Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Tim Sims, Michael Hoetzlein and Michael Nestico, three college students, were vacationing in South Padre Island when they were robbed at gunpoint by Hijinio Trevino and two co-defendants. The robbery occurred while the students walked were walking from a restaurant on the island to their condominium and a Cadillac with Ohio license plates stopped approximately three feet in front of them. Sims testified that Trevino stepped out of the back seat of the car and told the complainants to stop and give him their wallets. When Sims heard this he turned around and saw Trevino holding a gun to Hoetzlein’s head. Hoetzlein gave Trevino the beer he was carrying but did not give him his wallet. Trevino then turned the gun on Sims and asked for his wallet and the beer he was carrying. Sims’ wallet was in a bag with a container of beer, so he gave his wallet and beer to Trevino. Trevino then turned the gun on Nestico and took his beer. All three complainants identified Trevino as the gunman and said they saw two other people in the car. Sims identified his stolen credit cards, which were found in the car. The state moved to revoke Trevino’s probation based on this alleged aggravated robbery. The state’s motion to revoke probation alleged that Trevino violated the terms of his probation by failing to satisfy several administrative conditions of probation and by committing another offense against the state of Texas. After hearing the testimony of the investigating officers, the complainants in the second offense and the community supervision officer, the trial court found that Trevino committed another offense against the state of Texas and revoked Trevino’s probation. HOLDING:Affirmed. In his first point of error, Trevino contended that the trial court erred in permitting Detective Jaime Rodriguez to testify about what Trevino’s co-defendant said in his statement following the aggravated robbery of the complainants. Trevino objected at trial that he was deprived of his Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him. The 14th Court of Appeals, however, found that Trevino could not avail himself of the protections of the confrontation clause. The court joined other Texas courts of appeals and the majority of the federal courts of appeals in concluding that, because a probation revocation hearing is not a criminal prosecution, the protections of the confrontation clause do not apply. Trevino further contended that the testimony was inadmissible hearsay. The state argued that a hearsay exception applied, because Rodriguez’s testimony about a co-defendant’s statements falls under an exception to the hearsay rule. Without addressing the hearsay argument, the court found that the testimony was cumulative. The improper admission of evidence, the court stated, is not reversible error if the same or similar evidence is admitted without objection at another point in the trial. In this case, all three complainants identified Trevino as the man who exited the car and pointed the gun at them. Therefore, the court found that any error that the trial court committed in admitting Gonzalez’ statement was harmless. The 14th Court found that, as the trial court is the sole judge of the credibility of the witnesses, the trial court could have found by a preponderance of the evidence that Trevino violated the terms of his probation. Finally, in his sixth point of error, Trevino argued that the trial court erred in ordering the sentences in both convictions to run consecutively where the indictments alleged offenses committed during the same criminal episode and Trevino was prosecuted in the same criminal action. Because Trevino failed to establish that the offenses arose out of the same criminal episode and that the state prosecuted them in a single criminal action, the court held that the trial court properly cumulated the sentences. OPINION:Hedges, C.J.; Hedges, C.J., and Fowler and Edelman, J.J.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.