IN THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS
OF TEXAS



NO. 74,372

 

PERRY ALLEN AUSTIN, Appellant

v.


THE STATE OF TEXAS



ON DIRECT APPEAL
FROM HARRIS COUNTY

Johnson, J., delivered the unanimous opinion of the Court.

O P I N I O N



In April 2002, appellant pled guilty to the offense of capital murder for intentionally causing the death of an individual during the course of kidnapping him. Tex. Penal Code Ann. 19.03(a)(2). Pursuant to the jury's answers to the special issues set forth in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 37.071, sections 2(b) and 2(e), the trial judge sentenced appellant to death. Art. 37.071, 2(g). Direct appeal to this Court is automatic. Art. 37.071, 2(h). We will affirm.

Appellant chose to represent himself at trial and on appeal. The trial court fully admonished appellant of the dangers and disadvantages of self-representation prior to trial and prior to this appeal. See U.S. Const. Amend. VI and XIV; Tex. Const. Art. I, 10; Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975); Lott v. State, 874 S.W.2d 687 (Tex. Crim. App. 1994). The trial court appointed stand-by counsel to assist appellant, an indigent, if needed, throughout all pre-trial and trial proceedings.

Appellant has not filed a brief in this appeal. We therefore submitted the case without the benefit of briefs and, in the interest of justice, reviewed the entire record. (1) Having found no unassigned fundamental error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Johnson, J.



Delivered: April 2, 2003

En banc

Do Not Publish

1. Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 38.8(b)(2) provides that in the event a brief is not timely filed on appellant's behalf, the appellate court shall order the trial court to determine "whether the appellant desires to prosecute his appeal, whether the appellant is indigent, or, if not indigent, whether retained counsel has abandoned the appeal[.]" However, where the trial court "has found that the appellant no longer desires to prosecute the appeal, . . ., the appellate court may consider the appeal without briefs, as justice may require." TEX. R. APP. P. 38.8(b)(4). See also Lott, 874 S.W.2d at 688 n.2 (noting that where an appellant chooses to appear pro se and has been warned of the dangers of pro se representation on appeal, there is no need to remand for a Rule 74(l)(2) (now Rule 38.8(b)) hearing.)