Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
A grand jury indicted appellee Kathleen McCoy for two counts of manslaughter. See Tex. Penal Code Ann. � 19.04 (West 1994). The district court dismissed the indictment on appellee’s motion and the State appeals. See Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 44.01(a)(1) (West Supp. 2001). We will affirm the district court’s order.

Each count of the indictment alleges that McCoy “recklessly cause[d] the death of an individual, namely [named victim], to-wit: said Defendant did then and there drive a motor vehicle, in which the said [victim] was a passenger, into the waters of a flood, thereby causing the said [victim] to drown.” McCoy moved to quash the indictment on four grounds: (1) “the facts stated do not constitute an offense”; (2) the indictment “does not have the requisites required by Chapter 21 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure”; (3) the indictment “is vague, indefinite, ambiguous and uncertain and does not set forth [the alleged violation] in plain and intelligible language”; and (4) the indictment “does not meet the requirements of Article 21.15 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.” In addition to the statutory references, the motion cited the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and article I, section 10 of the Texas Constitution. The order granting the motion does not state the ground or grounds on which it is based, but in a letter to the parties announcing the ruling, the trial judge opined that the indictment does not “allege[] an identifiable offense against the law.”

The parties agree that the adequacy of the indictment is a question of law, and that the district court’s ruling is subject to de novo review. See State v. Hoffman, 999 S.W.2d 573, 574 (Tex. App.-Austin 1999, no pet.) (whether indictment alleged offense was question of law subject to de novo review); see also Johnson v. State, 954 S.W.2d 770, 771 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997) (purely legal questions reviewed de novo); Guzman v. State, 955 S.W.2d 85, 89 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997) (mixed questions of law and fact not turning on credibility may be reviewed de novo). But see Thomas v. State, 621 S.W.2d 158, 163 (Tex. Crim. App. 1981) (op. on reh’g) (motion to quash on notice grounds is committed to “sound discretion” of trial court); State v. Czaplinski, 956 S.W.2d 839, 841 (Tex. App.-Austin 1997, no pet.) (same); State v. Draper, 940 S.W.2d 824, 826 (Tex. App.-Austin 1997, no pet.) (same).

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

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

More From ALM

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now
Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now
Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now
April 25, 2024

Law firms & in-house legal departments with a presence in the middle east celebrate outstanding achievement within the profession.

Learn More
April 29, 2024 - May 01, 2024
Aurora, CO

The premier educational and networking event for employee benefits brokers and agents.

Learn More
May 15, 2024
Philadelphia, PA

The Legal Intelligencer honors lawyers leaving a mark on the legal community in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Learn More

A large and well-established Tampa company is seeking a contracts administrator to support the company's in-house attorney and manage a wide...

Apply Now ›

We are seeking an attorney to join our commercial finance practice in either our Stamford, Hartford or New Haven offices. Candidates should ...

Apply Now ›

We are seeking an attorney to join our corporate and transactional practice. Candidates should have a minimum of 8 years of general corporat...

Apply Now ›
Connecticut Law Tribune


View Announcement ›
New Jersey Law Journal

Professional Announcement

View Announcement ›
Daily Report

Daily Report 1/2 Page Professional Announcement 60 Days

View Announcement ›