DO NOT PUBLISH
JAMES T. WORTHEN, Chief Justice.
James Preston Bales appeals his conviction for murder. In a single issue, Appellant contends the trial court's self-defense instruction was inaccurate and incomplete. We affirm.
On March 6, 2015, Appellant struck Bias Lott on the head with a baseball bat. Lott died from his injuries the next day. Following an investigation, Appellant was arrested and charged with murder.
At trial, Appellant claimed that he acted in self-defense because Lott was holding a knife. The trial court determined that a fact issue had been raised and included instructions regarding self-defense in its charge to the jury. The jury found Appellant "guilty" as charged in the indictment and sentenced Appellant to life in prison. This appeal followed.
In his only issue, Appellant asserts the trial court's self-defense instruction was inaccurate and incomplete.
Standard of Review
The review of an alleged jury-charge error in a criminal trial is a two-step process.
Appellant argues that the self-defense instructions in the jury charge were incomplete because the trial court did not include the definitions of "self-defense" and "deadly conduct in self-defense" as defined in the Texas Penal Code.
The penal code states that a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself. TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. § 9.31(a) (West 2011). And deadly force may be used to defend oneself if he "reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary" to protect himself from the use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force.
Texas courts have held that when a defendant claims self-defense, his rights are fully preserved when a jury charge (1) states that a defendant's conduct is justified if he reasonably believed that the deceased was using or attempting to use unlawful deadly force against the defendant, and (2) correctly defines "reasonable belief."
Here, in accordance with the penal code, the trial court's charge instructed the jury, in pertinent part, that "A person's use of deadly force against another that would otherwise constitute the crime of murder is not a criminal offense if the person reasonably believed the force used was immediately necessary to protect the person against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force." See TEX. PENAL CODE ANN. §§ 9.31(a); 9.32(a)(2)(A). Also in accordance with the penal code, the charge defined "reasonable belief" as "a belief that an ordinary and prudent person would have held in the same circumstances as the defendant." See
Having overruled Appellant's sole issue, we
THIS CAUSE came to be heard on the appellate record and briefs filed herein, and the same being considered, it is the opinion of this court that there was no error in the judgment.
It is therefore ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that the judgment of the court below