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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant, Oscar Brito Carrasco, was charged with the murder of his wife. At trial, he entered into a written stipulation admitting that he stabbed and killed his wife and agreeing that he would not object to certain items of evidence. The appellant stipulated that several exhibits would be admissible into evidence. He raised the affirmative defense of insanity. The trial ended with a hung jury and a mistrial. At his subsequent trial, the appellant objected to the admission of a stipulation. The trial court overruled his objection and noted that “the stipulation was made before any trial was had and it was made for trial purposes. The stipulation doesn’t say it was made for a trial on a particular date, and it was not withdrawn. It’s a live stipulation, and I am going to overrule your objection.” On appeal, the appellant argued “that the trial court erred by admitting into evidence Exhibit No. Twenty Five (25), which was a stipulation wherein Appellant admitted causing the death of the victim.” He claimed that “the stipulation had been offered and admitted during the original trial, which resulted in a hung jury. Since a new trial was ordered, this Exhibit could not again be offered without agreement from Appellant’s counsel.” The court of appeals overruled the appellant’s issue on appeal and affirmed his conviction. HOLDING:Affirmed. A trial court has discretion to set aside a stipulation. Franco v. State, 552 S.W.2d 142 (Tex. Cr. App. 1977). Here, the trial judge at the appellant’s second trial was the judge who signed the stipulation and had presided over the first trial. Thus, he was aware of the circumstances surrounding the stipulation. In ruling on the appellant’s objection, he noted that there is nothing in the stipulation limiting its use to the first trial. This is not a situation like those in Franco v. State or Huseman v. State, 17 S.W.3d 704 (Tex. App. – Amarillo 1999, pet. ref’d), cited by the appellant, in which the stipulations were made by defendants who pleaded guilty. There is nothing in the record indicating that the court abused its discretion by refusing to exclude the stipulation from evidence in the appellant’s second trial, the court concludes. OPINION:Womack, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Keller, P.J., and Price, Johnson, Keasler, Hervey, Holcomb and Cochran, JJ., joined. Meyers, J., filed a concurring opinion. Cochran, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Holcomb, J., joined. CONCURRENCE:Meyers, J. “Since the State chose another path for presenting the evidence, which abolished the reason the parties entered into the stipulation, the stipulation should have been rendered void. I would have considered the nullified purpose of the stipulation as well as analyzed the decision of the trial judge under Rule of Evidence 403 and held that he abused his discretion in admitting the stipulation into evidence.” CONCURRENCE:Cochran, J., filed a concurring opinion in which Holcomb, J., joined. “I join the majority opinion. I write separately only to emphasize that there is an important distinction between a stipulation of evidence and an admission of a party opponent, which may be contained within a stipulation. . . .” “I join the majority opinion and invite the interested reader to consult the informative opinion by the El Paso Court of Appeals in this case [Carrasco v. State, 122 S.W.3d 366 (Tex. App. El Paso 2003)].”

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