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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On the night of June 3, 2004, appellant Juan Roberto Ramos Rodriguez shot Alejandro Romero six times, killing him. He then shot Baldemar Arzola three times. The shootings culminated an evening that began with appellant and Romero drinking beer together at the home of Juan Moncivais. Later, the drinking continued in the yard outside Romero’s and Arzola’s neighboring residences on the farm where all four men were employed. During the course of the evening, Romero told appellant that on another occasion Arzola said that he wanted to kill appellant. This upset appellant, who confronted Arzola about what he had said. Arzola and Romero assured appellant that Arzola had been drunk when he made the statement and had not meant it. This did not satisfy appellant, who eventually pulled a pistol from his pants and fired two shots into the ground at Romero’s feet. When Romero stepped forward, appellant shot him and then shot Arzola. Appellant testified that he believed that Romero and Arzola were armed with knives and about to attack him. He acknowledged, however, that neither man displayed a weapon. During earlier statements to the police, appellant said that he had meant to shoot Arzola but did not mean to shoot Romero. In its charge, the trial court instructed the jurors to find against appellant on the issue of self-defense if they believed beyond a reasonable doubt that he had provoked the difficulty or had sought out Romero and Arzola while unlawfully armed. The jury found appellant guilty of murder and assessed punishment at 40 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. The same jury found appellant guilty of attempted murder and assessed punishment at 20 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. On appeal, appellant asserted that in qualifying his right of self defense, the trial court erred by failing to require the jurors to agree unanimously as to whether he provoked the difficulty or unlawfully armed himself before seeking out Romero and Arzola or both. HOLDING:Affirmed. To ensure that the state’s burden of proof is met, jurors in the case were required to unanimously agree that the defendant’s conduct was not justified by self-defense, the court stated. It is not necessary, however, that they unanimously agree as to why, the court stated. Under the law of self-defense set forth in Texas Penal Code ��9.31-.32, the court stated, the jurors could have concluded that appellant’s use of deadly force against Romero and Arzola was not justified because: 1. Appellant did not reasonably believe that the use of deadly force was immediately necessary to protect himself from Romero’s and Arzola’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; 2. A reasonable person in appellant’s position would have retreated; 3. Appellant provoked Romero’s and Arzola’s use or attempted use of unlawful force; or 4. Appellant sought an explanation or discussion with Romero and Arzola while unlawfully carrying a firearm. Each of these reasons, the court stated, for rejecting appellant’s self defense claim results in the same conclusion: appellant was not justified in using deadly force under the circumstances and therefore guilty of murder and attempted murder. Therefore, the trial court did not err by failing to require a unanimous jury finding against appellant’s self defense claim, the court held. OPINION:Puryear, J.; Smith, Puryear and Waldrop, J.J.

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