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Romero v. State

173 S.W.3d 502 (2005)

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Romero v. State

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

173 S.W.3d 502 (2005)

Facts

Israel Romero (defendant) was indicted for aggravated assault after firing several shots in the direction of a Houston nightclub. The state (plaintiff) subpoenaed Cesar Vasquez, a cab driver who witnessed the incident, to make an in-court identification of Romero. Vasquez initially refused to testify, stating that he feared retaliation from Romero. The trial court fined Vasquez $500, but Vasquez still refused. Vasquez finally agreed to testify if his face was fully obscured. Vasquez took the stand wearing a baseball cap, large sunglasses, and a long-sleeved jacket with the collar flipped and zipped to conceal the lower half of his face. The trial court overruled Romero’s objection to Vasquez’s disguise. Romero then moved to suppress Vasquez’s in-court identification. The trial court held a suppression hearing outside the jury’s presence. Speaking through an interpreter, Vasquez testified that he feared Romero because Romero was dangerous, having fired a gun at the nightclub and a security guard, and was glaring at Vasquez while Vasquez testified. At the time of trial, Romero knew Vasquez’s name and home address. A jury convicted Romero. Romero appealed. The intermediate appellate court reversed. The state appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Keller, J.)

Dissent (Holcomb, J.)

Dissent (Meyers, J.)

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