Valdez v. State

623 S.W.2d 317 (1979)

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Valdez v. State

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
623 S.W.2d 317 (1979)

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Facts

Lupe Gutierrez and Johnny Valdez (defendant) were at a bowling alley together after a day of riding around in Valdez’s car. They decided to leave, and Valdez walked out first. He heard a loud horn as he approached his car, turned around, and saw Gutierrez heading toward him carrying a speaker box containing around 15 tapes. Gutierrez had taken the tapes from a nearby car in the parking lot, and that car’s alarm was sounding. Valdez drove Gutierrez home. Fermin Perez, the car’s owner, reported the tapes stolen. After an investigation, police approached Gutierrez, who returned several of the tapes. Police then contacted Valdez, who admitted he knew about the burglary and said he would try to get the tapes back. Valdez and Gutierrez eventually returned more tapes to Perez, as Gutierrez had left behind a couple of tapes in Valdez’s car, and Valdez also presented Perez with a check for $60 to pay for unrecovered tapes and the speaker box. Valdez was charged with burglary of a vehicle. Gutierrez admitted at trial that he decided to take the tapes on his own and did not tell Valdez about his plans in advance. The state argued that Valdez was guilty under a theory of accomplice liability, premised on Valdez having driven Gutierrez away from the scene of the burglary and having been in possession of a few tapes Gutierrez left in the car. Valdez was convicted and appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Clinton, J.)

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