Georgia v. AshleyAnnotate this Case
In 2012, Thad Ashley was convicted of kidnapping a seven-year-old girl, attempting to kidnap her three-year-old sister, and criminal trespass at the trailer park where his father lived. At trial, the jury heard evidence of these crimes as well as evidence of three earlier incidents at the trailer park’s pool when Ashley had behaved inappropriately towards young children. The trial court admitted the evidence of these other incidents as similar transaction evidence under Georgia’s old Evidence Code, which applied at the time of Ashley’s trial, for the purpose of showing his intent when he engaged in the acts alleged in the indictment and his desires towards young children. Ashley appealed, contending among other things that the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted the similar transaction evidence. In a split
decision, the Court of Appeals agreed and reversed Ashley’s convictions on that ground. The Georgia Supreme Court concluded the appellate court erred in its decision, reversed and remanded with direction to consider Ashley's other challenges to his convictions.