What Is a ''Reputation Witness'' Testimony In Texas ?

Reputation witnesses's testimony must be based on discussion with others about the subject, or on hearing others discuss the person's reputation, and not just on personal knowledge. See TEX. R. EVID. 405(a); House v. State, 909 S.W.2d 214, 218 (Tex.App.--Houston [14 th Dist.] 1995), aff'd, 947 S.W.2d 251 (Tex.Crim.App.1997). Rule 405 requires only "substantial familiarity" with the reputation of the accused. Hernandez v. State, 800 S.W.2d 523, 524-25 (Tex.Crim.App.1990). Questions concerning the admissibility of evidence are within the province of the trial court. Macklin v. State, 861 S.W.2d 39, 41-42 (Tex.App.-Houston[14th Dist] 1993, pet. ref'd). When the admissibility of evidence depends on some preliminary question of fact, the existence or non-existence of that fact is determined by the trial court. Id. Rule 405(a) provides, in part, that a witness who gives opinion testimony on the character of an accused must have been familiar with the underlying facts or information upon which the opinion is based prior to the date of the offense. Id. at 42 & n.1. A trial court's determination that a sufficient predicate has been laid for the introduction of evidence will not be reversed absent an abuse of discretion. Id.