TEXARKANA — The Sixth District Court of Criminal Appeals has denied a Paris man’s appeal of a 40-year prison sentence.
Joshua Ray Temple, 30, appealed the decision shortly after a Sixth District Court jury in January found him guilty as a habitual offender of evading arrest with a motor vehicle, a deadly weapon.
The Texarkana court last week denied the appeal on grounds Temple failed to show court-appointed defense counsel David Turner inefficient, according to a court ruling released July 3. The opinion also ruled against Temple’s argument that the trial court erred in denying Turner’s request to be withdrawn from the case as well as Temple’s request for a delay in the trial until he could hire another counsel. Temple was represented on appeal by court-appointed Plano attorney Joshua Carpenter.
In denying accusations against Turner because, in part, Temple and Turner were not on the best of terms, the court in its opinion wrote: “Here, despite counsel’s stated feelings, he (Turner) did not express any hostility toward Temple in front of the jury, and even after his motion to withdraw was denied, he zealously advocated Temple’s cause through his representation, filing a motion in limine, conducting a rigorous cross-examination of (Paris Police Officer Jeff) Padier, the State’s sole witness, presenting the defense’s case-in-chief through direct examination of Temple, and making impassioned and logical closing arguments.”
On the day of jury selection, Turner asked to be dismissed from the case and Temple requested the trial be delayed. The appeals court ruled in favor of sitting judge Lamar County-at-Law Judge Bill Harris, who denied both requests.
“The trial court has discretion to determine whether counsel should be allowed to withdraw,” and “we review what was before the trial court at the time the ruling was made and uphold the trial court’s judgment if it lies within the zone of reasonable disagreement,” the appeals court wrote in its opinion. “Based on the evidence, the trial court was within its discretion to find that Temple was manipulating his right to counsel by being intentionally uncooperative with counsel to get him to withdraw and trigger a continuance just days before trial.”
Because Temple failed to submit a written motion for continuance, the appeals court denied that argument as well.
According to court documents, Padier testified at trial to Temple fleeing in a vehicle in late 2018 after he attempted a stop because of an expired registration sticker and because Temple was traveling faster than other vehicles on the road. Temple escaped after making several turns, but when Padier located the vehicle again, Temple accelerated toward his marked patrol car. Anticipating a collison, Padier angled his car across the lane, and Temple stopped his car and quickly drove away in reverse, striking a telephone pole and ending the pursuit.