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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On Nov. 16, 2003, Ishmael Salahud-din visited his brother and his brother’s fiancee at an apartment complex in Corpus Christi. Early that morning, his brother and his brother’s fiancee got into a loud argument. Officers Philip Blintiff and Brian Crown responded to 911 calls from concerned residents of the apartment complex. When Blintiff and Crown arrived at the apartment complex, Salahud-din was standing outside in the parking lot with his brother and his brother’s fiancee. While Crown was speaking with Salahud-din’s brother and his fiancee, Blintiff patted down Salahud-din and found on his person a bag containing a small amount of marijuana. He arrested Salahud-din for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and placed him in handcuffs in the back of his police car. Salahud-din managed to pull out of the handcuffs and escape the police car through a rear window. He then ran to his car in the parking lot and retrieved a gun. Unable to apprehend Salahud-din, Blintiff returned to his police car and called for backup. Officer Jose Smith was the first to arrive on the scene and was almost immediately shot in the face by Salahud-din. Blintiff looked to the general area where Smith had been shot and witnessed Salahud-din standing over Smith. Fearing that Salahud-din was about to murder Smith, Blintiff ran towards Salahud-din and fired two or three shots at him. A gunfight ensued and Blintiff called again for more backup. Officers Israel Carrasco and Pedro Muniz responded to Blintiff’s second call and arrived at the scene of the gunfight within minutes. Salahud-din shot Carrasco twice and Blintiff once during the continuing gunfight. Having been awakened by the commotion, Officer Javier Cantu, an off-duty police officer living at the apartment complex, arrived at the scene partially in uniform. After observing Salahud-din lying underneath a car and firing a weapon, Officer Cantu shot him twice in the legs. The police then arrested Salahud-din and searched his car, where they found nearly 40 grams of cocaine. A jury convicted Salahud-din on five counts of attempted capital murder, one count of unlawful possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver and one count of escape. Salahud-din received life sentences for each count of attempted capital murder and escape and a 99 year sentence for the count of cocaine possession. Salahud-din appealed. His first point of error alleged that the trial court’s failure to order a competency hearing denied him his due process rights to a fair and impartial trial. His second point of error alleged that both the trial court’s jury charge and the indictment omitted an essential element of the offense of attempted capital murder and thereby denied him his due process rights to a fair and impartial trial. HOLDING:Affirmed. Addressing the first point of error, the 13th Court of Appeals noted that the conviction of an accused person while he is legally incompetent violates due process. A trial court must inquire into the accused’s mental competence once the issue is sufficiently raised, the court stated. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 46B.003(a), the court explained, provides that a person is incompetent to stand trial if the person does not have: 1. sufficient present ability to consult with the his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding; or 2. a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him. None of the evidence available during trial, the court stated, suggested that Salahud-din was incompetent to stand trial as defined by the statute. The court noted that: There was no evidence indicating recent severe mental illness, moderate mental retardation or truly bizarre acts by Salahud-din; Salahud-din testified in his own defense at trial; and Salahud-din lucidly answered questions from both defense counsel and the State as he attempted to establish self-defense as the justification for his actions. As a result, the court held that the trial court’s failure to order a competency hearing during trial did not constitute an abuse of discretion. Addressing Salahud-din’s second point of error, the court held that the jury charge in the case was sufficient, because it tracked the indictment and correctly applied the law to the facts. And because Salahud-din failed to object to the allegedly defective indictment before trial, the court forbid him from raising that issue on appeal. OPINION:Castillo, J.; Valdez, C.J., and Yanez and Castillo, J.J.

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