Hambrick v. State

369 S.W.3d 535 (2012)

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Hambrick v. State

Texas Court of Appeals
369 S.W.3d 535 (2012)

KL

Facts

One night Justin Hambrick (defendant) and his friend Eddie Williams drove into an apartment complex. Van Cypress lived in the complex and was leaving with a friend, Vincent Sanders, to go to a bar nearby. Cypress and Sanders were not carrying weapons. As they walked past Hambrick and Williams, who were in the complex’s laundry room, Hambrick and Williams asked if they had any marijuana. Cypress said no, and Hambrick and Williams both brandished guns and opened fire. Cypress and Sanders tried to run away, but Cypress was struck by several bullets. After the gunshots ended, Cypress got up and saw that Williams had been shot and was lying on the ground. Hambrick picked up Williams’s gun and tried to shoot Cypress again, but the gun jammed. Cypress ran for help and was treated at a hospital. Police investigating the crime eventually linked it to Hambrick and Williams. Williams died from a gunshot the night of the crime, and Hambrick told police that Cypress and Sanders had opened fire on Hambrick and Williams. However, Hambrick also told Williams’s mother that Cypress and Sanders were not armed and that Hambrick accidentally shot Williams. Williams’s mother recorded their conversation as part of the police investigation, and Hambrick was tried and convicted of felony murder. On appeal, Hambrick argued he could not be convicted of felony murder because the state did not prove that Williams’s death was in furtherance to the underlying aggravated assault of Cypress.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jennings, J.)

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