Supreme Court of Georgia Decisions 2020

Daly v. Berryhill  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0499

Justia Opinion Summary: Shane Berryhill fainted and fell out of an 18-foot deer stand while hunting five days after undergoing major heart surgery. Plaintiffs Berryhill and his wife sued his surgeon, Dr. Dale Daly, and Savannah Cardiology (coll...

Georgia v. Heath  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0967

Justia Opinion Summary: Kristine Heath was convicted by jury of homicide by vehicle in the first degree based on reckless driving; homicide by vehicle in the second degree; five counts of serious injury by vehicle; and failure to stop at a stop...

Global Payments, Inc. v. InComm Financial Services, Inc.  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S19G1000

Justia Opinion Summary: InComm Financial Services issued pre-paid debit and credit cards under the “Vanilla VISA” brand to cardholders who use the cards to buy goods and services. Global Payments, Inc. was a financial data payment processor. Th...

Shealey v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0185

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Dextreion Shealey and his co-defendant Kelvin Hurston were found guilty of felony murder and other crimes in connection with the 2016 gang-related shooting death of Daven Tucker. Appellant’s only contention on...

Thompson v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0245

Justia Opinion Summary: Timmy Thompson was found guilty by jury of murder in connection with the death of his wife, Peggy Thompson. Peggy’s cause of death was determined to be blunt-force injuries to her head in conjunction with asphyxia, and h...

Newton v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0259

Justia Opinion Summary: Cedric Newton, Jr. was tried by jury and convicted of murder and other crimes in connection with the 2010 fatal shooting of Udondra Hargrove. On appeal, Newton claimed the trial court erred when it denied his motion to s...

Stinchcomb v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0355

Justia Opinion Summary: At a 2004 trial, a jury found Appellant Mario Stinchcomb guilty of felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the shooting death of Jakesha Young. The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed Stin...

Treadaway v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0410

Justia Opinion Summary: Dora Treadaway was convicted of felony murder in connection with the death of her husband Claude “Randy” Treadaway. On appeal, Treadaway argued: (1) the trial court’s order denying her motion for new trial should have b...

Rouzan v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0414

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Seth Joseph Brian Rouzan challenged his 2013 convictions for malice murder and another crime in connection with the shooting death of Joseph Williams, Jr. Appellant claimed: (1) the trial court applied the wron...

Hamilton v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0483

Justia Opinion Summary: Rodney Hamilton was convicted by jury of felony murder predicated on aggravated battery, in connection with the death of his three-year-old adopted daughter. On appeal, Hamilton argued the evidence submitted against him...

Norris v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0500

Justia Opinion Summary: Melissa Norris was convicted by jury of malice murder and a related firearm offense in connection with the shooting death of her father, Charles. Norris and her father had a strained relationship based on Norris’s refusa...

Lyons v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0536

Justia Opinion Summary: Joseph Lyons was convicted by jury for the felony murder of Tony Lyons, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of home invasion, and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. On appeal...

Dixon v. Georgia  
Date: June 1, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0857

Justia Opinion Summary: Stanley Dixon was convicted by jury of malice murder for the shooting death of Cedrick Clark. He was also convicted of aggravated assault, possession of a handgun by an underaged person, and multiple counts of participat...

Mathenia v. Brumbelow  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0426

Justia Opinion Summary: Joshua Brumbelow petitioned the Superior Court of Habersham County to legitimate his biological son, E.M. The superior court denied the petition, concluding that, under In re Eason, 358 SE2d 459 (1987), Brumbelow had aba...

New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC v. Dept. of Revenue  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0802

Justia Opinion Summary: After approximately ten years of litigation, the Georgia Supreme Court granted a second petition for certiorari in a dispute over the refund of millions of dollars in Georgia sales and use taxes that allegedly violated a...

Jackson v. Raffensperger  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0039

Justia Opinion Summary: In June 2018, Appellants Mary Jackson and her non-profit organization, Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, Inc. (“ROSE”), filed a complaint against the Secretary of State challenging the constitutionality of the Georgia Lac...

Mahaffey v. Georgia  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0118

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2014, Appellant Charles Mahaffey entered negotiated guilty pleas to felony murder and aggravated assault in connection with the stabbing death of Christopher Reynolds. Appellant later challenged the trial court’s orde...

Walker v. Georgia  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0170

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Vashon Walker challenged his 2016 conviction for felony murder for the shooting death of his girlfriend, Jessica Osborne. He contended that the evidence was legally insufficient, that the trial court erred in a...

