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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On the evening of May 2, 2003, Billy Williams went to a bar in Houston with several friends, including Sequinia Moore and Lonnie Harris. The appellant, Tracy Lamar Payne, and his brother Taft were also at the bar that evening. Both appellant and Taft knew Williams and his friends. A disagreement arose between Taft and Williams and the two began arguing. Williams was killed during a fight in the parking lot of the bar sometime after this argument, and his death was caused by multiple stab wounds accompanied by blunt impact trauma to the head. In separate statements to police, Moore and Harris said that Taft, appellant, and Williams exited the bar and began fighting outside; that appellant struck Williams on the head, knocking him to the ground; that one of the two brothers yelled, “Let’s go!”; that both brothers then fled the scene; and that Taft folded a knife and put it in his pocket as he fled. Jimmy Wheeler, who had been aat the bar, identified appellant from a photo lineup. He told police appellant invited Williams to “go outside” where appellant and another man “jumped” Williams in the parking lot. Appellant and Taft were arrested and charged with murder. The appellant was convicted for the murder of Billy Williams. HOLDING:Affirmed. Wheeler testified that appellant invited Williams outside, where Taft was waiting. Both Moore and Harris testified that appellant struck Williams, causing him to fall to the ground, and Moore testified that Taft and appellant continued the attack together. Moore further testified that the two men fled the scene together at appellant’s urging. All three witnesses agreed that appellant participated in the fight. The court concludes that a rational trier of fact could find beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant’s actions were intended to and did aid Taft in causing Williams’s death with a knife. Because the evidence is legally sufficient to support appellant’s conviction as a party in the stabbing. A rational jury could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant intentionally aided his brother in stabbing Williams to death. The appellant argues the evidence was insufficient to warrant a charge allowing the jury to convict him as either a principal or a party in causing Williams’s death with a knife. The evidence is legally and factually sufficient to support appellant’s conviction under the law of parties. Although the prosecutor stated that some members of the jury could believe appellant acted as a principal, the state did not encourage the jury to reach that conclusion, nor did it direct the jury to any evidence that would support appellant’s guilt as a principal. The court concludes that any error in authorizing the jury to convict appellant as a principal was harmless. OPINION:Guzman, J.; Fowler, Frost and Guzman, J.J.

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