TELLY WAYNE FURY v. THE STATE OF TEXAS

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Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston (1st Dist.).

TELLY WAYNE FURY, Appellant v. THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee

NO. 01-04-00634-CR

Decided: February 18, 2010

Panel consists of Justices Jennings, Hanks, and Bland.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

A jury found appellant, Telly Wayne Fury, guilty of the offense of aggravated assault of a public servant 1 and assessed his punishment at confinement for 60 years.2  In two points of error, appellant contends that the evidence is legally insufficient to support the jury's finding that appellant's “hand and arm constituted a deadly weapon” and that the State's failure to produce photographs in violation of the trial court's discovery order precluded him from “fully evaluating” his case and pretrial matters and “effectively preparing trial strategy.”

We affirm.

Factual and Procedural Background3

Amanda Jones, the complainant, testified that while she was working as a jailer at the Texas City Jail, she instructed appellant to enter his cell.   Appellant then picked her up, threw her into the cell, pinned her against the wall, and choked her to the point that she “started not to breathe” and was lightheaded.   The complainant attempted to get her radio to call for help, but appellant knocked it out of her hand.   She could not breathe because appellant's arm was around her throat, and she feared for her life.   She then pleaded with appellant to stop, and she told appellant that she had children.   Appellant then pushed her up against the door, rubbed his penis on her, placed his hands on her breasts and her crotch, and rubbed her crotch.   Ultimately, after the complainant assured appellant that she would not tell anyone of the assault, appellant let her go and she called for assistance and exited the cell.

During his cross-examination of the complainant, appellant asked her, “You didn't have any injuries to photograph?” and the complainant answered, “No.” Later during cross-examination, appellant again asked the complainant about whether there were any photographs of her injuries.   This time, the complainant stated that there had been photographs taken of her injuries.   The following exchange took place:

[Appellant]:  So, all we really have is your word saying all this stuff happened.   We don't have any pictures.   We don't have any video.   We don't have any injuries.   All this horrible force was used.   You were thrown up against the wall.   You were choked until you were about to pass out and thought you were going to die.   Didn't even leave any red marks on your neck to take pictures of?

[Complainant]:  I believe there is pictures.   I'm not-that the jail should have.

[Appellant]:  That the jail should have?

[Complainant]:  We took pictures with our jail camera we use to take booking shots with.

[Appellant]:  Where are they?

[Complainant]:  I don't have no idea.   I don't work there anymore.

[Appellant]:  Pass the witness, Your Honor.

Following this testimony, appellant did not make any additional inquiry about the photographs.

Stephen Rodriguez, who was in the same cell as appellant at the time of the assault, testified that appellant grabbed the complainant, forced her into the cell, threw her into the wall, and put his arm around her neck.   The door to the cell then automatically shut and locked.   Rodriguez further testified that appellant started choking the complainant and fondling her.   Rodriguez noted that appellant had “a good grip” and that the complainant was choking, could hardly speak, and was gasping for air.   Rodriguez was afraid for the complainant's life.   While appellant was choking the complainant, appellant told her, “I could kill you bitch.”   Appellant also had his hands between the complainant's legs and was “humping” the complainant so it appeared he was trying to have sex with the complainant with his clothes on.   Appellant also warned Rodriguez, who was trying to calm appellant down, to “get back” or that he would kill the complainant.   After the complainant was able to get out of the cell, appellant told Rodriguez, “I was going to rape that bitch.”   During closing argument, appellant argued that the fact that the State did not present photographs of the complainant's injuries supported the defensive theory that the assault had not taken place as described by the complainant.   Specifically, appellant argued:

We have absolutely no injuries.   We have no videos.   We have no photographs.   If there had been substantial injuries-actually that's not true.   Ms. Jones said photographs were taken.   Do you think that if they helped get a conviction of [appellant] that they would have found them?   I'll put it to you that there was nothing on the photographs to help the State's case and that's why they're not here.

The jury found that appellant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to the complainant with his hand or arm, and that appellant, through the use of his hand or arm, used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault.

