Spakes v. State

891 S.W.2d 7 (1994)

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Spakes v. State

Texas Court of Appeals
891 S.W.2d 7 (1994)

Facts

Harry Jack Spakes (defendant) was arrested for the felony of escape after he and three cellmates escaped from jail. Spakes had transferred to the jail from which he escaped after filing a grievance against a correctional officer at another jail. That officer was later demoted. Spakes had been told that the demoted officer had friends in the new jail who would kill him. After a few weeks in the new jail, officers transferred Spakes to a cell housing three inmates accused of committing capital murder. Spakes’s new inmates were planning an escape and told him he had to escape with them or they would cut his throat. Spakes believed their threat and escaped with them. Twelve hours after the successful escape, Spakes approached a church to ask for help and water. Two off-duty police officers recognized Spakes and arrested him. At his trial, when asked why he did not report the escape plans to officers or turn himself in after escaping, Spakes testified that he was afraid for his life based on his cellmates’ threats. In addition, he said he did not trust any police or corrections officers after hearing that the officer he complained about had friends who wanted to kill him. Over Spakes’s objection, the trial court excluded the necessity defense in its jury instructions as unavailable for the crime of escape. Spakes was convicted and appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Boyd, J.)

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