Carson v. Georgia  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0288

Justia Opinion Summary: Anderson Carson was tried by jury and convicted of the malice murder of Lee Solkol, and the robbery by force of Fred Hickson. On appeal, Carson argued the trial court erred by: (1) denying his motion to sever; (2) appear...

Sullivan v. Georgia  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0309

Justia Opinion Summary: Monique Sullivan was convicted by jury of felony murder predicated on aggravated assault in connection with the death of Amelia Hiltz; the aggravated assaults of Maureen Floyd and Kevin Mollenhauer; reckless conduct in r...

Hood v. Georgia  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0343

Justia Opinion Summary: Antione Hood was convicted by jury of felony murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the shooting death of Candace McGriff. Hood appealed, contending that his trial counsel...

Johnson v. Williams  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0457

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant, Warden Glen Johnson, challenged a habeas court’s order setting aside Larry Williams’ convictions for four counts of armed robbery, one count of terroristic threats, and one count of using a hoax device. In its...

Hampton v. Georgia  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0482

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant James Hampton was tried with Dwayne Abney and convicted of three counts of malice murder and several other crimes in connection with the shooting deaths of Kiana Marshall, Isaiah Martin, and Alexis Kitchens. Ma...

Georgia v. Rowe  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0504

Justia Opinion Summary: Donnie Rowe, Jr. was accused of double murder during a prison escape. In the pending death penalty prosecution of Rowe, the trial court directed that all records of visits from Rowe’s defense team to various prisoners be...

San Miguel Produce, Inc. v. L.G. Herndon, Jr. Farms, Inc.  
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20Q0374

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia certified three questions to the Georgia Supreme Court regarding the scope of the Georgia Dealers in Agricultural Products Act, Ga. L. 1956, p. 617 (c...

IN THE MATTER OF HOWARD L. SOSNIK
Date: May 18, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y1078
Barrow v. Raffensperger  
Date: May 14, 2020
Docket Numbers: S20A1029, S20A1031

Justia Opinion Summary: These cases involved challenges to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s decision to cancel the election originally scheduled for May 19, 2020, for the office of Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia held by Justice...

Evans v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0007

Justia Opinion Summary: Jimmy Evans was convicted by jury for murder and other crimes relating to the 2006 deaths of Tavoris Calhoun and Dezmon Thomas. On appeal, Evans argued that because he was visibly intoxicated at the time he made statemen...

Carter v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0022

Justia Opinion Summary: Brandon Carter was convicted by jury of malice murder and two firearm offenses in connection with the shooting death of Terrance Baker. On appeal, Carter contended the trial court erred by admitting certain hearsay state...

Rosser v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0103

Justia Opinion Summary: Larry Rosser was convicted by jury of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the death of Alexis Vereen. On appeal, Rosser challenged the sufficiency of the evidence presented against him at trial, and argued...

Whitehead v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0171

Justia Opinion Summary: Javis Whitehead was convicted by jury of murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Dominique Larry. On appeal, Whitehead challenged the sufficiency of the evidence presented to rebut his claim of s...

Collins v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0195

Justia Opinion Summary: Renita Collins was tried for murder along with co-defendant Michael Stallworth. Collins appealed her convictions for murder and possession of a firearm while in commission of a felony in connection with the shooting deat...

Dawson v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0217

Justia Opinion Summary: Lavaris Dawson was convicted by jury of felony murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Mamadou Camara. On appeal, Dawson challenged the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his convictions, and...

Styles v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0236

Justia Opinion Summary: Derrick Styles was convicted by jury of felony murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Alberto Lumens and the armed robbery fo Juan Lumens Garcia. On appeal, Styles contended the trial court erre...

Clarke v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0258

Justia Opinion Summary: Rupert Clark was convicted by jury for the malice murder of his wife, Rosemarie Lebert-Clark. He was also convicted of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. On appeal, he argued he received ineffecti...

Hill v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0285

Justia Opinion Summary: Esco Hill was convicted by jury of malice murder and other crimes relating to the stabbing death of Alford Morris in 2014. On appeal, Hill argued the trial court committed reversible error by requiring him to be visibly...

Burley v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0356

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1992, Douglas Burley pled guilty to malice murder. He moved for an out-of-time appeal in 2019, claiming that his right to appeal was frustrated by his plea counsel’s erroneous advice that he could not appeal his convi...

