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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Kevin Lee Allen and the complainant developed a pattern of separation and reconciliation during their rather short-lived romantic relationship. They began dating on Jan. 1, 2004, and shortly thereafter Allen moved in with the complainant. By April they were fighting, separating and reconciling. According to Allen, the complainant occasionally called him and answered his telephone calls, thus encouraging him to call more frequently. Allen called her hundreds of times from July 1 through July 4, 2005. Complainant spent the night of July 4 with Allen at his parents’ house. In the early morning hours of July 10, 2005, the complainant encountered a law enforcement officer at a restaurant. The officer noticed the constant cell phone calls and asked the complainant if she would like to stop them. The officer then spoke with Allen and advised the complainant not to go home. The complainant went to the sheriff’s department. Allen called her several more times. The complainant answered the phone and warned him to stop calling. After leaving the sheriff’s department, she realized that Allen was driving closely in the vehicle directly behind her. She drove to a friend’s house, got out and ran to the front steps. Allen caught her, threw her to the ground and took her cell phone. After the attack, the complainant called the police, who arrested Allen on July 10, 2005. The complainant obtained a protective order. Allen called her three times from the jail. She was with the sheriff when Allen called, and the calls stopped after that; however, Allen started writing a series of letters while in custody. The officer who spoke with Allen from the restaurant testified that Allen reacted belligerently to the suggestion that he stop calling the complainant. According to the officer, Allen screamed and cursed, and also implied that his position as a former deputy and as the son of a captain in the sheriff’s department would insulate him from negative consequences for his actions. The officer testified about telling Allen that he had been warned and he needed to leave the complainant alone. A short time later, Allen called the complainant again. When police arrested Allen three hours later, he told the arresting officer repeatedly that he loved the complainant and he could not leave her alone. A jury convicted Allen of stalking. The trial court assessed a nine-year sentence as punishment. In three appellate issues, Allen challenges the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence supporting the verdict and argues the trial court reversibly erred in admitting evidence of extraneous acts during the guilt phase of the trial. HOLDING:Affirmed. In conducting its legal and factual sufficiency review of Allen’s stalking conviction, the court noted that when viewed in isolation, the complainant’s “apparent willingness to be with Allen for an extended period of time [on July 4, 2005] might call into question her fear of bodily injury and the appellant’s awareness of that fear.” But the court found that in the context of their relationship, “the jury could reasonably believe that the complainant spent the Fourth of July with Allen precisely because she feared him.” Similarly, the court found that a reasonable jury could have found that Allen made “hundreds” of calls for the purpose of intimidating the complainant into staying with him, and that Allen’s conduct included a threat of bodily injury to the complainant. The court found ample evidence that Allen engaged in a scheme or course of conduct. A telephone company representative produced records of the cell phone calls made on a phone in Allen’s possession from July 1 through July 12, 2005. The complainant identified her telephone number and literally hundreds of calls by Allen to that number over the space of a few days. The court also found that the record contained evidence of physical violence that preceded and accompanied the pattern of telephone calls “from which the jury could infer both objective and subjective awareness of a threat of bodily injury” necessary to sustain a conviction for stalking. The complainant, the court noted, testified that Allen physically assaulted her on five separate occasions. Allen’s defense attorney, the court stated, argued to the jury that telephone messages for the complainant did not contain overt threats of bodily injury. But the court found that the jury could also rationally conclude that Allen’s behavior, which persisted after a police officer warned him to stop, revealed a subjective awareness that his actions had placed the complainant in fear of bodily injury. Furthermore, the jury could rationally find that a reasonable person in the position of the complainant would be in fear of bodily injury or death. In addition, the court found the evidence supporting the verdict was not so weak as to undermine confidence in the verdict. Thus, the court found the evidence legally and factually sufficient. Finally, Allen contended that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of extraneous acts in the guilt phase of the trial. But the court found that evidence of similar behavior in Allen’s previous relationship that resulted in a protective order and criminal charges was relevant to refute Allen’s claim “that he was oblivious to the possibility that the object of his affections would perceive this sort of attention as threats and be placed in fear.” Thus, the court found that because the state could have developed this testimony regarding Allen’s extraneous acts of conduct in its case-in-chief, the trial court did not err in permitting the state to develop this testimony in its cross-examination of a defense witness. OPINION:McKeithen, C.J.; McKeithen, C.J., Gaultney and Kreger, J.J.

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