9th Court of Appeals Opinion – August 25, 2011

On August 25th the 9th Court of Appeals released several opinions and other rulings, one of which was not a memorandum opinion.

In re the Committment of Nelton Eugene Meyers – Affirmed

The 435th District Court, ever a busy venue if you’re predisposed to sexually assault people, has yet again received word from the 9th Court of Appeals to carry on – but make a couple changes. This opinion pulls no punches and delivers the evidence of Nelton Meyers’ prior transgressions, who was committed as a sexually violent predator. In his first issue the defendant takes issue with part of the jury instruction, saying it caused reversible harm. It reads: “[that] beyond a reasonable doubt that Nelton Eugene Meyers suffers from a behavioral abnormality that predisposes him to engage in a predatory act of sexual violence.” Meyers insists that the charge should instead track the statute and state: “Do you find beyond a reasonable doubt that Nelton Eugene Myers is a sexually violent predator.” The court does not rule on this point, instead simply points out that it has affirmed this jury instruction in prior cases. Then the defendant states that “likely” should replace “predisposed” in the jury charge. The court, having addressed this issue before, overrules it.

However, the court now states, for the first time, that the question which should be submitted is: “Do you find beyond a reasonable doubt that [Respondent] is a sexually violent predator?” Further, this charge should now include the “applicable statutory definitions of the statutorily defined terms.” So the defendant has shown that the court’s charge did not track the law as it should, but gets no satisfaction for doing so.

In his second issue the defendant states that there was not enough evidence to commit him. At trial defendant apparently admitted to committing “indecency with a child and aggravated sexual assault.” He had also been committed to a juvenile institution for attempting to rape his mother, and had admitted to liking seven and eight year old girls but preferred sixteen year old girls because he gets less prison time for them. Apparently, voices tell him to hurt people and sexually assault people as well. From time to time, the defendant apparently listened to these voices and as a child stabbed his step-father in the leg. Furthermore, the defendant has a history of alcohol and marijuana abuse. This all distills into a diagnosis of “pedophilia, nonexclusive type, attracted to females” and antisocial personality disorder.

The court finds this evidence, combined with more expert testimony, to be sufficient to withstand the commitment. And who could blame the 9th after reading that?