Williamson v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Stevie Williamson appealed his convictions for malice murder, burglary, and other charges stemming from the July 2006 shooting death of George Rutten at Rutten’s home. On appeal, Williams: (1) challenged the sufficiency of the evidence as to burglary and a felony murder count predicated on burglary; and (2) argued the trial court erred when it did not grant his motion to suppress certain custodial statements and evidence flowing therefrom. Williamson contended the trial court erred in instructing the jury that the jury could consider any prior consistent statements by witnesses as “substantive evidence” and it should have considered any statement made by the defendant “with great care and caution.” Williamson moved the Georgia Supreme Court to remand the case back to the trial court so that he could raise possible claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. After review of the trial court record, and upon consideration of Williamson’s claims on appeal, the Georgia Supreme Court concluded the evidence was sufficient to find that Williamson committed the crimes of which he was convicted, the trial court did not err in finding that his custodial statements were admissible, and none of the cited jury instructions were reversible error. Furthermore, the Court concluded Williamson was barred from raising in his direct appeal any claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel because he did not raise them at the earliest possible moment. Therefore, the Court denied the motion to remand, and affirmed Williamson’s convictions.