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Thread: trailer chains again( better use them)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Master in FishingTX waterspout's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    north shore

    trailer chains again( better use them)

    SUBJECT: This guy has a year to think about his safety chains

    Tello v State
    14th Court of Appeals - Houston
    May 25, 2004 - 14-02-01193-CR

    Criminally negligent homicide evidence legally and factually sufficient to support conviction.

    D was driving a truck and towing a trailer that came unhitched, jumped a curb, and struck a pedestrian, X, resulting in her death. D was convicted by a jury of the state jail felony of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced by the trial court to one year in a state jail facility. D argued that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the conviction. Held: Affirmed. Here, the Court of Appeals was unable to find another opinion of a Texas court addressing the sufficiency of evidence to support a conviction of criminally negligent homicide arising out of a trailer coming unhitched from a truck while being towed. The majority of cases decided by the Court of Criminal Appeals discussing criminally negligent homicide have involved the allegedly inadvertent firing of guns and motor vehicle accidents where speeding, racing, and intoxication often are contributing factors. D failed to use safety chains, as required by section 545.410 Texas Transportation Code. All of the Stateís witnesses testified about the age of the trailer hitch, as well as its poor condition. They also testified that the hitch was not properly secured on the date in question and discussed how this caused the accident in question. A State expert, Y, with extensive experience working with and repairing trailer hitches, examined Dís hitch and gave detailed testimony about its condition and the manner in which it was secured to Dís truck before it broke loose and struck X. Y testified that the hitch was worn and faulty, that the safety latches did not work, that the safety stop had been abused so that it was unworkable and that in this condition the trailer could become unlatched if it hit a bump in the road. Y said the hitch should have been replaced before the accident. Thus, there was evidence in the record that D caused the death of X, that he ought to have been aware that there was a substantial and unjustifiable risk of death from his failure to properly secure the trailer and that his failure to perceive that risk constituted a gross deviation from the standard of care an ordinary person would have exercised under like circumstances. In conducting a factual sufficiency review, the appellate court reviews all of the evidence in a neutral light. D testified that did not know of the requirement that he use safety chains and that he had not previously experienced difficulty with the trailer hitch coming undone. However, the fact that D had not experienced difficulty with the trailer on prior occasions was not probative of whether he ought to have been aware of the substantial risk of death caused by his failure to properly secure his trailer on the date of the accident in question. Considering the evidence of the age and wear of his trailer hitch and Dís failure to secure his trailer with safety chains, the evidence was factually sufficient to support the juryís conviction.

    The fish are in the water!

  2. #2
    Administrator Master in FishingTX Gentleben's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Very Good Waterspout, :lol:

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