The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted the Walker County District Attorney’s office request to amend jury instructions in the John Ray Falk, Jr capital murder trial. The legal matter will be sent back to the 10th Court of Appeals. In regard to Judge Kenneth Keeling’s instruction to the Falk jury that the state had to show that Falk should have anticipated the specific method by which TDCJ officer Susan Canfield was killed during a 2007 escape attempt, the Court of Criminal Appeals said, “Well-established [sufficient evidence] principles demonstrate that the state is not required to prove that a defendant should have anticipated the specific method by which a person is was killed in capital-murder prosecution.” They went on to say that “the method by which soneone commits a murder is not relevant to evaluating sufficiency of the evidence to suppor a conviction.”
So, the Court of Criminal Sppeals is ordering the 10th Court to change the instructions to the jury issue and get an instructin on the “Law of Parties issue,” as well as conspiracy. The law of parties has to do with being criminally responsible for the conduct of someone else, if they aid of conspire with them.
The trial was set to resume Tuesday at 9 AM, but that depends on a ruling by the 10th Court of Appeals.