Cases Dealing With the Conditions for a Mistrial In Texas
"Mistrials are an extreme remedy for prejudicial events occurring during the trial process." Bauder v. State, 921 S.W.2d 696, 698 (Tex. Crim. App. 1996).
Harm that results when improper testimony is admitted may be cured by instructing the jury to disregard the testimony. See Hall v. State, 753 S.W.2d 438, 440 (Tex. App.--Texarkana 1988, no pet.) rev'd on other grounds, 795 S.W.2d 195 (Tex. Crim. App. 1990).
We must presume that a jury obeys an instruction to disregard the evidence. See Gardner v. State, 730 S.W.2d 675, 696 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987).
Generally, a jury can "consciously recognize the potential for prejudice, and then consciously discount the prejudice, if any, in its deliberations." Id.
A motion for mistrial may only be granted when an objectionable event at trial is so emotionally inflammatory that curative instructions cannot prevent the jury from unfair prejudice against the defendant. See Bauder, 921 S.W.2d at 698.
To determine whether any harm resulted from the trial court's denial of appellant's motions for mistrial, "we must calculate the probable impact of the error on the jury in light of the existence of other evidence." Nevels v. State, 954 S.W.2d 154, 159 (Tex. App.--Waco 1997, pet. ref'd).
We weigh the evidence presented in support of appellant's guilt with the State's improper testimony. See id. We may consider the nature of the error, whether or to what extent the error was emphasized by the State, and how much weight a jury would probably place on the error. See id.