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Norton v. State

Court of Appeals of Texas
771 S.W.2d 160 (Tex. App. 1989)


Ray Norton (defendant) shot and killed Bill Bailey and Preston Thomas at his shop. Norton was charged with murder and claimed self defense. Specifically, Norton claimed that he found Bailey and Thomas at his shop trying to steal a stock of tires and the shootings resulted. The prosecution claimed that Norton had lured Bailey and Thomas to his shop and then killed them. At trial, Bailey’s widow testified about a phone call that Bailey received in the middle of the night: “My husband was—he just had talked to Ray on the phone, and he told him to pick up Preston and go—come help him work at the shop.” The trial court admitted the testimony and gave a jury instruction that the testimony was to be considered for the limited purpose of showing Bailey’s state of mind that night. The trial court convicted Norton of murder. He appealed on the grounds that the testimony of Bailey’s widow should not have been admitted.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Grant, J.)

Dissent (Cornelius, C.J.)

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