Following his conviction, appellant timely filed a new trial motion,4 in which he alleged that “the verdict was contrary to the law and evidence.”   He also asserted that the State's failure to produce the photographs referred to by the complainant during her cross-examination violated the trial court's discovery order and constituted grounds for a new trial under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194 (1963).   The trial court, after two hearings,5 granted appellant's motion for new trial.6

The State, in a separate appeal, challenged the trial court's order granting appellant's motion for new trial, and we abated appellant's appeal pending the outcome of the State's appeal.   See State v. Fury, 186 S.W.3d 67 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, pet. ref'd).   The State, in its appeal, contended that (1) the trial court erred in granting appellant's motion for new trial on a ground not pleaded by appellant, (2) the evidence was legally and factually sufficient to sustain appellant's conviction, and (3) there was no Brady violation to support granting appellant's motion for new trial.   See id. 69-70.   On October 20, 2005, in this separate appeal, we held that the trial court abused its discretion in granting appellant's motion for new trial.7  Id. at 75-76.   Accordingly, we vacated the trial court's order granting appellant's motion for new trial and remanded the cause to the trial court for entry of judgment consistent with the jury's verdict.  Id. at 75-76.   We then ordered appellant to proceed with the instant appeal from his conviction, which we now consider.8

Photographs

In his first point of error, appellant argues that the State's failure to produce photographs in violation of the trial court's discovery order precluded him from “fully evaluating” his case and pretrial matters and “effectively preparing trial strategy.”   The State responds that the photographs of the complainant's injuries were consistent with her testimony and were cumulative and corroborative of the other evidence presented to the jury.   The State also contends that appellant's failure to request a continuance after he became aware of the photographs during trial waived any complaint about the State's alleged violation of the discovery order.

We previously considered nearly identical arguments presented by appellant and the State in the State's appeal, and we held that the trial court abused its discretion in granting appellant's new trial motion.  Fury, 186 S.W.3d 72-74.   Appellant, in the instant appeal, effectively asks us to reconsider our prior ruling that the trial court would have erred in granting appellant a new trial on grounds of a discovery order violation, a Brady violation, or newly discovered evidence.   As we noted in our prior opinion, under Brady, the State has an affirmative duty to disclose evidence “favorable and material to a defendant's guilt or punishment under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”   Id. at 73 (citing Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87-88, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 1196-97 (1963));  see also Harm v. State, 183 S.W.3d 403, 406 (Tex.Crim.App.2006);  Thomas v. State, 841 S.W.2d 399, 407 (Tex.Crim.App.1992).   A defendant is entitled to a new trial if (1) the State suppresses evidence, (2) the evidence is favorable to the accused, and (3) the evidence creates a probability sufficient to undermine the confidence in the outcome of the proceeding, i.e., the evidence is material.  Harm, 183 S.W.3d at 406;  Thomas, 841 S.W.2d at 404.   In regard to the second prong, “[f]avorable evidence is any evidence that, if disclosed and used effectively, may make a difference between conviction and acquittal and includes both exculpatory and impeachment evidence.”  Harm, 183 S.W.3d at 408.   “Exculpatory evidence may justify, excuse, or clear the defendant from fault, while impeachment evidence is that which disputes or contradicts other evidence.”  Id. “Incorporated into the third prong, materiality, is a requirement that [the] defendant must be prejudiced by the State's failure to disclose the favorable evidence.”  Id. at 406.

A motion for new trial based upon newly discovered evidence “shall be granted an accused where material evidence favorable to the accused has been discovered since trial.”  Fury, 186 S.W.3d at 73 (citing Tex.Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art 40.001 (Vernon 2006));  see also Keeter v. State, 74 S.W.3d 31, 36 (Tex.Crim.App.2002).   Texas courts have used a four-part test in determining whether a trial court may grant a new trial based on newly discovered evidence:  (1) the newly discovered evidence was unknown or unavailable to the movant at the time of his trial;  (2) the movant's failure to discover or obtain the evidence was not due to a lack of diligence;  (3) the new evidence is admissible and is not merely cumulative, corroborative, collateral, or impeaching;  and (4) the new evidence is material and would probably cause a different result in another trial.9   Fury, 186 S.W.3d at 73 (citing Keeter, 74 S.W.3d at 36-37;  Moore v. State, 882 S.W.2d 844, 849 (Tex.Crim.App.1994);  State v. Reynolds, 893 S.W.2d 156, 159 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, no pet.)).

