Tuggle v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Justin Tuggle was tried by jury and convicted of murder and related offenses in connection with the stabbing and beating death of Kevin Harmon. He appealed, alleging, among other things, that the trial court erred in admitting a hearsay statement of a co-defendant at trial, and erred in denying his motion for mistrial. Largely, Tuggle argued the prosecutor made an impermissible argument in his closing arguments to the court, and a curative instruction to the jury was not given. The Georgia Supreme Court found that because the parties' closing arguments were not transcribed, and because the trial court made no finings as to what the State argued, Tuggle could not how the State made an impermissible argument. Tuggle also contended the trial court failed to exercise discretion in sentencing, specifically because it sentenced Tuggle and his co-indictees to the same sentence. The Supreme Court could not say the trial court failed to exercise its discretion during sentencing. It therefore affirmed Tuggle's conviction and sentence.