Criminal venue proper: part of crime committed in the county

Skinner v. State (Unpublished Memo): A jury acquitted Skinner of stealing copper from an Angelina County recycling center.  But they convicted him of theft for trying to sell the stolen copper.  Skinner says the acquittal on the burglary charge means that he shouldn’t have been tried in Angelina County on the theft charge.  True enough, the attempted sale of the copper was in Houston.  But Skinner took possession of the stolen copper in Angelina County.  Venue was proper.  Conviction affirmed. 

Copper theft case. Security video at an Angelina County recycling center caught two people getting out of a rented moving van at 4 a.m. and loading it with copper. The van was rented to Skinner’s common-law wife. Around 5 a.m., Skinner, and a friend picked up Skinner’s wife in the van. They headed for Houston. By 9:00 a.m., they arrived, and set about trying to sell the copper. The first facility they tried refused to buy the copper — something just didn’t seem right. The manager of the second facility was on the phone with the Angelina County recycling center getting a “heads up” when Skinner arrived. Skinner was arrested on the spot. Skinner was charged with burglary of the recycling center and theft of the copper.

The key fact in the case is that Skinner’s wife lived in Angelina County. While the jury wasn’t convinced that Skinner was one of the two people on the security video, they were convinced that Skinner was in the van in Angelina County, there was stolen copper in the van, and Skinner wasn’t exactly bringing it back to the Angelina County recycling center.

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