• Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth
  • 14-15-00722-CR
Appellant Stepherson was convicted of manslaughter and challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction for manslaughter and the determination that he used his hands as a deadly weapon. Appellant asserted that the state failed to present evidence from which a rational juror could infer that he was aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk of death to the victim and consciously disregarded that risk. However, in light of evidence of witnesses described as yelling at appellant to stop, significant injuries to the victim's face and head, a jury could reasonably have concluded that appellant consciously disregarded a known substantial and unjustifiable risk of causing the victim's death, the court held. Appellant's post-attack statements indicating that he only meant to fight the victim, not to kill him, do not negate this evidence. The court held a jury is not prevented from looking at the same evidence and concluding that it supports a finding of reckless, not intentional, conduct. Second, appellant challenged the jury's finding that he used his hands as a deadly weapon. Noting that a deadly weapon is anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, the court held that the evidence was sufficient for a reasonable jury to conclude that manner and use of appellant's hands caused the victim's deadly injuries. Accordingly, the court affirmed. Stepherson v. State of Texas, 14th Court of Appeals, No. 14-15-00722-CR, 02/28/2017

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