Carter v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Jehaziel Carter was convicted of malice murder, financial-transaction card fraud, and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Eric Chepkuto. On appeal, Carter argued the evidence was insufficient to sustain his convictions, and in particular, the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction for financial-transaction card fraud. The trial court record revealed Chepkuto was found dead in the apartment he shared with his wife rom a gunshot to the face. A review of Chepkuto’s cell phone and bank records led police to Carter, who was unemployed and living with his cousin at the time. Chepkuto’s work phone was found behind the couch where Carter slept. Carter’s backpack contained paperwork and other items belonging to Carter, as well as ammunition and a gun that was later determined to have fired the bullet that killed Chepkuto. Bank records and other evidence show five attempts to access money from an ATM using Carter's debit card were made; a purchase was made for an item costing close to $4,000; the receipt listed Carter's e-mail address, and specified the item was to be delivered to the address of the mother of Carter's child. The Georgia Supreme Court reversed on the fraud count, finding the evidence was legally sufficient to exclude every reasonable hypothesis other than Carter’s guilt and to authorize a rational trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Carter was guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted, other than the financial-transaction card fraud. But because the evidence was legally sufficient to support the jury’s guilty verdicts on the other counts, the Court affirmed Carter’s remaining convictions.