In the instant case, once the complainant stated that there had been photographs taken of her injuries with the jail camera and that the jail should have the photographs, appellant did not request a continuance or take any additional action to obtain and review the photographs.  Fury, 186 S.W.3d at 74.   Instead, appellant argued to the jury that the lack of photographic evidence of the complainant's injuries actually supported his defense and cast doubt on the complainant's and Rodriguez's testimony about the violence of appellant's assault on the complainant.   Appellant waited until after the jury had found him guilty before complaining, for the first time in his motion for new trial, about the complainant's disclosure of the existence of the photographs.   We noted, in the State's appeal, that by waiting to raise this issue for the first time in his motion for new trial, appellant either waived any Brady error or failed to show that any Brady error prejudiced him.   Id.

Again, we note that the trial court, after its review of the photographs, concluded that the photographs revealed marks on the complainant's neck, redness on her neck, face, ears and arms, and possible bruising of her arms.   The trial court stated that the photographs “appeared to show injuries consistent” with the complainant's trial testimony.   We have reviewed the photographs, and, like the trial court, we conclude that the photographs are supportive of the complainant's trial testimony and that she had visible redness and injuries on her neck and face.   The photographs contradict appellant's theory at trial that there must have been “absolutely no injuries” to the complainant because the State did not produce photographic evidence of the injuries.   Accordingly, we conclude that appellant failed to show that any Brady error occurred or that any Brady error prejudiced him.   See id.

Similarly, in regard to any complaint about newly discovered evidence raised in appellant's brief, the record establishes that appellant became aware of the photographs during his cross-examination of the complainant.   Appellant's failure to request a continuance waives any complaint regarding this “newly discovered evidence” or the State's violation of a discovery order.   See id. (citing Williams v. State, 995 S.W.2d 754, 762 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1999, no pet.);   see also Lindley v. State, 635 S.W.2d 541, 544 (Tex.Crim.App.1982).   Furthermore, appellant has failed to show that this evidence was unknown or unavailable to him at the time of his trial or that his failure to discover or obtain the photographs was not due to a lack of diligence.   Although the complainant initially stated that there were no photographs of her injuries, she later unequivocally stated that there were photographs of her injuries and that the photographs were taken with the jail's camera.   Finally, as noted by the trial court, the photographs supported the complainant's and Rodriguez's testimony that the complainant had suffered injuries in the attack.   The photographs depict significant red marks to the complainant's face and neck.   Thus, we conclude that the photographs were merely cumulative and were corroborative of the testimony presented to the jury.   The photographs are not at all favorable to appellant and do not undermine our confidence in the outcome of the trial.   See Harm, 183 S.W.3d at 406;  Thomas, 841 S.W.2d at 404.

Accordingly, we hold that appellant was not entitled to a new trial on the grounds of newly discovered evidence, a Brady violation, or the violation of a discovery order.   We further hold that appellant, who elected not to seek a continuance and who used the lack of photographic evidence to argue to the jury that the complainant had not been injured in the assault, was not entitled to a new trial based upon his argument presented in this appeal that he was precluded from fully evaluating his case and preparing his trial strategy.10

We overrule appellant's first point of error.

Legal Sufficiency

In his second point of error, appellant argues that the evidence is legally insufficient to support the jury's finding that his “hand and arm constituted a deadly weapon” because there is no evidence that he used, or intended to use, them in a manner capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.   Appellant asserts that there is no testimony in the record “with regards to any martial arts training, special skills or unusual strength of appellant,” appellant did not kill the complainant, and the complainant's injuries “were neither serious nor permanent.”   Appellant also asserts that his conviction is based solely on the “emotionally fueled testimony of two lay witnesses” and there is no medical testimony showing that the complainant's feelings of numbness, shortness of breath, or nearing unconsciousness directly resulted from the assault.

We review the legal sufficiency of the evidence by considering 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 offense beyond a reasonable doubt.  Williams v. State, 235 S.W.3d 742, 750 (Tex.Crim.App.2007) (citing Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 318-19, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 2788-89 (1979)).   In doing so, we give deference to the responsibility of the fact-finder to fairly resolve conflicts in testimony, to weigh evidence, and to draw reasonable inferences from the facts.  Id. However, our duty requires us to “ensure that the evidence presented actually supports a conclusion that the defendant committed” the criminal offense of which he is accused.  Id.

A person commits the offense of aggravated assault of a public servant if he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another whom the person knows is a public servant while the public servant is lawfully discharging an official duty, and the person uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault on the public servant.  Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 22.02 (Vernon Supp.2009).

