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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On Feb. 7, 2005, the state filed an information alleging that on October 24, 2004, Jerry Dwayne Laird “did then and there unlawfully, intentionally or knowingly cause, allow, or permit outdoor burning.” On June 3, 2005, Laird filed a motion to quash the information, stating that the information failed to give him adequate notice of the charges brought against him because of the vagueness and lack of specificity in the information. On June 29, 2005, the state filed a motion to amend the information, and on Aug. 2, 2005, after hearing arguments on Laird’s motion to quash and the state’s motion to amend the information, the trial court granted both the state’s motion to amend and Laird’s motion to quash. The state’s amended information alleged that Laird “did then and there unlawfully, intentionally or knowingly cause, allow, or permit outdoor burning, to wit: Jerry Wayne [sic] Laird burned domestic and non-domestic waste including an appliance and electrical wire.” During the hearing, Laird made several arguments contending that the information was insufficient. First, Laird asserted that the information spoke only in general terms of the Texas Administrative Code and that as a result, the information would be insufficient to clearly inform a jury what statute Laird had allegedly violated. Second, Laird contended that his motion to quash the information should have been granted due to the vagueness of the word “appliance.” Finally, Laird complained that the information did not allege all elements of the offense because it failed to sufficiently negate the exceptions to the offense. In its sole point, the state argued that the trial court abused its discretion by granting the motion to quash because the information set forth all of the elements of the offense, sufficiently negated the exceptions to the offense and provided sufficient notice to Laird of the charges being brought against him. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The court rebuffed Laird’s first argument that the information was insufficient to informa a jury what statute Lard violated, stating the purpose of an information is to notify the accused of the charged offense and its elements so that he may properly prepare his defense. The court did not find the terms “appliance” and “electrical wire” vague, stating they merely described the type of nondomestic waste that Laird was alleged to have burned outdoors and thus were descriptive evidentiary matters that the state need not have pleaded in order to provide sufficient notice to Laird. Finally, the court held that the language provided sufficient notice to Laird that the outdoor burning of which he was accused was not permitted by any exception to the law’s prohibition of outdoor burning. Therefore, the court stated, because the information negated the exceptions to the offense, the information sufficiently alleged all elements of the crime that the state charged Laird had committed. OPINION:McCoy, J.; Walker, and McCoy, J.J. DISSENT:Dauphinot, J. “I must respectfully dissent . . . . An information must allege in plain and intelligible language all the facts and circumstances necessary to establish all the material elements of the offense charged. Merely listing every possible alternative pleading permitted by the code provision and referring generally to other code provisions by number does not satisfy this requirement.”

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