Chambers v. State (1988)

In Chambers v. State, 755 S.W.2d 907 (Tex.App.--Houston 1st Dist. 1988), rev'd, 805 S.W.2d 459 (Tex.Crim.App. 1991), the videotaped interview of the complaining witness was admitted into evidence. The witness then testified at trial and repudiated her prior statement, denying the defendant had committed the acts alleged. Id. The defendant asked the court to find that the complainant's in-court, sworn repudiation of her out-of-court unsworn videotape destroyed the tape's probative value. Id. at 909. In sustaining his sufficiency argument, the intermediate court concluded that the allegations could have been proven only by reliance on repudiated prior inconsistent statements. The Court of Criminal Appeals acknowledged that the witness testified inconsistently but questioned whether this was a true repudiation or merely a conflict in testimony. Id. The jury had observed the complainant's demeanor and was entitled not only to reconcile any conflicts, but even to disbelieve her recantation. Id. The court determined that the recantation of the videotaped testimony thus did not destroy its probative value. Id.