Georgia v. DensonAnnotate this Case
A grand jury indicted Javis Denson and his brother, Myron Mitchell, Jr., individually and as parties to a crime, for the felony murder (predicated on aggravated assault) of Mickey Albritton; two counts of aggravated assault, one of Albritton and the other of Earl Dasher; and three counts of possession of a firearm during commission of a felony. A jury would later find Denson and Mitchell guilty of all counts, for which Denson was sentenced to life imprisonment plus concurrent sentences. Denson moved for a new trial, arguing (among other things) that “[t]he verdict [wa]s contrary to the evidence” and “the principles of justice and equity” and that it was “decided strongly against the weight of the evidence.” After holding a hearing and considering the parties’ legal briefs, the trial court granted Denson’s motion for a new trial under OCGA sections 5-5-20 and 5-5-21. The State then appealed. Having reviewed the entire record, and considering that the trial court was authorized, as the thirteenth juror, to credit Denson’s version of events and discount versions offered by other witnesses, and bearing in mind the standard of review set forth in OCGA 5- 5-50, the Georgia Supreme Court could not say the trial court abused its "substantial discretion" in granting Denson a new trial on the general grounds. Therefore, it affirmed the trial court's judgment.