A state appeals court upheld the conviction of Martin DiCarlo, a 47-year-old Williamson County man sentanced to life in prison in 2008 after his seventh drunken driving conviction.
On Friday, the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin rejected DiCarlo’s arguments that prosecutors improperly questioned potential jurors and ruled that a recorded jailhouse phone conversation between DiCarlo and his brother was properly introduced into evidence. In the call, the brother berates DiCarlo for previous drunken driving episodes, and DiCarlo responds, “We all make mistakes.”
The court ruled that the conversation impeached DiCarlo’s claims that he was having a diabetic episode, and that the brother’s coarse language did not make the jury more likely to convict.
The opinion noted other factors that were more likely to sway jurors: “In a seperate, recorded conversation with his ex-wife discussing why he was in jail, (DiCarlo) stated, ‘It’s my fault for drinking and driving.’ The arresting officer reported observing signs consistent with intoxication while appellant was driving and while he was performing field sobriety tests. Most compelling is appellant’s blood-alcohol concentration measured by the breath test on which both readings – .139 and .144 – were well higher than the acceptiable .08 level for legal driving.”