Oliver v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0489

Justia Opinion Summary: Jacquan Oliver entered a negotiated plea of guilty to felony murder in connection with the shooting death of Alexander Mixon. He appealed his conviction and sentence, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in...

Spencer v. Georgia  
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0871

Justia Opinion Summary: Christopher Spencer was convicted by jury of murder and other crimes in connection with the fatal shootings of Sylvia Watson and Samuel White. Spencer appealed, claiming only that the evidence was insufficient to support...

IN THE MATTER OF TIMOTHY PAUL HEALY
Date: May 4, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y1015
Keller v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0006

Justia Opinion Summary: Randall Keller was convicted of felony murder and related crimes arising out of the beating death of his ex-wife’s two-year-old son, William Powell. On appeal, Keller raised numerous claims of error, including ineffectiv...

Sullivan v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0056

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury convicted Antonio Sullivan of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Wava Benton. On appeal, Sullivan contended his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective by failing to pre...

Rickman v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0127

Justia Opinion Summary: Victoria Rickman was convicted by jury of malice murder and a related firearm offense in connection with the shooting death of William Carter, Jr. Rickman and Carter had a tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship with...

Collins v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0158

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Tommy Collins was convicted of felony murder in connection with the stabbing death of 14-year-old Rueben Hand. Friends gathered to watch the Peach Drop on New Year's Eve 2010; a disagreement ensued and Hand was...

Morris v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0176

Justia Opinion Summary: Darius Morris was found guilty by jury of malice murder and other offenses in connection with the shooting death of Jameson Bush. Morris appealed, arguing he was denied the right to a timely appeal, that the trial court...

Williams v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0241

Justia Opinion Summary: Richard Williams, II, was tried by jury and convicted of murder in connection with the strangulation death of Cory Robinson. Williams and Robinson were involved in a sexual relationship and had been living together at an...

Turner v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0247

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Ronald Turner appeals from his conviction for malice murder stemming from the stabbing death of William King. The stabbing took place outside an apartment at which Turner had driven in order to trade food for d...

Robinson v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0265

Justia Opinion Summary: Herbert Robinson appealed his convictions for malice murder, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the death of Michael Moore. On appeal, he argued the trial cour...

Moore v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0344

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Carzell Moore, proceeding pro se, appealed a trial court’s denial of his motion to set aside a September 2017 order denying his motion for an out-of-time appeal of his 2002 resentencing on his 1977 convictions...

Mills v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0364

Justia Opinion Summary: Roger Mills was found guilty by jury of malice murder and aggravated assault in connection with the death of Masuto Garrett. Mills contended that the trial court erred when, during jury deliberations, it excused a holdou...

Valrie v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0380

Justia Opinion Summary: Reuben Valrie was tried by jury and convicted of murder and other crimes in connection with the death of his infant daughter Aliyana. Valrie appealed, claiming that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel. Aliy...

Heyward v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0399

Justia Opinion Summary: Larmell Heyward was convicted by jury of malice murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the 2007 shooting death of Ramon Rogers. Heyward argued on appeal of those convictio...

Santana v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0563

Justia Opinion Summary: Cuevas Carlos Santana was convicted by jury of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the 2010 shooting deaths of Israel Espinoza Mendoza, Vincente Soto Chavez, and Renato Soto Valencia. On appeal, Santana arg...

Howard v. Georgia  
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0819

Justia Opinion Summary: Kenneth Howard was tried by jury and convicted of the murder of Emily Ann Smith Newbegin. Howard appealed, contending that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain his conviction. Upon its review of the record an...

IN THE MATTER OF D. DUSTON TAPLEY, JR.
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0754
IN THE MATTER OF RICARDO L. POLK
Date: April 8, 2020
Docket Number: S18Y1385
HOLZHEUSER v. THE STATE
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S19C1565
SRM Group, Inc. v. Travelers Property Cas. Co. of America  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0473

Justia Opinion Summary: Travelers Property Casualty Company of America (“Travelers”) filed suit against SRM Group, Inc. (“SRM”), seeking to recover unpaid premiums due under a workers’ compensation insurance policy. In response, SRM asserted co...

IN THE MATTER OF MATTHEW A. DICKASON
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S19Y1450
Georgia v. Holland  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0082

Justia Opinion Summary: Gary Holland was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide predicated on a hit- and-run. Holland moved to bar his prosecution for that offense. The trial court granted his motion, declaring OCGA 40-6-393(b) unconstit...

