Bharadia v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
In 2003, a jury convicted appellant Sandeep Bharadia of burglary, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated sexual battery with respect to his breaking into the victim’s apartment and physically attacking her. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s denial of appellant’s initial motion for new trial, and the denial of appellant’s extraordinary motion for new trial. In the order denying the first motion for new trial, as amended, the trial court conducted an analysis based upon the factors set forth in "Timberlake v. Georgia" for granting a new trial on the basis of newly discovered evidence, and found that a new trial was not required because Bharadia failed to meet two of the six factors. The first Timberlake factor required a showing that the newly discovered evidence has come to the movant’s knowledge since the trial; the trial court did not make any finding in its order relating to the second, due diligence, factor. After the first motion for new trial and appeal was lost, appellant’s counsel sought and received assistance from the Georgia Innocence Project (GIP), which in filing an extraordinary motion for new trial, as well as a motion for additional DNA testing to compare the DNA on the gloves with that of the co-defendant or, alternatively, for a comprehensive CODIS3 database search to compare the results of the previous DNA testing to DNA profiles in the database. The trial court denied the request for further DNA testing but granted the request for a CODIS database search. The trial court determined in this case that the evidence of the DNA match to Bharadia’s co-defendant was material and could have changed the result of the trial, but that due diligence was not shown to support the extraordinary motion for new trial. The Supreme Court found that Bharadia waited over a year after trial to determine that DNA relevant to the identity of the assailant was on the gloves and that the DNA did not belong to him, and then waited again until almost nine years after trial and almost seven years after his initial motion for new trial proceeding was completed to establish that the DNA was a match to his co-defendant. As such, the Court concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying either of Bharadia's motions for a new trial.