Gibson v. Texas

Appellant Johntay Gibson was convicted of capital murder during the course of an armed robbery of a mobile phone store in which the store’s owner was shot and killed. He received a sentence of imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole. During the investigation of the offense, Appellant was observed as the driver and sole occupant of a motor vehicle which was under surveillance for having been connected to the robbery suspects. After being stopped for traffic violations, marijuana was found, and it was determined that Appellant had three outstanding warrants. It was also determined that Appellant had provided a false name in identifying himself after the stop. Appellant was taken into custody and interviewed about the offense. Appellant filed a pre-trial suppression motion seeking suppression of the interview. The written motion did not address the allegation that there was a five hour span of time between the initial interview and the continuation of the interview which was absent any additional Miranda warnings. When the officer testified at trial, Appellant objected to the last part of the recorded custodial interview. In the objection, defense counsel specified that he was asking that the second part of the interview be suppressed because Appellant was not re-warned. After conviction and sentencing, on direct appeal to the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Appellant included points of error claiming that the trial court erred in denying his motion to exclude the second part of his videotaped statement because peace officers failed to re-warn and advise him of his Miranda rights and failed to provide him with the proper warnings. The court of appeals noted, “Appellant’s written motion to suppress did not raise the issue presented on appeal,” and affirmed his conviction. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals found that Appellant’s petition did sufficiently raise the issue on appeal, and the court of appeals erred in not addressing the merits of his appellate claim by holding that he failed to preserve error. View "Gibson v. Texas" on Justia Law