McGarity v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0104

Justia Opinion Summary: Amy McGarity was convicted by jury of murder and other crimes in connection with the kidnapping and strangulation death of Kayla Weil. McGarity contended that the trial court erred in denying her motion for a new trial,...

Dresbach v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0153

Justia Opinion Summary: Irwin Dresbach appealed his convictions for felony murder and other crimes in connection with the 2014 shooting death of Jennifer Gatewood. Dresbach argued on appeal that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to...

Roseboro v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0159

Justia Opinion Summary: Raekwon Roseboro was convicted of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the 2015 shooting death of Willie Deandre Jackson and the aggravated assault of Kendrick Ellison. On appeal, Roseboro argued he received...

Hatney v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0202

Justia Opinion Summary: Cornelius Hatney was convicted by jury of felony murder predicated on aggravated assault in connection with the beating death of Etate Essang. Hatney appealed, contending that the trial court erred in refusing to give a...

Hudson v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0218

Justia Opinion Summary: Phell Hudson, Jr. appealed his convictions for malice murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and making a false statement, all stemming from the shooting death of Michael Allen. Hudson argued...

Frazier v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0226

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Michael Frazier, Jr. was convicted as a party to the crimes of felony murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the shooting death of one of his accomplices, Quente...

Watts.v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0251

Justia Opinion Summary: After the trial court granted his motion for new trial, Laurence Watts was retried before a jury in 2010 and again found guilty of malice murder and related offenses in connection with the 2003 shooting death of Brent Og...

Ensslin v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0252

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Gary Ensslin was convicted of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Stephen Wills. Ensslin contended on appeal that in denying his motion for new trial, the trial court erred b...

Hall v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0268

Justia Opinion Summary: Deante Hall was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit malice murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a conv...

Martin v. Georgia  
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0273

Justia Opinion Summary: Marquez Martin was convicted by jury of felony murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting deaths of James Wood and Russell Jacobs. On appeal, Martin contended his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffecti...

IN THE MATTER OF MUHAMMAD ABDUL-WARIT ABDUR-RAHIM
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0209
IN THE MATTER OF JARED MICHAEL ARRINGTON
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0312
IN THE MATTER OF BARRY WAYNE ROREX
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0814
IN THE MATTER OF BARRY WAYNE ROREX
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0814
IN THE MATTER OF ANDREW DAVID TAYLOR
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0815
IN THE MATTER OF MARTA MARIA NORIEGA-ALLEN
Date: March 26, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0421
Georgia v. Gates  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Numbers: S19A1130, S19X1131

Justia Opinion Summary: Both the State of Georgia and Johnny Lee Gates appealed the grant of Gates’ extraordinary motion for new trial by the trial court. In Case No. S19A1130, the State argued that the trial court abused its discretion when it...

Williams v. DeKalb County  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1163

Justia Opinion Summary: Edward Williams appealed a superior court order dismissing his second amended complaint with prejudice. Acting pro se, Williams sued DeKalb County and members of its governing authority, the Chief Executive Officer and t...

Stubbs v. Hall  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1253

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, Henry Stubbs was convicted of armed robbery and hijacking a motor vehicle, among many other crimes, and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 31 years. On direct appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed his convi...

Georgia v. Remy  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1410

Justia Opinion Summary: In March 2018, Paul Remy was tried for murder and other crimes related to the shooting death of Jenario Stark. After the jury had deliberated for a full day without reaching a verdict, the trial court declared a mistrial...

Watkins v. Ballinger  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1506

Justia Opinion Summary: The Georgia Supreme Court granted Joseph Watkins’ application for a certificate of probable cause to appeal a superior court order dismissing Watkins’ second petition for writ of habeas corpus. The issue presented for th...

Mattox v. Georgia  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0026

Justia Opinion Summary: Charles “Dre” Mattox was tried by jury and convicted of murder and other crimes in connection with the fatal shootings of Dewayne Bacon and John Bacon. Mattox appealed, claiming: (1) the evidence was insufficient to supp...

Wilson v. Georgia  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0027

Justia Opinion Summary: Robert Wilson was convicted by jury for the murder of his infant son. As appeal. He challenged the sufficiency of the evidence, specifically that the evidence presented against him was entirely circumstantial, and that t...