A “deadly weapon” includes “anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.”  Texas Penal Code Ann. § 1.07(a)(17)(B) (Vernon Supp.2009).  “ ‘Bodily injury’ means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.”   Id. § 1.07(a)(8).   A hand or a foot may be a deadly weapon within the meaning of section 1.07(a)(17) “depending upon the evidence shown.”  Lane v. State, 151 S.W.3d 188, 191 (Tex.Crim.App.2004) (citing Turner v. State, 664 S.W.2d 86, 90 (Tex.Crim.App.1983)).   Indeed, almost anything can be a deadly weapon depending upon the evidence shown.  Id. at 191, n.4. The injuries, if any, inflicted on the complainant are factors to be considered in determining whether a hand or a foot was used as a deadly weapon.  Id. at 191.   The jury may also consider all the surrounding facts, including the defendant's words.  Blain v. State, 647 S.W.2d 293, 294 (Tex.Crim.App.1983).   Expert or lay testimony may be “independently sufficient” to support a jury's deadly weapon finding.   Banargent v. State, 228 S.W.3d 393, 398-99 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2007, pet. ref'd) (citing English v. State, 647 S.W.2d 667, 668-69 (Tex.Crim.App.1983)).

The complainant testified that appellant picked her up with his hands and threw her into the jail cell, appellant used his hands to pin her against the wall and choked her to the point that she “started not to breathe” and was lightheaded.   She feared that appellant was going to kill her as a result of choking her.   Rodriguez, the other inmate in the cell at the time of the assault, testified that appellant grabbed the complainant, forced her into the cell, threw her into the wall, and put his arm around her neck.   He further testified that the doors to the cell automatically shut and locked and appellant started choking the complainant and fondling her.   Rodriguez specifically testified that appellant had “a good grip” and that the complainant was choking, could hardly speak, and was gasping for air.   Rodriguez was also afraid for the complainant's life.   Additionally, while appellant was choking the complainant, appellant told her, “I could kill you bitch,” and, when Rodriguez tried to intervene, appellant told him to “get back” or that he would kill her.   Rodriguez further testified that, after the complainant was able to get out of the cell, appellant told Rodriguez that he was going to rape the complainant.

Considering all of the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, we conclude that a rational trier of fact could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant's hand and arm, given the manner of his use and intended use of them, were capable of causing death and serious bodily injury.   Accordingly, we hold that the evidence is legally sufficient to support appellant's conviction.

We overrule appellant's second point of error.

Conclusion

We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

FOOTNOTES

FN1. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 22.02 (Vernon Supp.2009)..  FN1. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 22.02 (Vernon Supp.2009).

FN2. As is explained in greater detail below, appellant appealed his conviction, but also filed a motion for new trial, which the trial court granted.   The State, in a separate appeal, challenged the trial court's new-trial order.   We abated appellant's appeal pending the outcome of the State's appeal.   On October 20, 2005, we issued an opinion in which we held that the trial court abused its discretion in granting appellant a new trial, we vacated the trial court's order granting a new trial, and we remanded the cause to the trial court for entry of judgment consistent with the jury's verdict.   See State v. Fury, 186 S.W.3d 67, 75-76 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, pet. ref'd).   We then ordered appellant to proceed with the instant appeal.   We now consider this appeal after the removal of appellant's prior counsel..  FN2. As is explained in greater detail below, appellant appealed his conviction, but also filed a motion for new trial, which the trial court granted.   The State, in a separate appeal, challenged the trial court's new-trial order.   We abated appellant's appeal pending the outcome of the State's appeal.   On October 20, 2005, we issued an opinion in which we held that the trial court abused its discretion in granting appellant a new trial, we vacated the trial court's order granting a new trial, and we remanded the cause to the trial court for entry of judgment consistent with the jury's verdict.   See State v. Fury, 186 S.W.3d 67, 75-76 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2005, pet. ref'd).   We then ordered appellant to proceed with the instant appeal.   We now consider this appeal after the removal of appellant's prior counsel.

FN3. We previously summarized the factual background in the State's appeal.   See id. at 69-72..  FN3. We previously summarized the factual background in the State's appeal.   See id. at 69-72.

FN4. Appellant also filed a notice of appeal following his conviction..  FN4. Appellant also filed a notice of appeal following his conviction.

