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Martin Balleza v. The State of Texas
Case Number: 04-18-00733-CR
Judge: Patricia O. Alvarez
Court: Fourth Court of Appeals San Antonio, Texas
Plaintiff's Attorney: Joe D. Gonzales
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Appellant Martin Balleza was charged by indictment in Cause Number 2017CR12645 with
two counts: Count I for continuous sexual abuse of young children; Count II for sexual assault of
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a child. Balleza pled not guilty, and a jury convicted him on both counts. The court then sentenced
Balleza to confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice—Institutional Division for
ninety-nine years for continuous sexual abuse of young children and ten years for sexual assault
of a child, with the sentences to run consecutively.
Balleza timely filed a notice of appeal. The trial court appointed appellate counsel, and
court-appointed counsel filed an Anders brief. Balleza filed a pro se brief. COURT-APPOINTED APPELLATE COUNSEL’S ANDERS BRIEF Balleza’s appellate counsel filed a brief containing a professional evaluation of the record
in accordance with Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967); counsel also filed a motion to
withdraw. In the brief, counsel recites the relevant facts with citations to the record.
Counsel reviewed the case and examined the jury selection process, pretrial motions, the
outcry hearing, the extraneous offense hearing, business records objections, the voluntariness of
Balleza’s statements, spousal privilege, the motion for directed verdict, the motion for new trial,
and the possibility of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Based on counsel’s review, counsel
determined that there are no arguable errors in the trial of this cause and that Balleza’s appeal
would be frivolous and without merit. See Nichols v. State, 954 S.W.2d 83, 85 (Tex. App.—San
Antonio 1997, no pet.).
We conclude appellate counsel’s brief meets the Anders requirements. See Anders, 386
U.S. at 744; see also High v. State, 573 S.W.2d 807, 813 (Tex. Crim. App. [Panel Op.] 1978);
Gainous v. State, 436 S.W.2d 137, 138 (Tex. Crim. App. 1969). Counsel provided Balleza with a
copy of the brief and counsel’s motion to withdraw, and informed Balleza of his right to review
the record and file a pro se brief. See Nichols, 954 S.W.2d at 85–86; see also Bruns v. State, 924
S.W.2d 176, 177 n.1 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 1996, no pet.). Counsel advised Balleza of his
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right to request a copy of the record and provided Balleza with a motion to request a copy of the
record. See Kelly v. State, 436 S.W.3d 313, 319–20 (Tex. Crim. App. 2014).
Appellant elected to file a pro se brief. On June 17, 2019, appellant filed a pro se motion
requesting access to the appellate record. On August 1, 2019, written notice was filed certifying
that a complete copy of the record was sent to appellant. Appellant’s pro se brief was due to be
filed on September 3, 2019. He filed a motion to extend on September 3, 2019, which was granted.
Appellant’s pro se brief was then due no later than October 4, 2019. Balleza filed his brief on
October 15, 2019. The State filed a waiver on October 16, 2019. APPELLANT’S PRO SE BRIEF Balleza’s pro se brief was untimely. We nevertheless review the issue presented.
Balleza raises the issue of a speedy trial violation, since he was arrested in August 2016
and tried in October 2018. The trial record shows that the grand jury indicted Balleza on November
27, 2017, and that trial was originally set for October 1, 2018. It does not reflect that Balleza ever
asserted his right to a speedy trial. In fact, Balleza’s trial counsel requested a continuance on the
first day of trial due to a scheduling conflict with the federal court. The State objected, and the
trial went forward as planned. Balleza fails to articulate any prejudice now. See State v. Munoz,
991 S.W.2d 818, 825 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999) (citing Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972)).
Balleza’s pro se brief presents no arguable grounds for appeal.
Outcome: Having reviewed the entire record, the Anders brief, and the pro se brief, we conclude that there are no arguable grounds for appeal and the appeal is wholly frivolous and without merit. See Bledsoe v. State, 178 S.W.3d 824, 826–27 (Tex. Crim. App. 2005).
We affirm the trial court’s judgments and we grant appellate counsel’s motion to withdraw. See Nichols, 954 S.W.2d at 85–86; Bruns, 924 S.W.2d at 177 n.1.