I'm going to trial in an agg robbery case where the crook has "HOOVA" tatooed across the front of his neck. When I asked him about it at a writ hearing, he said it had no particular meaning. "It's just a name... just nobody's name..." An internet search revealed that a couple of Crips sub-groups use "Hoova" in their names. He had "Slim" tatooed on one arm and his mother's name (so he said) on his other arm. I now have heard from jail sources that he has recently tatooed "Southside" on his torso. I want to get all of his tats photographed for possible punishment purposes (gang affiliation). Rather than reinvent the wheel, has anybody done this before??? I've got a squeamish judge so I'm thinking search warrant here. Thanks for the help. Also, a line on a good tatoo expert would be a great help also. Fyi, my crook did 10 months in a state jail just recently so some of his tats could be prison related I'm thinking. Thanks again.
We've got a motion we use regularly. I just e-mailed you a copy of the motion and order.
I know there was a new case that just came out on this in the last month or so. The motion has not been updated to include that case.
I believe each unit in the TDC has a gang intelligence officer. You might call that individual at the State Jail he did his time, and ask him if he knows the significance of the tattoos you've described. Maybe he already has a photo of your man's tats.
Contact the TDCJ Security Threat Group at 936-437-8446 for some expert information on the "HOOVA" tattoo.
From: 2007 TXCA1 01-06-00479 - 101807; Garcia v. State; No. 01-06-00479-CR
Court of Appeals of Texas, First District
October 18, 2007
Garcia's statutory and constitutional complaints concerning the admission of the tattoo photos are also unavailing. "[T]he Constitution does not protect criminal defendants from giving fingerprints, or standing in police lineups. It follows then, that a criminal defendant who is asked to display tattoos suffers no constitutional harm." Gardner v. Norris, 949 F.Supp. 1359, 1374-75 (E.D. Ark. 1996) (citing U.S. v. Bay, 762 F.2d 1314, 1316-17 (9th Cir. 1984)). Requiring a defendant to display a distinguishing physical feature, such as a tattoo, does not violate the Fifth Amendment. Garza v. State, 213 S.W.3d 338, 347 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007).
Garcia complains that the admission of photos also violated his rights under the Fourth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and article 38.23 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure because the officer did not give him the required warnings before taking photos of his tattoos. Garcia, however, did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy concerning his tattoos, which appear on the front of his neck, his forearms, and his calves - all places that may be exposed while he is wearing street clothing. See U.S. v. Dionisio, 410 U.S. 1, 14-15, 93 S.Ct. 764, 771 (1973) (because person's voice, facial characteristics, or handwriting are constantly exposed to public, no person can have reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to sound of his voice or features of physical appearance; thus, compelling person to disclose sound of voice to grand jury did not infringe on any interest protected by Fourth Amendment).(fn3)
"Article 38.22, �3(a), applies only to oral statements made during custodial interrogation." Holberg v. State, 38 S.W.3d 137, 141 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000); Hernandez v. State, 114 S.W.3d 58, 65 (Tex. App. - Fort Worth 2003, pet. ref'd). Because tattoos are not statements, article 38.22 of the Code of Criminal Procedure does not apply. See Hernandez, 114 S.W.2d at 65 (holding that officer's testimony regarding defendant's tattoos and manner of dress resulted from officer's personal observation and was not subject to exclusion under article 38.22). Accordingly, we conclude that Garcia's constitutional and statutory complaints concerning the trial court's admission of the tattoo photos lack merit.
I don't know where your guy is from, but I grew up near Lawton, OK and if I remember correctly they had a Hoover Crips gang, or "hoova" crips that actually had some ties to Hoover Street in Lawton. That was back in the 80's.
Wichita Falls has Hoova members as well. Some of them also have ties to Lawton.
Robert, will you please send me the motion to photograph? Thanks!
(Just delete "_NO_SPAM" from my e-mail address.)
In the event that you need a Texas authority directly on point--you can direct the court to the following case (or even update the motion for all you overachievers out there):
Garcia v. State
239 S.W.3d 862
Tex.App.-Houston [1 Dist.],2007.
October 18, 2007 (Approx. 8 pages)
The relevant portion is:
"Garcia complains that the admission of photos also violated his rights under the Fourth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and article 38.23 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure because the officer did not give him the required warnings before taking photos of his tattoos. Garcia, however, did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy concerning his tattoos, which appear on the front of his neck, his forearms, and his calves-all places that may be exposed while he is wearing street clothing. See U.S. v. Dionisio, 410 U.S. 1, 14-15, 93 S.Ct. 764, 771, 35 L.Ed.2d 67 (1973) (because person's voice, facial characteristics, or handwriting are constantly exposed to public, no person can have reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to sound of his voice or features of physical appearance; thus, compelling person to disclose sound of voice to grand jury did not infringe on any interest protected by Fourth Amendment)."
"Hoovas" (Hoovers) are a splinter of the Crips. The Hoovers Criminal Gang (HCGs) are named for the area where the Crips emerged, near the area of 107th Street and Hoover in LA.
As above, TDC can probably help you with intel. If you want to be wowed by an expert, get in touch with Tony Moreno.
Robert's advice and forms were invaluable to me last year. My crook had a slew of tatoos (mostly gang related). The TDCJ Security Threat Group is certainly the place to go for expert testimony re the significance of many of the gang tats. Once I secured my photos of the tatoos and produced them to the defense attorney, my agg robber took a lengthy prison sentence without a fight.
Thanks for the motion, Robert! And the update, too.
I would also like a copy of the motion please.
Robert is my trial partner. I emailed you the motion & order we use.
This guy's pictures could help in trial, too:
"His mug shot displayed elaborate facial tattos, and his arrest report listed several more, including the word "cannibalism" spelled out on his fingers; a dancing skeleton, a naked woman and a pumpkin head on his chest and stomach; a dragonfly, elephant and Batman symbol with breasts on his right arm; a snowman, naked pixies, a squirrel on a cross and a two-headed child on his left arm; and the word "doomed" on his back."
Just how many fingers did this guy have?
(insert applicable Princess Bride joke here...)
Could put "maneater" and still have a couple of digits left over for expletives and/or descriptive artwork. Easier to spell too.
|Powered by Social Strata|
© TDCAA, 2001. All Rights Reserved.