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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Appellant participated in a conspiracy to kidnap Hector Salinas, a potential government witness in a pending federal drug trial. Salinas was taken from his used-clothing store in McAllen and transported to Mexico, where he was tortured and killed. HOLDING:The court reverses the judgment of the court of appeals as to the capital-murder conviction, and remands the matter to that court. After reviewing the aggravating factors set out in Texas Penal Code 19.03(a)(1-8), the court is persuaded that the Legislature’s inclusion of the elements of 19.02(b)(1) in the capital-murder statute only by reference was not intended to require that the murder be committed in Texas, but was an expression of the Legislature’s desire to limit capital murder to intentional and knowing murders that are committed in circumstances that the Legislature found particularly egregious. In Patrick v. State, 906 S.W.2d 481(Tex. Crim. App. 1995), this court discussed the elements that the state is required to prove in a prosecution for capital murder: “In proving capital murder, the State must prove that the accused intentionally or knowingly caused the death of an individual and also that the accused engaged in other criminal conduct (i.e., kidnapping, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, escape from a penal institution) or had knowledge of certain circumstances (i.e., that the victim was a peace officer). We have therefore recognized that capital murder is a result of conduct offense which also includes nature of circumstances and/or nature of conduct elements depending upon the underlying conduct which elevates the intentional murder to capital murder.” Thus, under the court’s case law, the aggravating “nature of circumstances and/or nature of conduct elements” are elements of the offense of capital murder. In this case, the state alleged and proved murder in the course of kidnapping. The kidnapping was the required aggravating “nature of conduct” element that elevated the offense from murder to capital murder. The kidnapping occurred in Texas, thus Texas has territorial jurisdiction over the offense under Texas Penal Code 1.04(a)(1). OPINION:Johnson, J., delivered the unanimous opinion of the court.

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