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Law School Case Brief

Fuller v. State - 827 S.W.2d 919 (Tex. Crim. App. 1992)

Rule:

When a general verdict is returned and the evidence is sufficient to support a finding of guilt under any of the paragraph allegations submitted the verdict will be upheld.

Facts:

A woman was beaten, stabbed, sexually assaulted, and found dead outside her apartment. Fingerprint, handwriting analysis, and eyewitness testimony connected defendant Tyrone Fuller with the woman's missing credit cards and car. Bloody sock prints and DNA evidence connected Fuller to the sexual assault. Fuller’s several written statements and grand jury testimony admitted various degrees of involvement in the offense. Fuller was convicted in Texas state court of capital murder and punishment was assessed at death. Fuller appealed.

Issue:

Was Fuller's capital murder conviction proper?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The court of criminal appeals affirmed Fuller's conviction and sentence. The court found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by granting the State's challenge for cause to a veniremember who remained opposed to the death penalty no matter how it was stated. Fuller's belated objection to another veniremember was untimely. A colloquial reference by a witness to Fuller's prior incarceration in the penitentiary was harmless error. There was no abuse of discretion in allowing the results of DNA testing to be admitted into evidence at trial. There was sufficient evidence for a rational trier of fact to have found beyond a reasonable doubt Fuller's culpability for the alleged murder. There was sufficient evidence to support the jury's affirmative findings of "deliberateness" and "future dangerousness," and thus Fuller's sentence was affirmed.

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