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Click here for the full text of this decision The defendant’s Chicago statement, although powerful evidence by itself, contained essentially the same information as the Texas statements. The impact of the erroneously admitted statement when considered in connection with the videotaped statements was likely not significant. FACTS:Jaime Charles Nonn appeals from his conviction for capital murder. Texas Penal Code �19.03(2). Because the state chose not to seek the death penalty, the jury’s finding of guilt resulted in a sentence of life in prison. The court of appeals upheld his conviction. This court granted the appellant’s petition for discretionary review to determine whether the admission at trial of an out-of-state confession was governed by Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 38.22. HOLDING:Affirmed. Under Article I, �3 of the Texas Constitution, and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, all persons similarly situated are guaranteed equal protection under the laws of this state and of the United States. Vasquez v. State, 739 S.W.2d 37 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987). In this case, the appellant’s argument must fail because he and his codefendant, Marie Garcia Vega, were not “similarly situated.” Vega, unlike the appellant, was a juvenile at the time of her arrest. The admissibility of her statement was governed by the Texas Family Code, rather than by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Vega v. State, 84 S.W.3d 613 (Tex. Crim. App. 2002). Unlike the appellant, Vega did not make any subsequent statements to police in Texas. Therefore, her Chicago statement played a much more important role in the state’s evidence against her at trial. The court rejects the appellant’s equal protection argument. The appellant argues that the erroneous admission of his Chicago statement could have adversely affected the jury’s verdict because the state emphasized the statement during various stages of the trial, beginning with voir dire and continuing through closing arguments. Arguing that the videotaped confessions given to Texas law enforcement were fruits of the Chicago statement, and thus should not have been admitted, the appellant asserts that the remaining evidence of his guilt was “tenuous.” In Griffin v. State, 765 S.W.2d 422 (Tex. Crim. App. 1989), this court addressed the validity of the “cat out of the bag” theory. That theory posits that once a confession is obtained illegally, any subsequent statements may be tainted by the illegality infecting the first, inadmissible confession. On discretionary review, this court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals, pointing out that there was no evidence that the first statement, although inadmissible, was actually involuntary. Therefore, the warnings given before the subsequent statement sufficed to remove the conditions that precluded admission of the first statement. Although the appellant’s Chicago statement did not conform to the requirements of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 38.22, it did meet the criteria of Miranda, and appellant produced no evidence that the statement was not voluntary. Although the appellant was not aware that the Chicago statement could not be used against him, there is no indication that the making of that statement influenced the appellant’s decision to make further statements to Texas law enforcement authorities a month later. The Texas statements, which did conform to the requirements of Article 38.22, bear no indicia of having been coerced. Therefore, the Texas statements would, in all likelihood, have been admissible at trial even if the Chicago statement had been ruled inadmissible. Because the Texas statements contained much of the same information as the Chicago statement, the erroneous admission of the Chicago statement may not have had any significantly adverse effect on the jury’s verdict. Appellant argues that the state’s “repeated references” to the contents of the Chicago statement at trial are probative of its importance to the State’s case, and thus of the harm resulting from its erroneous admission. A review of the testimony and arguments at trial, however, reveals few specific references to the Chicago statement. Much of the evidence used against appellant at trial was obtained before appellant was arrested in Chicago, and thus is not traceable to the improperly admitted statement. Properly admitted evidence of guilt is one factor to be considered when performing a harm analysis under Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 44.2(b). Motilla v. State, 78 S.W.3d 352 (Tex. Crim. App. 2002). Another relevant factor is the character of the alleged error and how it might be considered in connection with other evidence in the case. The appellant’s Chicago statement was admitted at trial only after the jury had already heard the testimony regarding physical evidence, and had viewed the videotaped Texas statements. The Chicago statement, although powerful evidence by itself, contained essentially the same information as the Texas statements. The impact of the erroneously admitted statement when considered in connection with the videotaped statements was likely not significant. Even if the Texas statements had not been admitted, the Chicago statement would have added little to the circumstantial evidence presented by the state at trial. The court concludes that the erroneous admission of the appellant’s statement to Chicago law enforcement officers was harmless error. OPINION:Meyers, J.; Keller, P.J., Price, Womack, Keasler, Hervey, Holcomb and Cochran, JJ., join. Johnson, J., concurs.

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