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Coop v. State

12/30/1999

AFFIRMED


James Esamu Coop was convicted of felony driving while intoxicated (DWI) and sentenced to two years in prison. Coop challenges his conviction in four issues in this appeal. Because we find no reversible error, we affirm.


Indictment


By indictment, the State alleged that Coop committed the offense of felony DWI in pertinent part as follows:


. . . that prior to the commission of the aforesaid offense, hereinafter called primary offense, by the said defendant, on the 7th day of JANUARY, A.D., 1992, in COUNTY COURT AT LAW NUMBER 9, BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS, in Cause No. 506933, the said defendant was convicted of the offense of DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 6701l-1, a misdemeanor, and said conviction became final prior to the commission of the primary offense; and it is further presented in and said Court, that prior to the commission of the primary offense by the said defendant, on the 31st day of OCTOBER, A.D., 1989, in COUNTY COURT AT LAW 9, BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS, in Cause No. 441246, the said defendant was convicted of the offense of DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 67001l-1, a misdemeanor, and said conviction was final prior to the commission of the primary offense. . . .


Thus, the State was required to prove that Coop was convicted of DWI in Cause Nos. 506933 and 441246.


Proof of Conviction


To prove that Coop was convicted of DWI in Cause Nos. 506933 and 441246, the State called David Dunbar, identification supervisor for the Bexar County Sheriff's Department, to testify. Dunbar fingerprinted Coop on the day prior to trial. The State used the fingerprint card that Dunbar used in fingerprinting Coop to discuss certified copies of the judgments of conviction in Coop's prior DWI convictions. The fingerprints reflected on those judgments, however, were not clear enough for Dunbar to match the fingerprints he took the previous day with the fingerprints reflected on the judgments. As a result, Coop contends in his first and second issues that the State did not prove that he was convicted in Cause Nos. 506933 and 441246. To review a challenge to the legal sufficiency of the evidence, we must review all the evidence, whether direct or circumstantial, in the light most favorable to the verdict and determine whether any rational trier of fact could have found the challenged finding beyond a reasonable doubt. See Jackson v. Virginia, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 2789 (1979); Sonnier v. State, 913 S.W.2d 511, 514 (Tex. Crim. App. 1995).


Although the State typically proves prior convictions by linking the known fingerprints of the defendant to the fingerprint(s) reflected on a judgment of conviction, this method is not the only way to prove up a prior conviction. In this case, the prosecutor used Dunbar's testimony and a series of documents relating to Coop's prior convictions to prove up the priors. One of those documents was a fingerprint card that reflected the name "James Esamu Coop," the SID number (citizen's identification number) "484029," the date of arrest of 8-10-89 for DWI, and a physical description of the fingerprinted individual. A photograph of the individual was attached to the card. Dunbar testified that the fingerprints on that card matched the fingerprints he had taken from Coop. Another document, the judgment of conviction in Cause 441246, reflected the defendant's name as "James E. Coop," the offense as DWI, the date the offense was committed as 8-10-89, and that the defendant was adjudicated. The charging document attached to this judgment reflected the defendant's name as "James E. Coop," the date the offense was committed as "the 10th day of August, A.D., 1989," the SID number "48

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