Holmes v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
De’Andre Holmes appealed the denial of his motion for new trial after a jury found him guilty of malice murder and other offenses in connection with the death of Cory Joseph. On appeal, Holmes argued the evidence presented against him was insufficient because the State failed to prove that venue was proper in Richmond County, Georgia. Furthermore, he argued the trial court failed to exercise its discretion to act as the “thirteenth juror” in ruling upon Holmes’ motion for new trial and instead inappropriately applied a sufficiency-of-evidence standard to Holmes’ statutory challenge on the general grounds. After review of the trial court record, the Georgia Supreme Court concluded the State presented sufficient evidence to support Holmes’ convictions. However, because the record showed that the trial court applied only a sufficiency-of-evidence standard in considering Holmes’ motion for new trial on the general grounds, the Supreme Court vacated in part the trial court’s order denying his motion for new trial and remanded the case so that the trial court may exercise its discretion as the “thirteenth juror” and, in so doing, reweigh the evidence presented at trial. The Court did not reach Holmes’ additional enumeration of error regarding the sufficiency of the evidence presented by the State regarding venue.