A jury found the appellant guilty of aggravated robbery and assessed a punishment of 35 years' confinement. This appeal had been abated so that the indigent appellant could be given the assistance of counsel.
The State's evidence was that the appellant hired a taxicab, which had been called to a certain address in Houston. The appellant directed the driver on a rather long trip to Jacinto City, and then gave "[in]numerable" directions to turn onto various streets. As the driver noticed a police car, the appellant abruptly told him to turn onto a gravel street and to park behind a building. It was about midnight. As the driver was filling out a sheet on his clipboard the appellant took a revolver from the pocket of his trench coat, pointed it at the driver, cocked it, and told the driver to get out of the cab. The driver got out. The appellant came around the cab from the front seat and told the driver to run. The driver ran, and he ran faster when he heard a shot fired behind him. He looked back and saw the appellant driving away in the cab. About 15 minutes later, police officers found the appellant walking along a street about 6 miles from the scene of the robbery, and they arrested him. He was carrying the revolver, which had one spent shell under the hammer. The taxicab was found parked about a mile away. The record is not clear about directions, so we can deduce no more than that the taxicab had been driven 5 to 7 miles from the scene of the robbery. The keys were not in it, but the appellant's driver's license was. The State introduced the appellant's written statement:
The appellant's testimony was that he wanted to visit his 2½ year old son at his in-laws' house in Galena Park (which is adjacent to Jacinto City). About 10:30 p. m. he hailed a taxicab in Houston; later in his testimony the appellant revised this time to 9:00 or 9:30. He gave an address and told the driver how to get there. After correctly driving to the penultimate street, the driver missed the last turn-off. He drove on some short, residential streets, trying without success to find his way back. The appellant was not giving directions; he was lost. The driver stopped the cab; he was not directed to turn behind a building or anything of that nature. The driver asked to be paid the fare of about $12.60. The appellant said he had only about $10, and asked if he could arrange to pay the rest the next day. The driver became angry, cursed, demanded payment, and told the appellant to get out. The driver reached under the seat and got "some type of arms." The appellant became frightened. He pulled his pistol from his pocket. The pistol was in the coat pocket fortuitously, the appellant having left it there a couple of weeks earlier. He had bought it a couple of weeks earlier, to hunt squirrel and rabbit. He had not worn the coat or carried the pistol since then. He first realized he had the pistol while he was riding in the cab. Again the appellant asked to make arrangements to pay; again the driver cursed, and "he held something in his hand." Both men got out of the cab without further conversation, and both walked or ran away. The appellant did not fire the gun. The appellant went back to the cab, got in, and drove it off. Surprisingly, neither counsel elicited a reason for the appellant's having done this, but the appellant denied having had an intent to steal the cab. He drove 6 or 8 blocks, parked the cab, left the keys in it, and started walking; still lost, he was "trying to get back downtown, headed toward the bus terminal." He walked 5 or 6 blocks. He had the pistol when he was arrested. He could not explain how the shell came to be fired. He signed the written statement because police officers had beaten him severely.
In rebuttal the State called the appellant's mother-in-law. She testified that she was living at the address the appellant said he had given the driver. The appellant had not called her house. On the previous day he had come to her place of work, wearing a trench coat; he called to her and pulled out a shiny pistol.
The first ground of error is that the evidence was insufficient to prove one of the elements of robbery. The indictment alleged that the robbery was committed "in the course of committing theft of taxicab." This was an allegation of one of the elements of robbery: "A person commits an offense if, in the course of committing theft as defined in Chapter 31 of this code ...," etc. V.T.C.A. Penal Code, Section 29.02(a). While the indictment need not allege separately the elements of theft, "the proof will involve proving up a theft or attempted theft ...." Earl v. State, 514 S.W.2d 273, 274 (Tex.Cr.App.1974).
The defense of temporary use was recognized long ago, as was the defendant's entitlement (when the evidence raises the issue) to an affirmative instruction that a reasonable doubt as to whether he intended such a temporary use calls for acquittal of theft charges.
The appellant did not request an instruction on temporary use, so he can not (and does not) complain on appeal that it was error to have omitted such an instruction. His argument is that the evidence was insufficient to prove intent to deprive the owner of the taxicab, and that it shows, at most, unauthorized use of vehicle.
The question of sufficiency of evidence to sustain a state criminal conviction implicates the Fourteenth Amendment. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 n. 12, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 2789 n. 12, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979), "announced ... the constitutional minimum required to enforce the due process right" to be free from conviction except on proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The court said (443 U.S. at 318-319, 99 S.Ct. at 2789) (footnotes omitted):
Although Jackson was setting a standard for review of state convictions by federal courts, the due process requirements that it announced were based expressly on the Fourteenth Amendment. They are binding on the states and constitute a minimum standard for our sustaining a conviction.
Applying this standard to the case before us, we hold that the evidence of intent to deprive was sufficient to support the conviction. Intent to deprive must be determined from the words and acts of the accused. Banks v. State, 471 S.W.2d 811 (Tex.Cr.App.1971).
There was no such evidence in this case. The appellant's acts were sufficient evidence from which a rational trier of fact could have inferred an intent to deprive as that term is defined in V.T.C.A. Penal Code, Section 31.01(3)(A). This is not to say that the issue was uncontested or that the appellant was not entitled to an instruction on it, had he requested one. Rather we hold that the evidence was such that a rational jury could have found for the State on the issue. The first ground of error is overruled.
In the second ground of error the appellant asks us to overrule Davis v. State, 499 S.W.2d 303 (Tex.Cr.App.1973), and to follow the opinion dissenting on rehearing. We shall not do so.
The third ground is based on the following cross-examination of the appellant's brother, who was called by the appellant at the punishment stage to testify that he would help the appellant find a job if the jury recommended probation.
We cannot agree with the appellant's argument that this colloquy was the same as asking improper "have-you-heard" questions for impeachment. These questions seem to have been based on a misunderstanding of law,
The judgment is affirmed.