FN5. At a hearing on appellant's motion for new trial, the State informed the trial court that, per its instructions, it had investigated the matter and recovered from the Texas City Police Department eleven photographs taken of the complainant after the assault.   Once these photographs were produced, although appellant conceded that the photographs showed that the complainant was “red all over somehow,” he contended that the redness might be due to a printer malfunction and that the photographs were somehow mitigating.   Appellant further contended that the trial court had broad discretion to grant a new trial “in the interest of justice.”In response, the State argued that the photographs, which showed extensive redness to the complainant's face and neck, defeated appellant's trial position that there was no photographic evidence of the complainant's injuries and, thus, the photographs were detrimental to appellant's defensive theory.   The State also emphasized that it was only obligated to prove that appellant used his hands in a manner capable of causing death or serious bodily injury..  FN5. At a hearing on appellant's motion for new trial, the State informed the trial court that, per its instructions, it had investigated the matter and recovered from the Texas City Police Department eleven photographs taken of the complainant after the assault.   Once these photographs were produced, although appellant conceded that the photographs showed that the complainant was “red all over somehow,” he contended that the redness might be due to a printer malfunction and that the photographs were somehow mitigating.   Appellant further contended that the trial court had broad discretion to grant a new trial “in the interest of justice.”In response, the State argued that the photographs, which showed extensive redness to the complainant's face and neck, defeated appellant's trial position that there was no photographic evidence of the complainant's injuries and, thus, the photographs were detrimental to appellant's defensive theory.   The State also emphasized that it was only obligated to prove that appellant used his hands in a manner capable of causing death or serious bodily injury.

FN6. The trial court issued a memorandum explaining its ruling, and stated,The basis for [appellant's] motion was the testimony of the complaining witness ․ on cross-examination, wherein she stated unequivocally that photographs had been taken of her shortly after the assault to document her injuries.   Timely request had been made by the defendant and an agreed discovery order signed for “all photographs taken, or used, in the course of the investigation of this case” to be produced to the defendant.   However, the photographs referred to by [the complainant] were not disclosed by the State at any time prior to or during trial.․At the subsequent hearing ․ the State produced ten (10) photos of the complaining witness showing marks on her neck, redness on her neck, face, ears and arms and possible bruising of her arms.   The photos appeared to show injuries consistent with her testimony at trial.The Court does not believe that the failure of the State to produce and disclose the photos prior to trial was intentional or in bad faith.   But in light of [the complainant] stating without hesitation on cross that photographs were taken, it appears that the State inadvertently or negligently failed to make sufficient inquiry as to their existence.What effect the photos would have had on the jury during the case in chief or punishment is open to speculation.   The most important implication of their absence is the inability of the defense to evaluate the potential effect of this evidence pre-trial, thus effecting [sic] the ultimate decision of whether to enter into a plea agreement with the State or proceed to jury trial.Because of the violation of the discovery order to produce the photographs, the defendant's [motion for new trial] will be granted..  FN6. The trial court issued a memorandum explaining its ruling, and stated,The basis for [appellant's] motion was the testimony of the complaining witness ․ on cross-examination, wherein she stated unequivocally that photographs had been taken of her shortly after the assault to document her injuries.   Timely request had been made by the defendant and an agreed discovery order signed for “all photographs taken, or used, in the course of the investigation of this case” to be produced to the defendant.   However, the photographs referred to by [the complainant] were not disclosed by the State at any time prior to or during trial.․At the subsequent hearing ․ the State produced ten (10) photos of the complaining witness showing marks on her neck, redness on her neck, face, ears and arms and possible bruising of her arms.   The photos appeared to show injuries consistent with her testimony at trial.The Court does not believe that the failure of the State to produce and disclose the photos prior to trial was intentional or in bad faith.   But in light of [the complainant] stating without hesitation on cross that photographs were taken, it appears that the State inadvertently or negligently failed to make sufficient inquiry as to their existence.What effect the photos would have had on the jury during the case in chief or punishment is open to speculation.   The most important implication of their absence is the inability of the defense to evaluate the potential effect of this evidence pre-trial, thus effecting [sic] the ultimate decision of whether to enter into a plea agreement with the State or proceed to jury trial.Because of the violation of the discovery order to produce the photographs, the defendant's [motion for new trial] will be granted.

