Court of Criminal Appeals Update: Daniel v. State

Court of Criminal Appeals

Daniel v. State

No. AP-77,034

Case Summary written by Luke Luttrell, Staff Member.

JUDGE MEYERS delivered the opinion of the court.

In February 2014, a jury convicted the appellant of the capital murder of a police officer—Jaime Padron—and the trial judge sentenced the appellant to death. Direct appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals is automatic. Upon appeal, the appellant raised three points of error.

In his first point of error, the appellant asserted that the evidence was insufficient to support the jury’s answer to the future dangerousness special issue. The appellant believed that applying the Keeton criteria of future dangerousness review showed that he was not a future danger. He argued that he acted without forethought and deliberateness because he was highly intoxicated on Xanax bars at the time and suffering from depression. The court disagreed. The court found that the evidence showed that he went to Wal-Mart to shop lift and brought a loaded gun because he “was foreseeing cops preventing [him] form leaving the store.” It also found that he had an escalating pattern of disrespect for the law. Therefore, point of error one was overruled.

In the appellants’ second point of error, he complained about the trial court’s refusal to grant his challenge for cause against prospective juror Marcus Reading. The appellant argued that Reading was challengeable for cause because he had a bias or leaning towards death in a case involving the death of a police officer. The court found that the record showed that the appellant did not request additional strikes or identify an objectionable juror who sat on the jury. Consequently, he did not demonstrate harm and point of error two was overruled.

In appellant’s third point of error, he contended that the trial court erroneously denied his right “to fully voir dire the State’s expert witness, Dr. Mauro, as to her basis and opinion and that violated Texas Rule of Evidence 705(b). The court found that the record showed that the trial court permitted the appellant to examine Mauro about the underlying facts or data in accordance with Rule 705(b). To the extent that the appellant was complaining that the trial court improperly limited his voir dire examination of Mauro, he failed to preserve the complaint for review. Therefore, point of error number three was overruled and the judgment of the trial court was affirmed.