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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Appellant was charged with evading arrest or detention in a motor vehicle. In an opening statement made before the state’s case-in-chief, defense counsel stated that appellant’s defense would be that he was not the person who evaded detention that day. During the trial, the state approached the bench and requested a hearing outside the presence of the jury, because it wished to offer evidence that was the subject of a motion in limine the trial judge had granted. The state wanted to offer a police officer’s testimony about finding a gun on the ground close to the driver’s side door to help establish that appellant had a motive for fleeing from the officer. After listening carefully to the officer’s testimony outside the presence of the jury and after considering the arguments of opposing counsel, the trial judge concluded that the testimony was admissible. During the defense’s case-in-chief, appellant called three witnesses, all of whom testified that a man named Marvin Edwards, not appellant, was the person who drove the vehicle and fled from Officer Spann. One of them testified that Edwards had “moved out of town, because of some charge or something that he supposedly got.” On rebuttal, the state called a parole officer to testify that appellant was on parole at the time of the offense and knew that his parole could be revoked for associating with people who carry firearms. No evidence was introduced regarding what offense was the basis for parole. Appellant was convicted and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. On appeal, appellant contended that the admission of evidence of the handgun and of his parole status violated Texas Rules of Evidence 404(b) and 403. The court of appeals held that the trial court had erred in admitting the evidence. After finding that the error was not harmless, the court reversed the conviction and remanded the case for a new trial. HOLDING:The judgment of the court of appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded. “Given that the jury in this case was not informed of the crime for which appellant was on parole, that the strength or weakness of the handgun’s connection to appellant reflected equally on the issues of probative value and prejudice, and that there was reason to believe that the State had a significant need for the evidence, we conclude that the trial court was within its discretion to hold that the probative value of the evidence was not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice. In holding to the contrary, the Court of Appeals failed to properly defer to the trial court’s decision.” OPINION:Keller, P.J., Meyers, Price, Womack, Keasler, Hervey, Holcomb and Cochran, JJ., joined. Johnson, J., concurred in the result.

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