McDonald v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
In June 2002, Appellant Steve McDonald was found guilty of malice murder, three counts of felony murder, armed robbery, false imprisonment, theft by taking, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. After his motion for new trial was denied, McDonald obtained new counsel and appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, alleging numerous grounds for reversal. Finding no reversible error, the Court affirmed McDonald’s convictions, but vacated his sentence “to the extent that it ‘merged’ the felony murder, armed robbery, theft by taking, and false imprisonment verdicts into the malice murder verdict.” In 2017, the trial court conducted a resentencing hearing. McDonald presented no evidence during the hearing, and made no argument suggesting that the Supreme Court’s sentencing instructions were erroneous. During the hearing, the trial court merged the theft by taking count into the armed robbery count and further resentenced McDonald to: life imprisonment for armed robbery to run consecutive to malice murder, and ten years for false imprisonment to run concurrent to the armed robbery. McDonald appealed the new sentencing order, contending that the trial court erred “in issuing additional sentences because the order issued by the Supreme Court directing it to do so was in error.” Finding no error, the Supreme Court affirmed.