Pounds v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
In 2017, William Pounds III was convicted of malice murder. Pounds filed a motion for new trial, but did so after the statutory filing deadline for motions for new trial had expired; the motion was therefore untimely. However, the trial court did not dismiss Pounds’s motion for new trial as untimely; instead, it denied the motion on the merits. Then, three weeks later, and almost two years after Pounds was convicted, the trial court granted Pounds an out-of-time appeal. But because the trial court’s merits ruling on Pounds’s late-filed and untimely motion for new trial was invalid, Pounds never obtained a valid ruling on the motion for new trial that preceded his request for an out-of-time-appeal and that ripened upon the granting of the out-of-time appeal. As a result, when Pounds filed a notice of appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court, his prior motion for new trial was still pending, and the trial court retained jurisdiction to rule on it. The Georgia Supreme Court concluded that because trial court retained jurisdiction on the merits of Pounds' new trial motion, the notice of appeal that Pounds filed pursuant to the grant of out-of-time appeal had not ripened, thus the attempted appeal to the Supreme Court had to be dismissed.