FN7. In support of our holding, we concluded that appellant had waived any Brady error, had failed to show that any Brady error prejudiced him, had waived any complaint regarding newly discovered evidence, and had failed to show that the complained of evidence was unknown or unavailable to him at the time of his trial or that his failure to discover or obtain the photographs was not due to a lack of diligence.  Fury, 186 S.W.3d at 74-75.   We noted that the photographs were consistent with the complainant's testimony and were merely cumulative and were corroborative of the evidence presented to the jury.   See id. at 74.   We also held that the trial court would have abused its discretion in granting a new trial on the ground that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the conviction.  Id. at 74-75.  FN7. In support of our holding, we concluded that appellant had waived any Brady error, had failed to show that any Brady error prejudiced him, had waived any complaint regarding newly discovered evidence, and had failed to show that the complained of evidence was unknown or unavailable to him at the time of his trial or that his failure to discover or obtain the photographs was not due to a lack of diligence.  Fury, 186 S.W.3d at 74-75.   We noted that the photographs were consistent with the complainant's testimony and were merely cumulative and were corroborative of the evidence presented to the jury.   See id. at 74.   We also held that the trial court would have abused its discretion in granting a new trial on the ground that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the conviction.  Id. at 74-75

FN8. We issued our opinion in the State's appeal on October 20, 2005.   Fury, 186 S.W.3d 67.   The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused appellant's petition for discretionary review from our judgment in the State's appeal on April 26, 2006.   We reinstated appellant's appeal on June 19, 2006.   On July 31, 2006, appellant's appointed counsel withdrew, and new counsel was appointed.   However, appellant's counsel did not file a brief and, in 2007, we abated the appeal for the trial court to make appropriate findings as to whether appellant wished to pursue his appeal and, if so, the appointment of counsel.   On September 6, 2007, after the trial court made its findings, new counsel was appointed, and we subsequently reinstated the appeal and ordered appellant's counsel to file his brief by October 12, 2007.   Appellant's counsel sought briefing extensions, which we granted, but counsel never filed a brief or any other communications with this Court explaining the status of the appeal.   On January 9, 2009, we abated the appeal for a third time.   In this order, we concluded that good cause existed to relieve appellant's counsel of his duties because he had not timely filed a brief.   We again directed the trial court to make appropriate findings as to whether appellant wished to prosecute this appeal and, if so, the appointment of counsel.   New counsel was appointed, and, on April 14, 2009, we reinstated the appeal..  FN8. We issued our opinion in the State's appeal on October 20, 2005.   Fury, 186 S.W.3d 67.   The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused appellant's petition for discretionary review from our judgment in the State's appeal on April 26, 2006.   We reinstated appellant's appeal on June 19, 2006.   On July 31, 2006, appellant's appointed counsel withdrew, and new counsel was appointed.   However, appellant's counsel did not file a brief and, in 2007, we abated the appeal for the trial court to make appropriate findings as to whether appellant wished to pursue his appeal and, if so, the appointment of counsel.   On September 6, 2007, after the trial court made its findings, new counsel was appointed, and we subsequently reinstated the appeal and ordered appellant's counsel to file his brief by October 12, 2007.   Appellant's counsel sought briefing extensions, which we granted, but counsel never filed a brief or any other communications with this Court explaining the status of the appeal.   On January 9, 2009, we abated the appeal for a third time.   In this order, we concluded that good cause existed to relieve appellant's counsel of his duties because he had not timely filed a brief.   We again directed the trial court to make appropriate findings as to whether appellant wished to prosecute this appeal and, if so, the appointment of counsel.   New counsel was appointed, and, on April 14, 2009, we reinstated the appeal.

FN9. We note that motions for new trials based on the grounds of newly discovered evidence are not favored by the courts and are viewed with great caution.  State v. Reynolds, 893 S.W.2d 156, 159 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, no pet.)..  FN9. We note that motions for new trials based on the grounds of newly discovered evidence are not favored by the courts and are viewed with great caution.  State v. Reynolds, 893 S.W.2d 156, 159 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1995, no pet.).

FN10. Again, we note that the photographs are not exculpatory, actually support the complainant's testimony, and contradict appellant's trial theory.   We find no support for appellant's argument that a defendant is entitled to a new trial when the State discovers or discloses, after conviction, evidence that is actually supportive of a complainant's trial testimony against him.   Appellant's argument that he was deprived of an opportunity to evaluate the evidence before trial disregards the fact that the evidence was never presented to the jury..  FN10. Again, we note that the photographs are not exculpatory, actually support the complainant's testimony, and contradict appellant's trial theory.   We find no support for appellant's argument that a defendant is entitled to a new trial when the State discovers or discloses, after conviction, evidence that is actually supportive of a complainant's trial testimony against him.   Appellant's argument that he was deprived of an opportunity to evaluate the evidence before trial disregards the fact that the evidence was never presented to the jury.

Terry Jennings Justice

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