Defective Jury Charge on LIO
Woodard v. State - The defendant was indicted for murder but somehow convicted of an unindicted offense of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. On appeal, he claimed that the trial court erred by instructing the jury on the conspiracy offense because, under the Almanza factors, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery is not a lesser included offense of murder. The CCA concluded that if appellant had simply failed to object to the jury charge, he would be entitled to reversal under Almanza, but because the appellant actually helped draft the objectionable jury charge, the CCA applied an estoppel theory.
Our [past cases have] recognized that, if “the record showed that the appellant requested the charge on the [unindicted] lesser offense . . ., he would be estopped from complaining of its inclusion in the charge.” We believe that the record in this case fairly reflects that, at the very least, appellant had some responsibility for the jury instruction on the unindicted conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery offense. The record reflects that appellant helped prepare the charge, including the instruction related to the unindicted charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, to which the State unsuccessfully objected. This is a great deal more than just simply not objecting to the charge or just stating “no objection” to the charge. Under these circumstances, we decide that appellant may not be heard to complain for the first time on appeal that the trial court erred to instruct the jury on the unindicted conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery offense.In her concurrence, Presiding Judge Keller would take this case one step further and and adopt the doctrine of beneficial acquiescense, "by which a defendant who fails to object to an instruction on a LIO would be estopped from complaining on appeal." (Emphasis added).
Simply to note how curious she finds this case, Judge Cochran also concurred.
Capital Murder (Accomplice Liability)
Padilla v. State - CCA affirms appellant's conviction for capital murder as legally/factually sufficient under an accomplice theory of liability.