The 10th Court of Appeals in Waco Wednesday handed down its ruling in response to a writ of mandamus filed by Walker County District Attorney David Weeks during the capital murder trial of John Ray Falk Jr. Falk has been charged as being an accomplice in the murder of TDCJ Correctional Officer Susan Canfield during a 2007 prison escape.
Weeks had taken issue with District Judge Kenneth Keeling’s instructions to the jury in Falk’s case that the state had to prove Falk should have anticipated the manner and means in which his fellow escapee Jerry Duane Martin would kill officer Canfield. She died as a result of injuries received when Martin rammed her horse with a pickup during the escape.
The court denied District Attorney Weeks’ request to amend instructions to the jury. Basically, the court of appeals was in agreement with prosecutors that they should not have to prove Falk knew how his partner would kill officer Canfield. However, they could not cite any law that would prohibit a district judge from requiring a prosecutor to do so.
Falk’s trial resumes Monday with closing arguments at the courthouse in Bryan.