JOHN PATRICK WALLACE, Appellant v. THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee
-- July 30, 2012
Opinion By Justice Moseley
A jury convicted John Patrick Wallace of burglary of a habitation. The trial court assessed punishment at eight years' confinement. In a single issue on appeal, Wallace contends the evidence is legally insufficient to support his conviction. The background of the case and the evidence adduced at trial are well known to the parties; thus, we do not recite them here in detail. Because all dispositive issues are settled in law, we issue this memorandum opinion. Tex.R.App. P. 47.2(a), 47.4. We affirm the trial court's judgment.
We apply the appropriate legal sufficiency standard of review. See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (1979); Adames v. State, 353 S.W.3d 854, 860 (Tex.Crim.App.2011), cert. denied,
132 S. Ct. 1763 (U.S.2012). In a legal sufficiency review, “we view all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict to determine whether any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.” Adames, 353 S.W.3d at 860. This standard “recognizes the trier of fact's role as the sole judge of the weight and credibility of the evidence after drawing reasonable inferences from the evidence.” Id.
A person commits burglary of a habitation if, without effective consent of the owner, he enters a habitation with the intent to commit theft. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 30.02(a) (West 2011). A defendant's unexplained possession of property recently stolen in a burglary permits an inference that the defendant is the one who committed the burglary. Rollerson v. State, 227 S.W.3d 718, 725 (Tex.Crim.App.2007); Poncio v. State, 185 S.W.3d 904, 905 (Tex.Crim.App.2006). The inference permitted is that the defendant is criminally responsible, at least as a party, for all property stolen during the burglary. Rollerson, 227 S.W.3d at 726.
The record contains evidence that Jim Frazier left his home in Plano around noon. When he returned around 4:00 p.m., he discovered someone had broken into his home and stolen a portable DVD player, a 27–inch television, a 35mm camera, and a hedge trimmer. Police recovered three of the items at two Dallas pawnshops. Wallace had pawned all three items on the day of the burglary using a false Oklahoma identification card.
The DVD player was pawned around 5:25 p.m. on the day of the burglary. A pawnshop employee identified Wallace as the person who pawned the DVD player. Surveillance video showed another man was with Wallace and that they attempted to pawn a camera. When Wallace was stopped for a traffic violation three days after the burglary, he was carrying the false Oklahoma identification.
Wallace tries to distinguish this case from Poncio on the basis of the difference in time between the burglary and the pawning of the stolen goods. In Poncio, the stolen property was pawned at pawnshop about a mile away from the home approximately thirty minutes after the owner left his house. See Poncio, 185 S.W.3d at 904. Here, the items were pawned about five hours after the owner left his house. The exact time of the burglary is unknown, but the time between the burglary and the pawning of the DVD player was at most five hours and could have been only an hour and a half. Whether property was so recently stolen that its possession raises a presumption of guilt is determined by the circumstances of each case. See Hardage v. State, 552 S.W.2d 837, 840 (Tex.Crim.App.1977). Based on all the evidence in the record, this time difference does not negate the inference arising from Wallace's unexplained possession of the stolen property only a short time after the burglary was discovered. See Rollerson, 227 S.W.3d at 725; Poncio, 185 S.W.3d at 904.
Wallace also contends his possession was not exclusive because of the presence of another man when he pawned the DVD player. However, the evidence indicates the other man was working in concert with Wallace by carrying the property into the shop while Wallace presented the false identification and signed the receipt. See Beard v. State, 458 S.W.2d 85, 87–88 (Tex.Crim.App.1970) (possession sufficiently established where defendant and another person were working together and exercising joint control and possession of stolen property); Vasquez v. State, 804 S.W.2d 606, 611 (Tex.App.—Dallas 1991, no pet.).
Considering all the evidence (including that summarized above) in the light most favorable to the verdict, we conclude a rational trier of fact could have found Wallace guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. See Jackson, 443 U.S. at 319; Adames, 353 S.W.3d at 860. Thus, we decide appellant's legal sufficiency issue against him. We overrule Wallace's sole issue on appeal.
We affirm the trial court's judgment.
Court of AppealsFifth District of Texas at DallasJUDGMENT
JOHN PATRICK WALLACE, Appellant
No. 05–10–00108–CR V.
THE STATE OF TEXAS, AppelleeAppeal from the 219th Judicial District Court of Collin County, Texas. (Tr.Ct.No.219–80315–08).
Opinion delivered by Justice Moseley, Justices FitzGerald and Richter participating.
Based on the Court's opinion of this date, the judgment of the trial court is AFFIRMED.
Judgment entered July 30, 2012.
JIM MOSELEY JUSTICE