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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On April 2, 2003, Dashan Glaspie recruited his friends Elijah Dwayne Joubert and Alfred Brown to help him rob a check-cashing business. The plan called for Glaspie to act as a lookout while Joubert and Brown went inside. They drove to the business the next morning. The owner pulled up as Joubert and Brown were approaching. When the owner saw them, he pulled out a handgun. Joubert and Brown returned to the car, and the three decided to abandon the robbery, because the owner had displayed a weapon. They decided to rob a different business and drove to a second check-cashing location. When Alfredia Jones arrived to open the store, Joubert approached her at gunpoint and walked her into the store. Shortly thereafter, Glaspie and Brown entered the store. Joubert allowed Jones to make a phone call to another store to inform them that she was “opening Center 24.” This was actually a distress code alerting them to the robbery. Joubert held a gun to Jones’ head and told her to open the safe, while Glaspie began checking the store for surveillance equipment, and Brown went through Jones’ purse. Police Officer Charles Clark arrived at the scene and entered the store. Joubert accused Jones of tipping off the police, and he shot her. “The evidence suggested that Brown shot Officer Clark,” the court noted. Jones and Clark both died as a result of the gunshot wounds. Pursuant to a 30-year plea bargain, Glaspie testified for the state at Joubert’s trial. The trial court convicted Joubert in October 2004 of capital murder. Based on the jury’s answers to the special issues set forth in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 37.071, ��2(b) and 2(e), the trial judge sentenced Joubert to death. A mandatory direct appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals followed. HOLDING:Affirmed. In point of error four, Joubert claimed that Glaspie’s testimony, as accomplice-witness testimony, was not sufficiently corroborated to support Joubert’s conviction as a principal. In his fifth point of error, Joubert contended that Glaspie’s testimony was insufficiently corroborated to support his conviction under a parties theory. Article 38.14, the CCA stated, provides that a conviction cannot stand on accomplice testimony unless there is other evidence tending to connect the defendant to the offense. The corroborating evidence under Art. 38.14 need not be sufficient, standing alone, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant committed the offense. All that is required, the CCA stated, is that there is some nonaccomplice evidence tending to connect the defendant to the offense. Moreover, the CCA stated, there is no requirement that the nonaccomplice testimony corroborate the accused’s connection to the specific element that raises the offense from murder to capital murder. There need be only some nonaccomplice evidence tending to connect the defendant to the crime, not to every element of the crime. Houston Police Officer James Binford testified that he interviewed Joubert, who confessed in detail about his involvement in the instant offense. The interview with Binford and another officer was videotaped. The trial court admitted the tape into evidence, and the state played the videotaped statement for the jury. In the video, Joubert admitted to participating in the instant offense, but he denied shooting either victim. The CCA found the videotaped statement sufficient to tend to connect Joubert to the offense. Joubert’s liability as a principal or under a parties theory, the CCA stated, is of no relevance under an Art. 38.14 analysis. The question is whether some evidence tends to connect him to the crime; the connection need not establish the exact nature of his involvement. Thus, the CCA found that Joubert’s admission that he participated in the crime was enough to tend to connect him to the offense. In point of error one, Joubert claimed the trial court erred in overruling his motion to dismiss the indictment for its alleged failure to include the special punishment issues, in violation of his right to due process of law under the 14th Amendment. Joubert contended that under the 2000 U.S. Supreme Court opinion Apprendi v. New Jersey, he was entitled to have the grand jury pass on the special punishment issues before authorizing the state to proceed on a capital murder prosecution. But the CCA rejected this claim by restating its previous holding that the Apprendi sentencing factors are not elements of offenses for purposes other than the Sixth Amendment jury-trial guarantee. The CCA also found nothing in the state constitution that required the grand jury to pass on special punishment issues. Articles 21.02 and 21.03 set forth the specific requisites for an indictment, and the CCA also held that those provisions did not require the state to plead the punishment special issues in a capital case. In his third point of error, Joubert claimed the trial court erred in failing to grant his challenge for cause against venireperson Patricia Bloom Wohlgemuth. Joubert contended that Wohlgemuth was challengeable for cause, because she would not consider any mitigating evidence during punishment. During voir dire, Wohlugemuth stated that she would not consider several specific types of evidence deemed mitigating by Joubert’s attorney, including a difficult childhood, being orphaned at a young age, drug problems or poor schooling. A venireperson, the CCA stated, is not challengeable for cause on the ground that she does not consider a particular type of evidence to be mitigating. Indeed, a party is not entitled to question a venireperson as to whether the venireperson could consider particular types of evidence to be mitigating. Wohlgemuth, the CCA noted, stated clearly in other portions of her voir dire that she was open to considering mitigating evidence and would give the mitigation issue full and careful consideration. Thus, the CCA held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Joubert’s challenge for cause against Wohlgemuth. In point of error six, Joubert claimed the trial court erred in granting the state’s motion to prohibit him from arguing that co-defendant Glaspie’s 30-year, plea-bargained sentence was a mitigating factor in assessing his punishment. The CCA rejected this point of error on the basis that a codefendant’s conviction and punishment have no bearing on a defendant’s own personal moral culpability. OPINION:Per curiam.

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