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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On July 17, 1999, two motorboats collided on Lake Conroe. As a result, three passengers aboard one of the boats were killed. Contending that Reginald Eugene Morris operated one of the boats at the time of the collision, the state charged Morris with three separate counts of intoxication manslaughter. In July 2000, a jury found Morris guilty on each count. Morris appealed, and the 9th Court of Appeals reversed and remanded his case for a new trial because of errors in admitting and excluding evidence. Before his retrial, Morris asserted he was not competent to stand trial. At his competency trial in February 2004, however, a jury rejected that claim. Subsequently, in August 2004, the state again tried Morris on three counts of intoxication manslaughter, and once again the jury found Morris guilty on each charge. The jury assessed punishment on each count at 18 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. Morris appealed the jury’s finding in his competency hearing. He contends that the jury’s finding was against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence. Morris also appealed the jury’s finding of guilt in his August 2004 trial. He asserted that insufficient evidence supported his conviction and that the trial court made various errors in allowing and excluding evidence. Finally, Morris asserted that the trial court erred in cumulating his sentences. HOLDING:Affirmed as modified. Examing Morris’ incompetency claim, the court found that the Morris’ evidence did not establish that Morris: 1. was unable to consult with his attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding; 2. did not have a rational understanding of the consequences of the proceedings against him; or 3. did not have a factual understanding of the basis of the state’s claims at the time of trial. The jury’s verdict rejecting Morris’ claim of incompetency, the court held, was not against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence. The court then examined Morris’ evidentiary sufficiency point, finding that sufficient evidence supported his convictions. First, the court stated, the jury heard considerable evidence regarding the Wellcraft operator’s intoxication. Second, the court stated, the jury heard substantial evidence from which it could conclude that the operator of the Wellcraft drove at an unsafe speed. There was no dispute, the court stated, that the victims died from the injuries they suffered in the collision. The court concluded that there was sufficient evidence in the record from which the jury could find beyond a reasonable doubt that Morris’ conduct was a sufficient contributing cause of the collision and deaths. The jury could also find, the court stated, beyond a reasonable doubt that the Wellcraft operator’s intoxication contributed to the cause of the collision. As a result, the court affirmed Morris’ convictions. Finding that the trial court improperly cumulated Morris’ sentences, the court modified the judgment to provide that sentences for two counts against Morris run concurrently. In addition, the court stated, the trial court did not err in admitting Harrison’s testimony that lab test results showed Morris’ blood alcohol content to be 0.18. The court overruled Morris’ other complaints regarding the admission of evidence. Finally, the court noted that instead of making Morris’ sentence concurrent or consecutive, the trial court ordered Morris’ sentences to run partially concurrent and partially consecutive. The court noted Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 42.08(a), which stated that when a defendant has been convicted in two or more cases, “judgment and sentence shall be pronounced in each case in the same manner as if there had been but one conviction.” In light of Art. 42.08(a), the court found that the trial court erred by entering cumulation orders that partially cumulated Morris’ sentences with respect to his convictions on counts two and count three. To remedy the trial court’s error, the court set aside the trial court’s orders cumulating counts two and count three. The court then reformed the judgment so that Morris’ sentence on count three ran concurrently with his sentence on count two. OPINION:Horton, J.; McKeithen, C.J., and Gaultney and Horton, J.J.

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