Georgia v. BrownAnnotate this Case
In August 2014, a grand jury returned a 21-count indictment against Appellees Malcolm Brown, Demetre Mason, Frankland Henderson, Michael Jenkins, Jaimee Harrell, Katrina Shardow, and Traon Turk, on charges of murder, armed robbery, robbery by force, car-jacking, and numerous violations of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act and Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act. During pre-trial proceedings, the State filed a motion seeking a ruling on the admissibility of a 13-count federal indictment charging unrelated defendants with crimes and racketeering activities in association with a gang operating in Virginia. The State contended that information in the federal indictment was “required” to prove certain essential elements of the alleged violations of Georgia’s street gang act, specifically, the existence of a “criminal street gang” and the commission of “criminal gang activity,” as those terms are defined in the statute. In the alternative, the State contended that the indictment was admissible under OCGA 24-4-404 (b) to prove motive. The trial court denied the State’s motion. The State appealed. Finding no abuse of the trial court's discretion, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed.