Texas Rules of Evidence 107 - Interpretation

Rule 107 of the Texas Rules of Evidence, the rule of optional completeness, allows the trial court to allow a party to place an entire written statement in evidence when a part is "given in evidence by one party." Tex. R. Evid. 107; Walters, 247 S.W.3d at 217-18. Rule 107 is properly invoked when an opposing party reads part of a statement into evidence. Livingston v. State, 739 S.W.2d 311, 331-32 (Tex. Crim. App. 1987) (ruling that during cross-examination the defense counsel opened the door for introduction of the remainder of the statement by reading only a portion of the statement before the jury). Rule 107 "is one of admissibility and permits the introduction of otherwise inadmissible evidence when that evidence is necessary to fully and fairly explain a matter 'opened up' by the adverse party." Walters, 247 S.W.3d at 217-18. Rule 107 is "designed to reduce the possibility of the jury receiving a false impression from hearing only part of some act, conversation, or writing. Id. at 218. See Livingston, 739 S.W.2d at 331-32; Espinoza v. State, 828 S.W.2d 53, 55 (Tex. App.--Houston 14th Dist. 1991) ("With defense counsel having read a portion of the complainant's statement into the record, the State was entitled to offer the remainder of the statement."), aff'd on other grounds, 853 S.W.2d 36 (Tex. Crim. App. 1993); see also Credille v. State, 925 S.W.2d 112, 116-17 (Tex. App.--Houston 14th Dist.1996, pet. ref'd) (reasoning that where cross-examination challenged complaining witness's credibility, the admission of the entire videotaped interview was proper in light of the cross-examination of investigator by defense counsel about portions of the interview); but cf. Stewart v. State, 221 S.W.3d 306, 312 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 2007, no pet.) (reasoning that the language of Rule 107 indicates that when a portion of a document is read into evidence, the other portions may only be read into evidence and not admitted). In Sauceda v. State, 129 S.W.3d 116, 122-23 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004), the Court of Criminal Appeals noted that the Credille Court had employed a broad reading of Rule 107 of the Texas Rules of Evidence. The Court of Criminal Appeals did not criticize the Credille's Court's broad interpretation of Rule 107; rather, it distinguished Credille because the "Credille defense pointed to specific statements made by the complainant during the interview which, taken out of context, could indeed have created 'the possibility of the jury receiving a false impression from hearing only a part of some act, conversation, or writing.'" Sauceda, 129 S.W.3d at 123 .