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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Appellant pleaded guilty to aggravated kidnapping. The trial court placed him on deferred- adjudication community supervision, but one month later, the state asked the trial court to proceed to adjudication. After a hearing, the trial court adjudged appellant guilty and sentenced him to 50 years’ imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Correctional Institutions Division. On appeal, the court of appeals dismissed the appeal for want of jurisdiction. Thereafter, appellant filed an application for writ of habeas corpus, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel because his attorney failed to argue that appellant had voluntarily released the victim in a safe place. This court granted the writ and remanded the cause to the trial court for a new punishment hearing on the issue of voluntary release. The trial court found that appellant had failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence that he had voluntarily released the victim in a safe place and reassessed the sentence of fifty years. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment and sentence. The record reflects that appellant and the complainant had lived together and had a son. At the time of the kidnapping, the complainant had moved with her son from the shared home to her mother’s home. The appellant kidnapped complainant by getting in her car and forcing her to drive to his house. The complainant testified that, during the drive to appellant’s home, she sought help from another motorist, but without result. When they arrived at appellant’s home, they entered and began to argue. At some point, they engaged in sexual activity, and then the complainant drove appellant to his bank and to Kroger’s grocery store to pay bills. During some of this time period, the complainant was left alone in the car with the car keys. The complainant’s prior statements indicate that, after they returned to appellant’s house, she tried to leave, but appellant restrained her and a few minutes later a Henderson police officer arrived and questioned the complainant outside appellant’s home. In appellant’s presence, the complainant denied that anything was wrong, but when appellant went into the house, leaving her alone with the police officer, she told the officer that she was there against her will. At the officer’s instruction, she drove away, leaving appellant at his house. The complainant conceded during cross-examination that “the thing that separate[d]” her from appellant was the Henderson police. Appellant was arrested at his home the next day. Appellant’s sole ground in his petition for discretionary review asserts that the court of appeals erred in its construction of voluntary release. HOLDING:The judgment of the court of appeals is affirmed. The court finds nothing wrong with the court of appeals’ discussion and application of the term “voluntary release.” It properly discusses and applies opinion Brown v. State, 98 S.W.3d 180 (Tex. Crim. App. 2003), in which the court favored a narrow definition of “voluntary release,” such as in the absence of rescue by the police or others or escape by the victim. The court of appeals also properly held that its holding in Carreon v. State, 63 S.W.3d 37 (Tex. App. Texarkana 2001, pet. ref’d) is consistent with Brown’s holding that “voluntary release” does not include rescue or escape. In Carreon, the court held that in order to trigger Texas Penal Code �20.04(d), an accused must have performed some overt and affirmative act that informs the victim that he has been fully released from captivity. The court of appeals also discussed the specific facts of this case, applied them properly in light of Brown’s definition of voluntary release, and correctly determined that there was sufficient evidence to support the trial court’s conclusion that appellant’s actions did not constitute voluntary release to trigger mitigation of [appellant]‘s punishment for aggravated kidnapping. The record, which includes testimony from both the complainant and appellant reflecting that the complainant did not actually extricate herself until police directly intervened, supports that holding. Further, even if the complainant had chosen to drive away from the bank or grocery without appellant, her actions would have constituted an escape, another contra-indication of voluntary release. OPINION:Johnson, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, joined by Price, Womack, Keasler, Hervey, and Cochran, J.J. Cochran, J., filed a concurring opinion. Keller, P.J., filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Meyers and Holcomb, J.J. CONCURRENCE:Cochran, J. “I add these comments only to emphasize that this appeal involves the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence to support the trial court’s rejection of appellant’s affirmative defense to aggravated kidnapping of voluntary release in a safe place. I agree with the Court of Appeals that, although”the evidence does reveal a reduction in Ballard’s control over Lambeth,’ it does not reveal a voluntary release of Lambeth. While there is conflicting evidence on the matter-and Lambeth’s testimony is not entirely clear on whether she felt free to leave-what is clear is that the trial court, acting as finder of fact in the face of conflicting evidence, was authorized to believe or disbelieve any portion of the evidence.” DISSENT:Keller, P.J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Meyers, and Holcomb, JJ., joined. “The basic question in this case is whether this constituted a voluntary release in a safe place. Our past attempts to explain the meaning of that phrase have worked fairly well for the particular facts presented to us in particular cases, but we do not seem to have been very successful at articulating a universal rule to guide litigants and judges. The Court of Appeals carefully analyzed the issue here with reference to our prior holdings, but I do not believe that our prior holdings are adequate to deal with the facts in this case. . . . “The Court’s opinion says that, even if the victim had chosen to drive away from the bank or grocery store without appellant, her actions would have constituted an escape. I disagree. At that point, by her own testimony, she was in her own car and”free to go.’ The only thing conceivably left to keep her there was the”psychological hold,’ which she couldn’t have escaped from by driving off anyway.”

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