Articles Posted in Robbery

During criminal trials in Texas, it is not uncommon for either party to use demonstrative evidence such as video or audio recordings, or charts or drawings, to make issues clearer for the jury and to help the jury understand the evidence. The jury is still required to determine whether a defendant is guilty based on the factual evidence presented, however. Thus, if the State presents demonstrative evidence that induces the jury to come to a decision based on matters not in evidence, it can result in an unfair verdict. A Texas appellate court recently analyzed when demonstrative evidence goes too far, in a case in which the State showed a video of a lion at the zoo trying to eat a baby during a robbery trial. If you are currently charged with robbery or any other crime it is essential to retain a knowledgeable Texas criminal defense attorney to defend you against the charges you face in hopes of allowing you to retain your rights.

The Alleged Robbery and Subsequent Trial

Allegedly, in 2015, the defendant entered a convenience store and when no one else was around went up to the cashier and stated it was a “stick up” and that he had a weapon. He never showed the cashier a weapon, however. He then demanded money from the cashier and took food and beverages as well before walking out. He was apprehended a short time later with the items and money he stole in a backpack. He did not have any weapons when he was stopped. He was subsequently charged with robbery.

It is reported that during the punishment phase at trial, the State showed a video of a lion behind glass at the zoo appearing to attempt to eat a baby. Defense counsel objected to the use of the video, but the objection was overruled. The State then likened the defendant to the lion, suggesting he posed a threat outside of jail and should receive an enhanced sentence. The defendant was subsequently sentenced to 50 years in prison, after which he appealed.
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Under Texas law, you can be convicted of a crime even if you did not actually partake in the crime if the state can show you aided in the planning and commission of the crime. This was illustrated in a recent case out of a Texas court of appeals, Wheeler v. Texas, in which the court upheld a conviction for armed robbery, based on testimony that the defendant was involved in the planning of the crime and drove the getaway vehicle, despite the fact he was not involved in the actual robbery. If you are charged with robbery, you should retain a knowledgeable Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to assess what evidence the state may introduce against you and to help you develop a plan that will provide you with a good chance for a favorable result under the circumstances of your case.

Facts Surrounding the Defendant’s Arrest and Conviction

A bank robbery occurred in December 2015. A car reportedly pulled up to a bank, and three men exited the car. One of the men was allegedly carrying a gun. A teller working in the bank ducked behind the counter and one of the men began hitting her and tried to drag her to the vault. The man then placed a gun in another bank employee’s face and demanded money. He then struck the second employee in the head with the gun and dragged her to the teller counter, where the employee proceeded to place money in a bag.

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