Was The Witness An Accomplice? Maybe Not.

by Rick Wetzel on November 16, 2010

A criminal defendant cannot be convicted for a crime solely based on the testimony of an alleged accomplice.  Consider the following:

A conviction cannot be had upon the testimony of an accomplice unless corroborated by other evidence tending to connect the defendant with the offense committed; and the corroboration is not sufficient if it merely shows the commission of the offense.  Tex. Crim. Proc. Code art. 38.14.  In order to be an accomplice, the person must be susceptible to prosecution for the offense with which the accused is charged or a lesser included offense. See Medina v. State, 7 S.W.3d 633, 641 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999).

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

allenrogers December 2, 2010 at 12:38 am

Does that mean the witness is an accomplice if he is indicted for the same offense as the defendant?


Rick Wetzel December 10, 2010 at 9:47 am

Absolutely. That is the classic example. Sometimes there will be a dispute about whether a witness is an accomplice and the judge will instruct the jury to decide that issue as a matter of fact.


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