Beck v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Dallas Beck was convicted of felony murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime in connection with the shooting death of Corey Liverpool. On appeal, Beck contended: (1) the trial court erred by refusing to charge the jury on voluntary manslaughter; (2) Beck was denied a fair trial because jurors considered extrajudicial information during deliberations in reaching a verdict; and (3) that Beck was denied a fair trial because the trial court refused to admit certain evidence of specific instances of the victim’s violent conduct, reputation evidence of the victim, and evidence of the victim’s violence-themed tattoos. The Georgia Supreme Court determined that a changed Evidence Code, OCGA 24-6-606 (b), governed what was or was not admissible to sustain or impeach a verdict. Here, despite the Court's admonition in Davis v. Georgia, 787 SE2d 221 (2016), the parties did not brief or argue the meaning of Rule 606 (b) at the motion for new trial hearing, and the trial court did not apply it when addressing the jury-misconduct claim raised in Beck’s motion. Similarly, the parties did not address the new rule on appeal. "The difference between the old and new Evidence Code matters in this case." Juror C.C. offered some evidence from which the trial court could conclude that extraneous prejudicial information was brought to the jury’s attention when she testified that sentencing information did not come from other jurors and that it was “given to” them. The Court vacated the judgment, and remanded the matter for further proceedings.