Glenn v. Georgia  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0058

Justia Opinion Summary: Demarquis Glenn was convicted by jury for the murder of Quantieria Knight, and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. On appeal, Glenn argued the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his moti...

Moore v. Georgia  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0115

Justia Opinion Summary: Marcus Moore pled guilty to, and was convicted of murder. He moved for an out-of-time appeal. The trial court later sua sponte dismissed Moore’s notice of appeal from the order denying his motion for an out-of-time appea...

Bundel v. Georgia  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0173

Justia Opinion Summary: Rosano Bundel appealed his convictions for malice murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the 2011 shooting death of George Tabetando. Bundel argued that the weight of the...

Corley v. Georgia  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0214

Justia Opinion Summary: Vivian Corley was conned by jury of murder, aggravated assault, and the unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the fatal shooting of Lorraine Manuel. Corley appealed, claimi...

Simmons v. Georgia  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0232

Justia Opinion Summary: Eric Simmons was convicted by jury for murder and the possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Simmons argued the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his convictions and that the tri...

Georgia v. Goff  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0248

Justia Opinion Summary: Todd Goff was convicted of malice murder for killing his girlfriend, Tiffany Salter. The trial court granted Goff a new trial on the basis that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by: (1) advising Goff not...

Jones v. Georgia  
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0372

Justia Opinion Summary: Tracy Jones, who pleaded guilty to murder and other offenses, filed a motion for out-of-time appeal, claiming that her plea counsel abandoned her after sentencing and that her right to appeal was thereby frustrated. The...

IN THE MATTER OF MARC CELELLO
Date: March 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0679
Hill, Kertscher & Wharton, LLP v. Moody et al.  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S18G1436

Justia Opinion Summary: “Under longstanding Georgia law,” when a client sues his former attorney for legal malpractice, the client impliedly waives the attorney-client privilege with respect to the underlying matter or matters to the extent nec...

Bamberg v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Numbers: S19A1052, S19A1054

Justia Opinion Summary: After a 2009 jury trial, Damon Bamberg and his mother, Sonya Bamberg, were convicted of murder and other offenses arising out of the shooting death of Damon’s ex-wife, Allison Nicole “Nikki” Bamberg. They appealed, claim...

Smith v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1098

Justia Opinion Summary: Omari Smith was convicted of felony murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of T’Shanerka Smith (no relation). On appeal, Smith contended the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; th...

Westbrook v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1120

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Rickey Westbrook appealed his convictions for malice murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony stemming from the 2015 shooting death of Harry Wells. Westbrook contended, among other t...

Sawyer v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1341

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2016, a jury found Devin Sawyer guilty of felony murder and other crimes in connection with the death of Michael Weeks, Jr. Sawyer appeals, contending that his trial counsel rendered constitutionally ineffective assis...

McElrath v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1361

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2017, a jury found Damian McElrath guilty but mentally ill of the felony murder and aggravated assault of his adoptive mother, Diane, whom McElrath killed by stabbing over 50 times in a single episode. Based on the sa...

Georgia v. Hamilton  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1363

Justia Opinion Summary: An appeal of Marlina Hamilton’s indictment for the murder of her ex-husband Christopher Donaldson, went before the Georgia Supreme Court three times. After Hamilton was convicted of felony murder and other crimes in conn...

Wilkins v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1403

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Nathaniel Wilkins was convicted of two counts of malice murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Forrest Ison and Alice Stevens. He appealed, arguing: (1) the trial court erred by admitting into evidenc...

Johnson v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1404

Justia Opinion Summary: Frederick Johnson, Jr. was charged with murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felony first-offender probationer, both in connection with the 2016 fatal shooting of Tyrell Jordan. Johnson contended he shot Jord...

Calhoun v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1411

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Thanquarius Calhoun was convicted of felony murder and various misdemeanors in connection with the death of Marion Shore. On appeal, Calhoun argued his trial counsel rendered constitutionally ineffective assist...

Hogan v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1448

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Fernando Hogan appealed his convictions for malice murder and other crimes stemming from the shooting death of Kilon Williams and the aggravated assault of Williams’s friend, Nicholas Gibson. On appeal, Hogan c...

Debelbot v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Numbers: S19A1474, S19A1475

Justia Opinion Summary: Albert and Ashley Debelbot were tried by jury and convicted of the murder of their infant daughter, McKenzy. Following the denial of their motions for new trial, the Debelbots appealed, asserting, among other claims of e...

