Georgia v. HamiltonAnnotate this Case
In November 2015, appellee Paul Hamilton was indicted for the malice murder of Brandon Lay, the felony murder of Lay predicated on aggravated assault, and the aggravated assaults of Lay, Teddi Taylor, and Judy Hewatt. In October 2018, a jury found Hamilton not guilty of malice murder but guilty of the remaining crimes. The trial court, on its own motion, granted Hamilton a new trial on general and legal grounds. The State appealed. Having reviewed the entire record, and considering that the trial court was authorized, as the thirteenth juror, to discount Taylor’s and Hewatt’s testimony and to credit Hamilton’s story, 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’s conclusion was an abuse of its substantial discretion to grant Hamilton a new trial. Therefore, it affirmed the trial court judgment.