Thursday, May 23, 2013

McDonald v. State of Texas case brief

McDonald v. State of Texas case brief
64 S.W.3d 86

CASE SYNOPSIS: A Texas court convicted the defendant of cruelty to animals. Both the defendant's attorney and the prosecuting attorney had agreed on a punishment of 50 days of confinement to be served on weekends. As a result, the defendant appealed.

FACTS: On review, the appellate court found that the evidence was factually sufficient to support a finding beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant had custody of the puppy and that his leaving the puppy at the trail was unreasonable.

The jury, considering the conflicting evidence, and defendant's differing stories to the inspector, could have found that he put the dog in his van and intentionally drove to the isolated area to abandon it.

Even though the puppy was not his, the defendant was required to remove the puppy by calling the authorities to pick it up or by taking it to a shelter, instead of just dumping it. The appellate court also found that because he voluntarily agreed to the punishment, the sufficiency of the evidence for punishment was irrelevant. By entering into a punishment agreement, the defendant was not entitled to present evidence or have a punishment hearing; therefore, the trial court's failure to admonish was not in error.

CONCLUSION: The trial court's judgment was affirmed.

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