Hyden v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1496

Justia Opinion Summary: Clark Hyden was convicted by jury of malice murder, felony murder, kidnapping with bodily injury, and various other offenses in connection with the beating death of Tommy Crabb, Sr. On appeal, Hyden contended: the eviden...

Parham v. Stewart  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1498

Justia Opinion Summary: This case stemmed from a challenge to the results of the March 2018 special election for the mayor of the City of Blythe, Georgia, wherein Appellee Phillip Stewart defeated Appellant Cynthia Parham by a margin of four vo...

Edwards v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1577

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Cornelius Edwards challenged his 2018 convictions for felony murder and other crimes in connection with an attempted armed robbery of Delvin Phillips and Marvin Goodman that resulted in the shooting death of Ap...

Tolbert v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1579

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2005, Appellant Contresstis Tolbert and his co-defendant Jeremy Butts were found guilty of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the 2001 shooting death of Robert Funderburk. Appellant contended the trial...

Kilpatrick v. Georgia  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1580

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Charles Kilpatrick, Jr. appeals his convictions related to the shooting death of Joseph Wilder. In 1998, appellant and Wilder were driving westbound on I-20 in their respective vehicles. Appellant’s friend, Mar...

Bowen v. Savoy  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0278

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2016, Priscilla Savoy, individually and as executor of her mother’s estate, filed suit against her sisters Eleanor Bowen and Margaret Innocenti (collectively “defendants”) contending that they colluded to appropriate...

Dept. of Public Safety v. Ragsdale  
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0422

Justia Opinion Summary: Matthew Ragsdale filed this personal injury action against the Georgia Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) after he was injured during an October 31, 2014 motor vehicle accident that occurred when Ross Singleton, the dri...

IN THE MATTER OF JULIANNE WESLEY HOLLIDAY
Date: February 28, 2020
Docket Numbers: S20Y0065, S20Y0066, S20Y0067
Lee v. Smith, II  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S18G1549

Justia Opinion Summary: In a personal injury case, the trial court excluded the testimony of an expert defense witness, reasoning that the expert had “not [been] properly identified within the parameters of the scheduling order.” The Court of A...

Coen v. Aptean, Inc. et al.  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S18G1638

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Georgia Supreme Court’s review centered on a claim of abusive litigation that Timothy Coen filed based on a previous contract lawsuit against his former employer that was resolved in...

Gittens v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1044

Justia Opinion Summary: Joseph Gittens was convicted by jury of malice murder in connection with the death of fellow inmate Johnny Johnson. Gittens argued on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction, that trial counse...

Georgia v. Bryant  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1145

Justia Opinion Summary: A grand jury indicted Archie Bryant and Jose Carrillo in connection with the 2017 shooting death of Shawn Rhinehart. The indictment charged Bryant with malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated...

Mitchell v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1147

Justia Opinion Summary: Sandy Mitchell, Jr., was convicted by jury of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Byron Brown. On appeal, Mitchell argued his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing...

Howell v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1182

Justia Opinion Summary: Aaron Howell was convicted by jury of malice murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery in connection with the beating death of Paul Guerrant. Howell argued on appeal that the evidence presented at his trial was...

City of Atlanta v. Atlanta Indep. Sch. Sys.  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1203

Justia Opinion Summary: City of Atlanta (“the City”) and the Atlanta Independent School System (“APS”) were involved in a dispute over the City’s annexing property in Fulton County, while it expressly prohibiting the co-expansion of APS’s terri...

White v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1257

Justia Opinion Summary: Lazarus White was convicted by jury of malice murder and another crime in connection with the 2012 stabbing death of Terry Bell. He appealed, arguing the trial court erred in excluding testimony regarding Bell’s alleged...

MORGAN v. THE STATE
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1261
DELOACH v. THE STATE (and vice versa)
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Numbers: S19A1299, S19X1300
DeLoach v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Numbers: S19A1299, S19X1300

Justia Opinion Summary: Arheem DeLoach was convicted by jury on two counts of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the deaths of Rashad Biggins and Jamell Law. In Case No. S19A1299, DeLoach contended the trial court erred in denyin...

Mitchell v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1330

Justia Opinion Summary: Tony Mitchell was convicted by jury of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the death of Randy Lewis. On appeal, Mitchell contended his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance because she failed to com...

