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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Appellant Renard B. murdered his girlfriend Serena Martinez while his two children, S.B. and Y.B., were present. Previously, while the couple had lived together, they often quarreled, neither S.B. nor Y.B. attended school regularly, and the power and water in their home had been turned off at least once. Officer Matthew Hardy testified that appellant had admitted to stabbing both Serena and Raul “Ricky” Hernandez at Serena’s home and then attempting suicide at his own residence. Appellant also admitted that although 4-year-old Y.B. and 5-year-old S.B. were not in the same room of the stabbing, they were at Serena’s house when it occurred. Additionally, S.B. stated that he saw appellant cut Ricky, saw appellant jump on Serena and saw Serena’s bloody body after appellant had stabbed her. For months after that, S.B. would only talk about Serena’s death. Y.B. stated that she was in the living room when appellant called Serena a “bitch,” slapped her and then pulled out a knife and stabbed her. Y.B. also saw Serena’s bloody body after the stabbing. Evidence at trial also showed that appellant had used crack cocaine and marijuana, had cared for the children while using drugs and had abused Serena on more than one occasion. The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services filed suit to terminate the parent-child relationship between Renard B. and his two children, S.B. and Y.B. At the time of the termination proceeding, appellant was awaiting trial for murdering Martinez and Hernandez. Before the trial to terminate appellant’s parental rights but while appellant was incarcerated, appellant refused to correspond with S.B. or Y.B., did not complete any tasks on his Child Protective Services (CPS) plan and did not attempt to contact CPS about the children. Appellant timely filed a notice of appeal contesting the trial court’s order terminating his parental rights. Appellant contended that 1. His trial counsel was ineffective; 2. The trial court erred by admitting hearsay statements from and a videotape interview of S.B. and Y.B.; and 3. The evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the trial court’s endangerment findings and best interest findings under Texas Family Code �161.001(1)(D) and (E). Appellant properly presented review only his hearsay challenge to the children’s counselor’s statements, his legal and factual sufficiency challenges to the trial court’s endangerment findings and his factual sufficiency challenge to the trial court’s best interest finding. HOLDING:Affirmed. Appellant, the court stated, asserted that counselor Dee Dee Thompson’s testimony regarding S.B.’s and Y.B.’s statements was inadmissible hearsay because the trial court admitted the statements without complying with the procedural requisites of Texas Family Code �104.006. Specifically, the court stated, appellant complained that the trial court failed to ascertain whether the children were available to testify in any manner as required by �104.006(1) and whether the counselor’s testimony was necessary to protect the children’s welfare as required by �104.006(2). But even if the trial court had erroneously admitted Thompson’s testimony into evidence, the court found that the Thompson’s statements were cumulative other properly admitted testimony that the children were home when appellant stabbed Serena and Ricky. Based on its review of the entire record, the court concluded that a fact-finder could reasonably form a firm belief or conviction that appellant engaged in conduct that endangered the physical or emotional well-being of S.B. and Y.B. Therefore, it held that the evidence was legally and factually sufficient to support the trial court’s finding. In addition, even without considering appellant’s stabbing of Serena and Ricky and its impact on S.B. and Y.B., the court held that the evidence supported a finding that appellant was indifferent to his children’s physical and emotional safety during much of their young lives. This evidence, the court found, supported the trial court’s finding that termination of Renard B.’s parental rights was in the best interest of the children. OPINION:Livingston, J.; Livingston, Dauphinot and Holman, J.J.

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