Fannin County man wins one of three appeals

Published August 12, 2009

BONHAM — Allan Ray Shipp has won one of three appeals in his conviction on three separate counts that involved a trip to Walmart in Bonham.

Shipp was convicted of possession of a controlled substance, forgery of a government instrument and forgery of a commercial instrument.

The 6th Court of Appeals in Texarkana heard his appeals against all three counts.

Shipp challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support the convictions and claimed an error in the trial court’s order cumulating his sentences.

The state moved to consolidate the three indictments and try Shipp in a single criminal action.

The appeals court said Shipp did not object or move to sever any of the actions, and a Fannin County jury found him guilty of all three charges and sentenced him to 60 years imprisonment on the possession charge, 25 years for the forgery of a government instrument charge and 20 years and a $10,000 fine for the forgery of a commercial instrument charge.

Shipp claimed in his appeal the state should not have consolidated the three charges.

The appeals court affirmed the conviction on the possession charge, but found no evidence to sustain the finding the possession of a controlled substance occurred within 1,000 feet of a school zone and vacated that finding.

It overruled Shipp’s argument in the charge of forgery of a government document, a false driver’s license, but modified the order to provide that the sentence will run concurrent with the sentence in the possession charge.

The appeals court did reverse the conviction involving a forged receipt.

In doing so, it ruled: “Because we did not find the forged receipt in this situation to fall within the definition of a ‘commercial instrument,’ we reverse Shipp’s conviction for this charge.”