyond a reasonable doubt after viewing the evidence in a
light most favorable to the prosecution. Drichas v.
State, 175 S.W.3d 795, 798 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005).
weapon" is defined as: (A) a firearm or anything
manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of
inflicting death or serious bodily injury; or (B) anything
that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of
causing death or serious bodily injury. Tex. Penal Code Ann.
§ 1.07(a)(17). A motorcycle is not "manifestly
designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting
death or serious bodily injury[.]" Tex. Penal Code Ann.
§ 1.07(a)(17)(A). But it may, "in the manner of its
use or intended use [be] capable of causing death or serious
bodily injury." Id. § 1.07(a)(17)(B);
Nguyen v. State, 506 S.W.3d 69, 76 (Tex.
App.-Texarkana 2016, pet. ref'd) (a motor vehicle may be
a deadly weapon where "the vehicle was intentionally,
recklessly or negligently used as a weapon by the
accused"). In any felony offense in which it is
"shown" that the defendant "used or exhibited
[a] deadly weapon" during the commission of the offense
or in immediate flight therefrom, the trial court
"shall" enter a deadly weapon finding in the
judgment. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 42A, 054(c). Such a
deadly weapon finding impacts a convicted felon's
eligibility for community supervision, parole, and mandatory
supervision. See id.; Tex. Gov't Code Ann.
§§ 508.145(d)(1), 508.149(a)(1), 508.151(a)(2);
Moore v. State, 520 S.W.3d 906, 908 (Tex. Crim. App.
justify a deadly weapon finding under § 1.07(a)(17)(B),
the State needs to establish only that "the manner"
in which the motorcycle was either used or intended to be
used was "capable" of causing death or serious
bodily injury. See Tucker v. State, 274 S.W.3d 688,
691 (Tex. Crim. App. 2008). When assessing a defendant's
manner of driving, we examine whether a defendant's
driving was reckless or dangerous. Couthren v.
State, 571 S.W.3d 786, 790 (Tex. Crim. App. 2019). To
support a deadly weapon finding, there must be evidence that
the manner of driving was capable of causing death or serious
bodily injury apart from the fact of a collision and the
defendant's intoxication. Id.
evening of May 30, 2014, Jaime Doherty was killed in a
motorcycle accident in Corpus Christi, Texas. Three witnesses
testified that they observed different portions of the events
leading to the accident: Juan Ledesma, Phyllis Ledesma, and
Ledesma testified that around 10:50 p.m., he was driving
eastbound with his wife Phyllis when a motorcyclist emerged
from the parking lot of the Frontier Saloon. According to
Juan, the motorcyclist went "shooting across the
road" and cut him off. Juan jammed his brakes to avoid
hitting the motorcycle, and the driver of the motorcycle
swerved into the westbound lane to avoid the Ledesmas'
vehicle. The motorcyclist then veered back into the eastbound
lane. Juan saw that the driver of the motorcycle was male,
and his passenger was a woman with long blonde hair flowing
from under her helmet. Ahead was an intersection where cars
were stopped at a red light, and the motorcyclist was forced
to hit the brakes and swerve to one side of a vehicle to
avoid a collision. Juan testified that the motorcyclist then
"popped the clutch on the motorcycle," jolting the
bike forward, and his female passenger nearly fell off the
back. Both Juan and ...