What Is ''Transferred Intent'' In Texas Criminal Law ?

The issue of "transferred intent" is raised where there is evidence a defendant with the required culpable mental state intends to injure or harm a specific person but injures or harms a different person or both. See TEX. PEN. CODE ANN. 6.04(b)(2) (Vernon 1994); Manrique v. State, 994 S.W.2d 640, 647 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999). The theory of transferred intent need not be in the indictment for it to have later application in the case. See Malik, 953 S.W.2d at 239; Norris v. State, 902 S.W.2d 428, 436 n.10 (Tex. Crim. App. 1995); Dowden v. State, 758 S.W.2d 264, 274 (Tex. Crim. App. 1988). The law is well settled that it is appropriate to plead differing methods of committing one offense in a single indictment. See Kitchens v. State, 823 S.W.2d 256, 258 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991). Although the indictment may allege differing methods of committing the offense in the conjunctive, it is proper for the jury to be charged in the disjunctive. Id. Further, where the alternate theories of committing the same offense are submitted to the jury in the disjunctive, it is appropriate for the jury to return a general verdict if the evidence is sufficient to support a finding under any of the theories submitted. Id.