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Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, DallasMay 1, 2003
No. 05-02-01171-CR. (Tex. App. May. 1, 2003)

No. 05-02-01171-CR.

Opinion Issued May 1, 2003. DO NOT PUBLISH, Tex.R.App.P. 47.

Appeal from the County Criminal Court No. 7, Dallas County, Texas, Trial Court Cause No. MB02-47278-H. AFFIRMED.



In this case, Sammie Shnell Traylor appeals her conviction for criminal trespass. She complains in two issues that the evidence against her is legally and factually insufficient to support the verdict. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

Factual Background

Irene Reyna is the manager of the West Dallas Multi-Purpose Center, a social service agency that assists people with paying their utilities and rent. The center employs a security officer, who constantly monitors the inside and the outside of the property. Clients of the center are required to have an appointment to receive assistance, and they are generally required to bring paperwork like identification, birth certificates, proof of residence, and proof of income to their appointments. On January 15, 2002, appellant had an appointment at the center. The caseworker assigned to appellant's case asked Reyna to talk to appellant in the lobby because appellant had refused to leave. Reyna attempted to explain to appellant that she could not continue her appointment because she had failed to bring the required paperwork. She tried to get appellant to agree to come to an appointment the next day. Appellant said that she wanted to be seen without the paperwork and began raising her voice. When appellant complained that her electricity was going to be turned off, Reyna told her she would personally call the electric company to be sure that did not happen. A security officer approached appellant and told her she needed to calm down. Appellant stood up, raised her hands, walked among the other clients, and said, "Do you see how they're treating me?" The officer asked appellant to leave, but appellant did not go. Reyna called the electric company and delayed the date appellant's electricity was to be turned off. Reyna also photocopied appellant's birth certificate. After she returned the birth certificate, she, too, told appellant she needed to leave, but appellant did not go. The security officer called the police for assistance. After the police arrived, appellant still refused to leave. Eventually, approximately five police officers escorted appellant out the door and into the center's parking lot. She got into her truck, but she screamed as she did so. Once in the truck, she did not drive away but rolled down her window and cursed at the security officer and the police. Appellant continued to cause a scene, so the officers handcuffed her and took her to jail. While she was being arrested, appellant struggled against the officers so much they had to use mace against her. Appellant testified in her defense. She claimed that when the security officer originally approached her, Reyna signaled to the officer that everything was fine and continued talking with appellant. Appellant did not feel she stayed in the building unlawfully because Reyna had told her to sit while she made copies of her electric bill and made a later appointment for her. She admitted she did not leave the building when the security officer told her to do so. She claimed she was voluntarily walking out the door of the center when one of the police officers got in her face and told her to get off the property. According to appellant, the police officer prevented her from leaving by standing inside her truck's door.


In two issues, appellant challenges the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence supporting her conviction. She argues that she effectively had Reyna's consent to stay on the premises even after the security officer told her she had to leave and therefore did not commit criminal trespass. In a legal sufficiency review, we examine the evidence in the light most favorable to the judgment and determine whether any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 318-19 (1979). In a factual sufficiency review, we determine whether a neutral review of all the evidence demonstrates the proof of guilt is so obviously weak as to undermine confidence in the jury's determination or, although adequate if taken alone, is greatly outweighed by contrary proof. See Johnson v. State, 23 S.W.3d 1, 11 (Tex.Crim.App. 2000). The jury, as fact finder in this case, was the exclusive judge of the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be given to their testimony. See Jones v. State, 944 S.W.2d 642, 647-48 (Tex.Crim.App. 1996). Appellant claims a reasonable person in her circumstances would have believed she had permission to be on the premises because Reyna continued to speak with her even after the security officer told her to leave. According to Reyna, however, she asked appellant to leave and appellant refused. Appellant persisted in her refusal to leave even after police officers were summoned to the scene. The jury was entitled to disbelieve appellant's version of events. See id. After viewing the evidence under the appropriate standards, we conclude it is legally and factually sufficient to support appellant's conviction for criminal trespass. We resolve appellant's two issues against her. We affirm the trial court's judgment.