Thompson v. State

236 S.W.3d 787 (2007)

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Thompson v. State

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
236 S.W.3d 787 (2007)

KL

Facts

Joshua Thompson (defendant) was a pastor at a Baptist church. One day, a Bible-study teacher at the church told Thompson that a child was misbehaving. Thompson drove the child to Thompson’s brother’s home, and together, the men beat the child with a tree branch over the course of one and a half hours. The child was severely injured, and a doctor testified that the child would have died from renal failure had he not received prompt medical attention. Thompson was charged with first-degree injury to a child, meaning intentionally or knowingly causing serious bodily injury to a child. The jury instructions stated that the jury could find Thompson guilty of first-degree injury to a child if it found that he intended to cause merely bodily injury, not necessarily serious bodily injury, as long as he actually caused serious injury. Thompson was convicted, and on appeal, he argued that the jury instructions stating that he could be found guilty of first-degree injury to a child if he intended only bodily harm were improper. The state argued that as long as Thompson actually caused serious bodily harm, he could be convicted of first-degree injury to a child even if he intended only lesser harm.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Keller, J.)

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