This is an appeal from a conviction for the felony theft offense recently created by enactment of V.T.C.A. Penal Code, § 31.03(d)(4)(C),
The evidence adduced at trial reflects that Valerie Tullis, an employee of Eckerd Drug Store, observed a black man identified as appellant, placing a stereo unit in a shopping cart, on August 28, 1975. Appellant pushed the shopping cart to the railing at the front of the store and walked away. Tullis then observed a tall white man outside the rail reach over and take the stereo from the cart, whereupon she summoned the manager, Paul Tagliabue.
Tagliabue testified that he saw appellant leave the store; upon following him out, the witness observed appellant enter an automobile driven by a white male, and observed a Lloyd's stereo unit sitting in the back seat. Tagliabue was able to see the box containing the stereo, and the number "353" written on it, which he testified was his store number. According to Tagliabue, the retail value of the stereo unit was $149.95. Tagliabue made a notation of the license number of the car, a white Buick LeSabre, then called the police.
On August 31, 1975, Officer G. W. Bailey recognized a white Buick LeSabre and its license number as wanted, and stopped it. As appellant stopped the car, his passenger exited and ran; appellant then attempted to run, but was apprehended. Upon being asked his name, appellant stated it was James Gibe. Appellant was later identified in a corporeal lineup by both Tullis and Tagliabue.
Proof of the prior misdemeanor theft convictions was established through the testimony of a Deputy District Clerk, certified judgments and sentences, Harris County
Appellant now complains of the trial court's failure to instruct the jury on the law of circumstantial evidence; there is no evidence, appellant contends, which connects him directly with the removal of the stereo unit from the store, or to show that he had any knowledge of the unit's being stolen.
The distinction between direct and circumstantial evidence is that the former directly demonstrates the ultimate fact to be proved, while the latter is direct proof of a secondary fact which, by logical inference, demonstrates the ultimate fact to be proved. Richardson v. State, 600 S.W.2d 818 (Tex.Cr.App.1980); Oliver v. State, 551 S.W.2d 346 (Tex.Cr.App.1977); Crawford v. State, 502 S.W.2d 768 (Tex.Cr.App.1973).
The State clearly adduced direct evidence that appellant and his confederate, Charles Cloud, exercised control over
Appellant's second and third grounds of error assert that proof of the two prior theft convictions alleged as elements of the felony offense for which appellant was on trial, should have been excluded because appellant neither was represented by counsel, nor had waived his right to counsel at the time those convictions were obtained.
The record before us contains the judgments and sentences in Cause Numbers 3001P and 305459, introduced by the State in order to prove the "two previous theft convictions" element of felony theft alleged under § 31.03(d)(4)(C).
The judgment in each cause recites that appellant waived counsel. Outside the presence of the jury, appellant testified that he did not remember waiving counsel in either case.
This testimony was clearly insufficient to overcome the presumption of regularity of the recitation of waiver of counsel reflected upon the judgments. Martinez v. State, 504 S.W.2d 897 (Tex.Cr.App.1974). These grounds of error are without merit.
By his fourth ground of error, appellant alleges that the trial court committed fundamental error in allowing the jury to return verdicts which were not "general"
At the guilt stage, the trial court charged the jury, applying the law of § 31.03(a)(2)
To this the jury replied: "We do."
Appellant offered no objection to this form of the verdict and now contends that "the failure of the Court to incorporate the prior convictions alleged for jurisdictional purposes into the main body of the charge was fundamental error" and requests that this Court "hold that the jury found [him] merely guilty of the misdemeanor offense of theft."
In Diamond v. State, 530 S.W.2d 586 (Tex.Cr.App.1975), it was held that § 31.03(d)(4)(C), supra, created a new offense of a felony grade and vested the District Court with jurisdiction. The elements of this theft offense are the same as alleging other theft offenses,
Thus, we agree with appellant, that in instructing the jury in a trial for an offense alleged under § 31.03(d)(4)(C), the prior theft offenses, as jurisdictional elements of the offense alleged, must be included in the body of the main charge before the jury is authorized to make a general finding of guilt, and we so hold.
However, we are unable to agree that the form of the charge and verdict
Appellant's fourth ground of error is overruled.
By way of an untimely supplemental brief, appellant has raised an additional ground of error alleging that the trial court's instruction to the jury on the law of parties constituted a comment by the court on the weight of the evidence. Appellant cites no authority for this proposition and we have found none.
Accordingly, the judgment of conviction is affirmed.
See Foster v. State, 603 S.W.2d 879 (Tex.Cr. App.1980); Diamond v. State, 530 S.W.2d 586 (Tex.Cr.App.1975); see also and compare Fennell v. State, 455 S.W.2d 248 (Tex.Cr.App. 1970); Leal v. State, 445 S.W.2d 750 (Tex.Cr. App.1969); and Ex parte Gutierrez, 600 S.W.2d 933 (Tex.Cr.App.1980). (All emphasis is supplied throughout by the writer of this opinion unless otherwise indicated.)
See Foster, supra, and cf. Rawlings v. State, 602 S.W.2d 268 (Tex.Cr.App.1980), [wherein (though characterizing § 31.03(d)(4)(C), supra, as a "special enhancement provision" which governs § 12.42, a "general enhancement provision") it was held that enhancement of punishment under § 12.42, supra, must be composed of felony convictions other than for theft, when the primary offense alleged is the new felony theft created by § 31.03(d)(4)(C). As stated above, and to be illuminated post in n. 9, § 31.03(d)(4)(C), supra, delineates the elements of the felony offense and, we believe, is not an "enhancement" provision at all].
See V.T.C.A. Penal Code, §§ 7.01 and 7.02.
constitutes an "enhancement" provision for punishment purposes, or a jurisdictional "element" of the particular offense proscribed. See, e. g., Rawlings, supra; and Ex parte Lucky, 571 S.W.2d 913 (Tex.Cr.App.1978). Compare also, e. g., Bell v. State, 504 S.W.2d 408 (Tex.Cr.App.1974). Because of the procedure employed in the instant case and the ground of error brought pursuant to it, we are squarely presented with the issue here.
Article 36.01, V.A.C.C.P., entitled "Order of Proceeding in Trial" provides that in a jury trial, the prosecutor is to first read the indictment and "when prior convictions are alleged for purposes of enhancement only and are not jurisdictional, that portion of the indictment... reciting such convictions shall not be read until the hearing on punishment is held as provided in Article 37.07." The latter Article provides, of course, for our bifurcated trial procedure, Section 2 of which directs:
So, a coincidental reading of Article 36.01(1) and Article 37.07, § 2(a), both supra, convinces us that the phrase in question must constitute a jurisdictional element-a "forbidden conduct"-of the felony theft proscribed by § 31.03(d)(4)(C), and must therefore be both alleged and charged as such before the jury is authorized to render a general verdict of guilt. See Ex parte Gutierrez, supra.
Under this rationale, the reason the State may not allege prior felony theft offenses for purposes of enhancement under the general provisions of § 12.42, supra, is that § 31.03(d)(4)(C), supra, specifically provides as an element of the felony theft it proscribes: "... and the defendant has been previously convicted two OR MORE times of ANY grade of theft."
By way of example, in Rawlings, supra, the State was not permitted to allege two prior misdemeanor theft convictions for jurisdictional purposes, and then add two prior felony theft convictions, for general enhancement purposes. But we believe such conclusion is compelled because all of the prior alleged constituted "two or more" convictions for "any grade of theft," and not because § 31.03(d)(4)(C) is a "special enhancement" statute which governs § 12.42, supra, a "general enhancement" provision.