THE STATE v. LANE
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1424
Georgia v. Lane  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1424

Justia Opinion Summary: Antiwan Lane was convicted by jury of malice murder and other charges for procuring the murder of Ivan Perez. The trial court granted Lane a new trial based on a host of grounds, including evidentiary errors and ineffect...

Thomas v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1503

Justia Opinion Summary: Daniel Thomas was convicted by jury for malice murder in connection with the shooting death of Elliott Mizell. Thomas argued on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; that the trial court er...

Walker v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1520

Justia Opinion Summary: Otheron Walker was convicted by jury of malice murder in connection with the beating death of his ten-month-old daughter, Daijah White. On appeal, Walker contended the evidence was insufficient, that the jury was imprope...

Naples v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1571

Justia Opinion Summary: Michael Naples was tried by jury and convicted of murder and other crimes in connection with the death of 17-month-old Kaylee Johnson. Investigation revealed the child died from inoperable brain swelling from either havi...

Taylor v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1588

Justia Opinion Summary: Antonio Taylor was convicted by jury of murder and other crimes in connection with the stabbing death of Araminta Elly. On appeal, he argued the trial court erred when it admitted certain hearsay testimony and when it de...

London v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1637

Justia Opinion Summary: LaParrish London was convicted by jury of the malice murder of Eric Terrell. On appeal, he argued: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred in denying his motion for new tria...

Georgia v. Williams  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0005

Justia Opinion Summary: The Court of Appeals reversed Kenneth Williams’ conviction for aggravated sexual battery based on its conclusion that the trial court gave an erroneous charge to the jury concerning an underage victim’s capacity to conse...

Richardson v. Georgia  
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S20A0306

Justia Opinion Summary: Sylvester Richardson was convicted by jury of murder and other crimes relating to the fatal shooting of Christopher Wilson. He appealed, claiming that the trial court erred when it denied a motion for a mistrial and when...

IN THE MATTER OF MELVIN T. JOHNSON
Date: February 10, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0257
IN THE MATTER OF CHRISTOPHER AARON CORLEY
Date: January 31, 2020
Docket Number: S18Y0350
Smith v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1148

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Mary Katherine Smith was convicted of felony murder based on cruelty to children in connection with the death of her two-year-old son Mason “Tucker” Smith. Tucker did not wake following what was described as on...

Williams v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1250

Justia Opinion Summary: Following his conviction for the murder of Barry Bullard, acting pro se, Allen Williams appealed the denial of his motion for a new trial. Williams argued numerous errors, including: (1) the evidence was insufficient to...

Mann v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1256

Justia Opinion Summary: David Mann Jr. was convicted of malice murder and two counts of first degree cruelty to children in connection with the death of seven-year-old Ethan Martinez. Ethan was Mann’s girlfriend’s son. Mann told first responder...

Morgan v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1261

Justia Opinion Summary: Jokeera Morgan was convicted by jury of murdering by drowning her two infant daughters. Morgan drowned her daughters in her Chatham County, Georgia home. She immediately called 911 to report what she had done. The respon...

Allen v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1266

Justia Opinion Summary: Johnny Allen appealed his felony murder and aggravated assault convictions for killing Robert Patton. On appeal, Allen argued the trial court erred by admitting evidence of events that occurred after the shooting, and by...

Mosley v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1301

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Rashard Mosley appealed his convictions for numerous offenses, including the 2014 murder of Ivory Carter and the attempted murder and attempted armed robbery of Frederick Knight. On appeal, Mosley contended the...

Redding v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1302

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Kerri Redding was convicted of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Christopher Kenyatta. Appellant contended his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to r...

Stephens v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Numbers: S19A1345, S19A1346

Justia Opinion Summary: Lloyd Stephens and Demetrius Brewer were convicted after a joint jury trial for the murder of Eric Kemp. Both argued the trial court made multiple evidentiary errors. Additionally, Stephens argued he received ineffective...

McCluskey v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1397

Justia Opinion Summary: Clarence McCluskey was convicted of murder and related crimes arising out of the shooting death of his wife, Lisa. He appealed, arguing the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions for cruelty to children in...

Davis v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1432

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, Sylvester Davis, Jr. was convicted of malice murder in connection with the 2011 shooting death of Marquis Wadley. Davis apppealed, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting certain testimon...

Taylor v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1476

Justia Opinion Summary: Sylvester Taylor was convicted by jury for malice murder and criminal attempt to commit rape, amongst other crimes, stemming from the beating death of Linda Madison. This appeal stemmed from an exchange between Taylor an...

