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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On June 9, 2004, a Harris County grand jury returned an indictment charging Michael Eugene McGee with aggravated robbery under Texas Penal Code �29.03(a)(2). The indictment alleged, for purposes of punishment enhancement, two prior felony convictions. On Feb. 15, 2005, the state brought McGee to trial before a petit jury on his plea of not guilty. At the guilt stage of the trial, complainant Dorothy O’Brien testified that: 1. on the night of April 16-17, 2004, she catered a bachelorette party in Houston; 2. sometime after 1 a.m., after she had completed her catering job, she drove her car to a service station to buy gasoline; 3. when she exited her car, McGee, whom she did not know, grabbed her from behind, put a knife to her throat, pushed her back into her car, and instructed her to drive away, with himself as a passenger; 4. shortly thereafter, McGee took the steering wheel and drove the two of them to a vacant apartment, where he held her prisoner for eight hours; and 6. after that time, McGee left the apartment and drove away in her car. McGee took the witness stand in his defense and denied any wrongdoing. According to McGee: 1. at about 8:30 p.m. on the night in question, he met O’Brien at a friend’s house in Houston; 2. he and O’Brien drank alcoholic beverages and conversed there until about midnight, at which time she offered to drive him home; 3. since O’Brien was too intoxicated to drive, he drove them both, in her car, to another friend’s vacant apartment, so that they could “sober up” before morning; 4. he and O’Brien talked together in the vacant apartment for several hours; 5. at about 6 a.m., he borrowed O’Brien’s car, with her permission, and drove to his ex-girlfriend’s house, in order to borrow some money; 6. upon arrival at his ex-girlfriend’s house, he left O’Brien’s car keys in her car and then went inside the house; and 7. later, when he went back outside, he found that O’Brien’s car was gone. The jury subsequently found McGee not guilty of aggravated robbery but guilty of the lesser-included offense of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. At the punishment stage of the trial, the state offered additional evidence, including the testimony of William Hughes, Mary Scott and Ronald Angel regarding O’Brien’s activities and whereabouts on the night in question. The record reflected that, before the three witnesses testified, the state offered their testimony for the purpose of showing that McGee’s guilt-stage testimony had been a lie and, therefore, an “extraneous crime or bad act” within the meaning of Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 37.07, �3(a). McGee objected to the state’s proffer, arguing that the additional evidence was irrelevant to the issue of punishment and was, therefore, inadmissible under Art. 37.07, �3(a). McGee also argued that the state was improperly “trying to . . . relitigate the issue of [his] guilt [of aggravated robbery].” The trial court agreed with the state’s legal theory, overruled McGee’s objection, and allowed Hughes, Scott and Angel to testify. Hughes proceeded to testify that: at about 9 p.m. on the night in question, he helped O’Brien unload food and supplies from her car for a bachelorette party she was catering; 2. at about 10 p.m. that night, he helped her re-load her car and then accompanied her to a nightclub; 3. at about 12:45 a.m., he saw O’Brien leave the nightclub with another woman; and 4. he never saw O’Brien with McGee that night. Scott testified that: 1. at about 9 p.m. on the night in question, O’Brien picked her up at her home and took her to a bachelorette party; and 2. at about 1 a.m., O’Brien took her back home. Finally, Angel testified that at about 8:45 p.m. on the night in question, he helped O’Brien load her car with food for her catering business. During closing argument at the punishment stage, the state pointed out to the jury that McGee’s guilt-stage testimony was inconsistent with the punishment-stage testimony of Hughes, Scott and Angel and argued that McGee’s guilt-stage testimony had been perjurious. The state argued further that McGee’s willingness to lie on the witness stand showed that he deserved the maximum allowable punishment. The jury subsequently assessed McGee’s punishment, enhanced by two prior felony convictions, at imprisonment for 20 years and a fine of $5,000. On direct appeal, McGee brought a single point of error, arguing that the trial court erred in allowing Hughes, Scott and Angel to testify, because their testimony was not relevant to any punishment issues and was inadmissible under Art. 37.07, �3(a). McGee’s argument continued: “The trial court abused its discretion by permitting the State to attempt to resurrect the aggravated robbery charge by rebutting McGee’s guilt/innocence testimony at the punishment hearing. The State used this inadmissible evidence as a basis for arguing to the jury that appellant had committed perjury and that he really was guilty of aggravated robbery despite the jury’s acquittal.” The 1st Court of Appeals overruled McGee’s point of error and affirmed the trial court’s judgment of conviction. McGee later filed a petition for discretionary review, which the CCA granted. HOLDING:Affirmed. The CCA stated that Art. 37.07, �3(a), governs the admissibility of evidence during the punishment stage of a noncapital criminal trial. That statute provides that “evidence may be offered by the state and the defendant as to any matter the court deems relevant to sentencing, including . . . evidence of an extraneous crime or bad act.” Evidence is “relevant to sentencing,” within the meaning of the statute, if the evidence is “helpful to the jury in determining the appropriate sentence for a particular defendant in a particular case.” In this case, the CCA noted that the trial court admitted evidence offered by the state during the punishment stage for the purpose of showing that McGee lied on the witness stand during the guilt stage. The CCA found the trial court reasonably could have concluded that such evidence would be helpful to the jury in determining the appropriate sentence for McGee in this case. A defendant’s truthfulness or mendacity while testifying on his own behalf, almost without exception, has been deemed probative of his attitudes toward society and prospects for rehabilitation and hence relevant to sentencing. Thus, the CCA discerned no abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court and no error on the part of the 1st Court. OPINION:Holcomb, J., delivered the opinion of the unanimous court.

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