Articles Posted in Georgia Supreme Court

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Andres Rodriguez-Nova was tried by jury and convicted of murder and false imprisonment, both in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Elba Mejia-Mesa. Rodriguez-Nova appealed, contending that the trial court erred with respect to both an evidentiary ruling and its instructions to the jury. He also argued he was denied the effective assistance of counsel. Upon its review of the record and briefs, the Supreme Court saw no error, and affirmed. View "Rodriguez-Nova v. Georgia" on Justia Law

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Following a joint jury trial regarding the murder of Robert Burdette and the related arson of Burdette’s car with his body inside, co-defendants Emily Perera and Miguel Alma appealed their convictions, contending, among other things, that the evidence was insufficient to support their verdicts and that respective trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Upon review, the Supreme Court found no reversible error, and affirmed convictions in both cases. View "Perera v. Georgia" on Justia Law

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Appellant Patrick Moore was convicted by jury of murder and related offenses for the 2011 shootings of Erica Peterson, Fabian Ellis, and Jervod Jarvis, and shooting death of Tracy Burton. Appellant appealed the denial of his amended motion for new trial, arguing the evidence was insufficient for a jury to find him guilty, and also asserting that the trial court erred by: (1) excluding evidence of a victim’s possession of drugs; (2) admitting evidence concerning Appellant’s Facebook page; and (3) refusing to give a voluntary manslaughter jury charge. Finding no error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Moore v. Georgia" on Justia Law

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Gary Kilgore was tried by jury and convicted of the murder of Souphoth Thammavongsa, as well as several other crimes related to the robbery of a video store that Thammavongsa owned. Kilgore appealed, arguing the trial court erred when it admitted evidence pursuant to the business records exception to the hearsay rule. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Kilgore v. Georgia" on Justia Law

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James Hundley, Jr. was tried by jury and convicted of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, both in connection with the shooting death of Ida Golson. Hundley appealed, arguing he was denied the effective assistance of counsel. Upon review of the record and briefs, the Supreme Court found no error and affirmed. View "Hundley v. Georgia" on Justia Law

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Cleo Hampton, Jr. appealed the denial of his motion for new trial following his convictions for malice murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Jared Taylor. Hampton argued he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Finding that the record did not support his claim, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's decision. View "Hampton v. Georgia" on Justia Law

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In April 1991, Appellant Allen Grace and Willie Parris entered a grocery store in Thomas County with the intent to rob it while Appellant’s uncle stood watch outside. A store employee, Anthony Justiss, was shot once in the head and died; another employee, Warren Jackson, was shot twice in the head, leaving him blind in one eye. Appellant and his accomplices took the cash register and a cash box and fled to Grady County, where Appellant opened fire on two police officers, shooting one in the face at point blank range. A grand jury indicted Appellant for the malice murder of Justiss, aggravated battery and aggravated assault against Jackson, and armed robbery, and the State later filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty. Appellant, who was represented by two attorneys, entered a negotiated guilty plea in exchange for the State’s agreement not to seek the death penalty. Appellant was sentenced to consecutive terms of life in prison for murder and armed robbery and a total of 40 consecutive years for aggravated battery and aggravated assault. Almost 20 years later, Appellant filed a pro se motion for out-of-time appeal which was denied on grounds that Appellant did not meet his burden entitling him to the appeal. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Appellant's motion. View "Grace v. Georgia" on Justia Law

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Appellant Ahmad Gill was convicted of malice murder and other related crimes involving the shooting of a security guard working at a strip club in the early morning hours of November 21, 2010. He appealed, arguing the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and alleging he was denied effective assistance of trial counsel. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Gill v. Georgia" on Justia Law

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Following a jury trial, Tomorris Geiger was found guilty of murder, felony murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, and various other offenses in connection with the shooting deaths of cousins Dewayne and John Bacon. On appeal, Geiger challenged the sufficiency of the evidence that supported the verdict. Further, he argued the trial court erred by admitting similar transactions and improper character evidence, that the trial court erred by denying Geiger’s second request for a continuance; and that his trial counsel was ineffective. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Geiger v. Georgia" on Justia Law

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Defense counsel in this case advised petitioner that a guilty plea to a burglary charge "may" have had an impact on petitioner's immigration status. The consequences of the plea were clear: a conviction constituted an aggravated felony and would almost certainly lead to deportation proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This case centered on the adequacy of an attorney’s immigration advice to a legal permanent resident who entered a guilty plea to a burglary charge. The habeas court denied petitioner's petition, finding that petitioner was advised "as accurately as possible regarding a negative impact on his immigration status, including, but not limited to, possible deportation." The court added: "[C]ounsel provided petitioner with consistent, accurate advice about the risk petitioner was facing. The advice and instruction provided to petitioner was neither 'mis-advice' nor insufficient or inadequate." Petitioner filed an application for a certificate of probable cause to appeal which the Supreme Court granted, posing the following question: "Did the habeas court properly analyze the claim presented?" The Supreme Court answered "no," reversed the habeas court, and remanded with directions. View "Encarnation v. Georgia" on Justia Law