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Texas Court of Appeals Upholds Admission of Photos Taken From Defendant’s Cell Phone

Last week, the Texas Court of Appeals issued a decision, Rodriguez v. State, No. 14-17-00613-CR, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 4734 (Tex. App.  June 11, 2019) in a capital murder case, which upheld a lower court’s admission of photos taken from the defendant’s cell phone.  The photos showed the defendant with items found at the crime scene, including firearms and a bandana the defendant wore as a mask in one photo. 

The photos were not held to be cumulative evidence since the defense cast doubt on witness identifications of Rodriguez as the shooter.  The court rejected the appellant’s contention that the photos would tempt the jury to find him guilty on grounds other than evidence that offense occurred.  

“While the photographs including guns may have been inflammatory, the prejudice resulting from the admission of those photographs did not substantially outweigh their probative value.”. Id. at *17.  

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