Tye v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
In 2008, Cortez Tye was convicted of and sentenced for felony murder and related crimes stemming from a carjacking. Tye appealed his convictions and sentences and the superior court’s 2014 denial of his motion for new trial, as amended, in which the remaining stated issue was Tye’s assertion that the judge who conducted his trial erred in declining to hold a hearing on the issue of Tye’s competency to stand trial even though Tye filed a special pre-trial plea of incompetency. Prior to the denial of the request for a new trial, the superior court conducted a post-conviction hearing on the issue of competency pursuant to "Baker v. Georgia," (297 SE2d 9 (1982)), and determined that Tye was competent at the time of his trial. In this appeal, Tye made no challenge regarding the merits of his convictions and sentences; the appeal focused solely on the issue of competency to stand trial. Although the Supreme Court found no error in the jury's verdicts or any merit to Tye’s competency challenge, there was error with regard to Tye's sentences. The trial court imposed a life sentence for each of the two indicted counts of felony murder, to be served concurrently; however, Tye could not be sentenced on both felony murder counts when only one person was killed inasmuch as this improperly subjects him to multiple convictions and punishments for one crime. Consequently, Tye is to be resentenced on only one felony murder count, in the discretion of the trial court. And, inasmuch as the sentences imposed for the remaining two underlying crimes were to be served concurrently with those improperly given for the felony murder counts, and thus, are part of the same sentencing scheme, Tye had to be resentenced on these counts too.