Crittenden v. State

In Crittenden v. State, 671 S.W.2d 527 (Tex. Crim. App. 1984), the defendant presented "a check drawn on the account of a Lubbock service station and made payable to himself." 671 S.W.2d at 527. The purported maker of the check was a local attorney, John J.C. O'Shea. Id. The defendant testified that he received the check in the mail, and believed it to be settlement proceeds from a case O'Shea was working on for him. Id. at 527-28. O'Shea testified that he was handling a case for the defendant, but that he did not sign the service station check, nor mail it to the defendant. Id. at 528. In reversing the defendant's forgery conviction, the court explained: "We find the facts of the instant case remarkably similar to the facts in Stuebgen v. State and Pfleging v. State. Just as in those cases, the State, in the instant case, proved that the instrument was in fact forged; but the State failed to present any evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, to show the appellant's knowledge that the instrument was forged or to show that appellant possessed the intent to defraud or harm. The appellant made no statement from which it could be inferred that he knew the instrument was forged. Appellant was listed as the payee and he did not falsely represent himself. No evidence was introduced to show that anything appearing on the check was in appellant's handwriting. There was no showing of any connection between the check stolen from the service station and appellant prior to the time he said he received it in the mail. Finally, appellant made no attempt to flee after his attempt to deposit the check was thwarted." Id.