''Corroborating Evidence'' Legal Definition In Texas
It is not necessary that the corroborating evidence directly connect the defendant to the crime or that it be sufficient by itself to establish guilt; it need only tend to connect the defendant to the offense. Reed v. State, 744 S.W.2d 112, 126 (Tex. Crim. App. 1988).
If the combined weight of the non-accomplice evidence tends to connect the defendant to the offense, the requirement of Article 38.14 has been fulfilled. Gosch v. State, 829 S.W.2d 775, 777 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991).... We decline appellant's invitation to impose legal and factual sufficiency standards upon a review of accomplice witness testimony under Article 38.14.
The accomplice witness rule is a statutorily imposed sufficiency review and is not derived from federal or state constitutional principles that define the legal and factual sufficiency standards. See Malik v. State, 953 S.W.2d 234, 240 n. 6 (Tex. Crim. App. 1997).
The burden established by the Legislature is that there be other evidence tending to connect the defendant with the offense. Cathey, 992 S.W.2d at 462-463 (footnotes omitted). In Edwards v. State, 427 S.W.2d 629 (Tex. Crim. App. 1968), the court wrote:
The test as to the sufficiency of the corroboration is to eliminate from consideration the evidence of the accomplice witness and then to examine the evidence of other witnesses with the view to ascertain if there be inculpatory evidence, that is evidence of incriminating character which tends to connect the defendant with the commission of the offense.
If there is such evidence, the corroboration is sufficient; otherwise, it is not. Id. at 632.
"In applying the test of the sufficiency of the corroboration, each case must be considered on its own facts and circumstances..." Mitchell v. State, 650 S.W.2d 801, 807 (Tex. Crim. App. 1983), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 1073, 79 L. Ed. 2d 221, 104 S. Ct. 985 (1984).
All the facts and circumstances in evidence may be looked to as furnishing the corroboration necessary. Washburn v. State, 167 Tex. Crim. 125, 318 S.W.2d 627, 634 (Tex. Crim. App. 1958), cert. denied, 359 U.S. 965, 3 L. Ed. 2d 834, 79 S. Ct. 876 (1959).
The test is whether the combined cumulative weight of the incriminating evidence furnished by the non-accomplice witnesses tends to connect the accused with the commission of the offense. Colunga v. State, 481 S.W.2d 866, 868 (Tex. Crim. App. 1972).
It is not necessary that the corroboration directly link the accused to the crime or be sufficient in itself to establish guilt. Attwood v. State, 509 S.W.2d 342, 345 (Tex. Crim. App. 1974).
Insignificant circumstances sometimes afford the most satisfactory evidence of guilt and corroboration of accomplice witness testimony. Paulus v. State, 633 S.W.2d 827, 844 (Tex. Crim. App. 1981); Holmes v. State, 70 Tex. Crim. 423, 428-29, 157 S.W. 487, 493 (1913).