Texas Stamp


PD-1189-15 01/27/2016

  1. "The Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the audio recording of Mayra's custodial interrogation was admissible notwithstanding the fact that the recording device used was not capable of making an accurate recording."
  2. "The Court of Appeals applied the wrong standard in holding that the recording equipment's failure to record twenty minutes of Mayra's custodial interrogation did not amount to an alteration that rendered the recording unreliable and untrustworthy."
  3. "The Court of Appeals misapplied this Court's holding in Weatherred because the audio tape failed to meet the requirements of section three of art. 38.22 and the trial court knew that before its ruling to allow the audio recording into evidence."

Flores was convicted of murder. The trial court admitted two recordings of a custodial interview. Flores objected to both because the first recording stopped mid-conversation and the second recording, started 20 minutes later, also ended abruptly. She claimed that this proved the recordings were inaccurate and therefore inadmissible under Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 38.22 § 3(a)(3).

The court of appeals affirmed. Citing Weatherred v. State, 15 S.W.3d 540, 542 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000), it limited review to the evidence and arguments before the trial court at the time of the ruling. As a result, it found no evidence that any conversation—exculpatory or otherwise—was not recorded. It also held that any inadvertent abruptness with which either recording ended did not affect overall reliability.

Flores argues that even an inadvertent 20-minute gap proves that the device was not capable of accurate recording. She also claims that the trial court was made aware of the gap and exculpatory statements made during it, both of which undermine the reliability of the recordings.

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