RICH v. THE STATE
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1492
Rich v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1492

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2016, Deonta Rich was convicted of murdering Sylvester Downs and kidnapping Taquoya Rogers. Rich: (1) challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to support his convictions; (2) argued the trial court erred by denying...

Rammage v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1518

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Johnny Rammage was convicted of malice murder and a firearm offense in connection with the shooting death of Chris Johnson. On appeal, he argued the trial court erred: (1) by not allowing him to introduce evide...

Jackson v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1570

Justia Opinion Summary: Jonathan Jackson was convicted of malice murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the shooting death of DeAngelo Head. On appeal, Jackson argued only that the evidence was i...

Wells v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1592

Justia Opinion Summary: Tyrecquiss Wells appealed his convictions for felony murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of David Scott. Wells argued: (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his custodial s...

Williams v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0125

Justia Opinion Summary: A grand jury indicted Keith Williams on 48 counts of sexual exploitation of children after police searched and seized his computer and several disc drives wherein they found the offending images. All counts in the indict...

Davis v. Georgia  
Date: January 27, 2020
Docket Number: S19G0394

Justia Opinion Summary: The Georgia Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari in this case to address whether a detainee who had not yet been indicted could seek to bar his prosecution through a plea in bar on the basis that the statute o...

White v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1004

Justia Opinion Summary: Dakota White appealed his convictions for malice murder and other crimes, stemming from the death of Samuel Poss. A juvenile at the time of his crimes, White alleged errors both in the admission of his confession and in...

Doyle v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1005

Justia Opinion Summary: Matthew Doyle was convicted by jury for the murder of Lyndon “Pookie” Tucker, and for the possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. On appeal, he contended the evidence was insufficient to support his co...

Georgia v. Stephens  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1079

Justia Opinion Summary: In a pending murder case involving multiple defendants, the State appealed an order denying its pretrial motion to admit a witness’s out-of-court statement by reason of necessity because the witness, Harry Dimeco, was de...

Flowers v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1151

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Jasento Flowers was convicted by jury of the malice murder of his ex-wife, Bridgette Flowers, by shooting her with a handgun, and of the aggravated assaults of Tearro Moore, Ranoda Hammonds, Jamesia Williams, a...

Davis v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1187

Justia Opinion Summary: Carlton Davis was convicted of felony murder in connection with the death of Lakeitha Sims. On appeal, Davis argued: (1) the trial court erred by admitting a statement he made to a detective that Davis contended he did n...

Gaston v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1284

Justia Opinion Summary: In October 2016, a jury found Lerenzo Gaston guilty of felony murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of Terrance Walker. Gaston appealed, contending he received ineffective assistance of trial coun...

Driver v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1298

Justia Opinion Summary: Frederick Driver was convicted of felony murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony in connection with the 2017 shooting death of Randy Diamond. On appeal, Driver contended only that the trial c...

Swims v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1427

Justia Opinion Summary: Jesse Swims was convicted by jury of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the death of Deborah “Debbie” Leigh Clemenson. Swims appealed, contending that the trial court erred in denying his motion for mistri...

Floyd v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Numbers: S19A1493, S19A1494

Justia Opinion Summary: Louis Floyd, Jr. and Tara Lee Harrell were convicted by jury of murder and other offenses in connection with the death of William Jackson. Floyd argued on appeal that the trial court erred by not granting his motion to s...

Bankston v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1551

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Clinton Bankston appealed a trial court’s denial in part and dismissal in part of his pro se motion seeking to vacate his convictions and to withdraw his guilty pleas stemming from the murders of five people. I...

Harris v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1572

Justia Opinion Summary: Ricardo Harris was found guilty by jury of murder and concealing the death of another in connection with the death of Yvonne James. Harris contended on appeal that the trial court erred in admitting his pre-trial stateme...

Chavez v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1573

Justia Opinion Summary: Juan Chavez appealed his convictions for malice murder, participation in criminal street gang activity, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a first-offender probation...

Perdomo v. Georgia  
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19A1641

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Hamlet Perdomo was convicted of the felony murder of Carl Bush, as well as fourteen other crimes committed against five additional victims during a 2010 crime spree. Appellant challenged the evidence presented...

IN THE MATTER OF RICHARD M. COLBERT
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S19Y1650
IN THE MATTER OF DAVID GODLEY RIGDON
Date: January 13, 2020
Docket Number: S20Y0434
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