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Criminal Law No. 937-02, 5/21/2003. Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS: The question presented is whether the court of appeals erred in upholding the trial court’s denial of appellant’s request for a hearing on his motion for new trial. HOLDING: Affirmed. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure article 40.001 provides that “[a] new trial shall be granted an accused where material evidence favorable to the accused has been discovered since trial.” Under that statute, a defendant is entitled to have his motion for new trial granted if 1. the newly discovered evidence was unknown to him at the time of trial; 2. his failure to discover the new evidence was not due to his lack of due diligence; 3. the new evidence is admissible and not merely cumulative, corroborative, collateral or impeaching; and 4. the new evidence is probably true and will probably bring about a different result in a new trial. Keeter v. State, 74 S.W.3d 31 (Tex.Crim.App. 2002). A defendant is entitled to a hearing on his motion for new trial if the motion and accompanying affidavit(s) “rais[e] matters not determinable from the record, upon which the accused could be entitled to relief.” Reyes v. State, 849 S.W.2d 812 (Tex.Crim.App. 1993). To be sufficient to entitle the defendant to a hearing, the motion for new trial and accompanying affidavit(s) “need not establish a prima facie case” for a new trial. Jordan v. State, 883 S.W.2d 664 (Tex.Crim.App. 1994). Rather, they “must merely reflect that reasonable grounds exist for holding that such relief could be granted.” Martinez v. State, 74 S.W.3d 19 (Tex.Crim.App. 2002). The purpose of the hearing is to give the defendant an opportunity to fully develop the matters raised in his motion. If the trial court denies a hearing on the motion for new trial and the defendant appeals from that denial, the appellate court must review the trial court’s decision for abuse of discretion. It is apparent on the face of the court of appeals’ opinion that the court used the wrong legal standard when it addressed the appellant’s claim that the trial court erred in denying his request for a hearing on his motion for new trial. The court of appeals asked only whether, on this record, the trial court could have reasonably denied the appellant’s motion for new trial, when the court of appeals should have asked whether, on this record, the trial court could have reasonably denied appellant a hearing on his motion for new trial. The court could, at this point, properly remand the case to the court of appeals so that it might apply the correct legal standard to appellant’s claim. Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 78.3; Loesch v. State, 958 S.W.2d 830 (Tex.Crim.App. 1997). However, acting within its discretion and in the interests of judicial economy, the court proceeds to explain why the court of appeals reached the correct result in this case, i.e., why the record shows no clear abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court in denying appellant a hearing on his motion for new trial. At the appellant’s trial five eyewitnesses, including the victim, positively identified the appellant as the assailant. Two other witnesses testified that they saw appellant leave the crime scene carrying a baseball bat. On this record, the trial court could have reasonably concluded 1. that the strength of the prosecution’s case was such that the new evidence suggested by the affidavits, even if true, was not compelling enough to probably bring about a different result in a new trial and, therefore; 2. that appellant’s motion and accompanying affidavits did not show that he could be entitled to relief. Thus, the court of appeals did not err in upholding the trial court’s denial of appellant’s request for a hearing on his motion for new trial. OPINION: Holcomb, J.; Keller, P.J., Meyers, Price, Keasler, Hervey and Cochran, JJ., join. Womack, J., did not participate DISSENT: Johnson, J., filed a dissenting opinion. “I agree with the Court’s analysis of the issues; I disagree only with its disposition. Because I believe that this cause should be remanded to the court of appeals for reconsideration under the correct legal standard, I respectfully dissent.”

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