Trevino v. State

100 S.W.3d 232 (2003)

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Trevino v. State

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
100 S.W.3d 232 (2003)

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Facts

Tommy Trevino (defendant) was convicted of murdering Michelle Trevino, his wife, after she was killed by three gunshots. Tommy claimed that he shot Michelle in self-defense. According to Tommy, Michelle started a fight after finding other women’s phone numbers in his wallet and shot at him twice with a gun. The gun did not fire, but Tommy was scared and ran to the bathroom. He flushed the phone numbers down the toilet and located his own gun, which was loaded. As he left the bathroom, Tommy testified, Michelle shot at him again. They began struggling over the guns, during which time Michelle was shot but continued to struggle. She was ultimately shot three times. Testimony at trial was mixed about Tommy’s conduct leading up to and on the day of Michelle’s death. Michelle’s family testified that Tommy was controlling and abusive and that Michelle was attempting to divorce him. Tommy’s witnesses testified that he was a model citizen. In addition, Tommy telephoned his sister for help after shooting Michelle, and she testified at trial that he was very upset when she arrived at the house. Some witnesses on the scene, including Tommy’s family, police officers, and firefighters who were called to render aid to Michelle, testified that Tommy was upset or in shock, while others testified that he seemed calm. Tommy was convicted of murder, and during the punishment phase, he asked the judge to instruct the jury on the heat-of-passion defense, meaning Tommy caused Michelle’s death under the immediate influence of sudden passion. That could serve as a mitigating factor, reducing the offense to second-degree rather than first-degree murder. The judge refused, and the jury sentenced Tommy to 60 years in prison. Tommy appealed, and the court of appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment on punishment, finding that Tommy was entitled to a heat-of-passion charge. The state appealed to the court of criminal appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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