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Trammell v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

July 9, 2014

TRAMMELL
v.
THE STATE

Page 471

Aggravated assault. DeKalb Superior Court. Before Judge Scott.

Akil K. Secret, for appellant.

Robert D. James, Jr. , District Attorney, Leonora Grant , Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

MILLER, Judge. Ray, and Branch, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 472

Miller, Judge.

Convicted of three counts of aggravated assault (OCGA § 16-5-21 (b)), Eddie Trammell appeals from the denial of his motion for new trial, contending that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict and the trial court erred in denying his motion for directed verdict; (2) the State failed to prove venue; (3) the trial court erred in denying his motion for mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct; and (4) he was denied effective assistance of counsel. Finding no error, we affirm.

On appeal from a criminal conviction, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to support the verdict, and the defendant no longer enjoys a presumption of innocence. We determine only whether the evidence authorized the jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and in doing so we neither weigh that evidence nor judge the credibility of the witnesses.

(Citations and punctuation omitted.) Castillo v. State, 288 Ga.App. 828 (655 S.E.2d 695) (2007).

So viewed, the evidence shows that William Marsh, Demonte Jackson, and Trammell were childhood friends who lived in the same neighborhood. Around 8:30 or 9:00 on the night of June 8, 2008, [328 Ga.App. 46] Jackson and Marsh arrived at Jackson's home in Marsh's car and saw Trammell outside. Jackson and Trammell got into a fist fight. After the fight ended, Jackson got back into Marsh's car and went to a party.

The party ended around midnight, and Marsh drove Jackson home. They pulled up in front of Jackson's house, and Trammell

Page 473

called Marsh's cell phone. Trammell yelled at Jackson and told him he " had something" for Jackson when he saw him. Then, Jackson handed the phone to Marsh, and Trammell yelled at Marsh. A gray or light-colored Jeep Cherokee then pulled up alongside Marsh's car. Trammell was in the passenger seat of the Jeep, and he fired eight or nine shots at Marsh and Jackson. Jackson was shot in the forearm and a bullet grazed his nose. Marsh was shot five times, resulting in gunshot wounds to his buttocks and hip.

Since the engine was still running, Marsh hit the gas and tried to drive away. When the Jeep followed, Marsh called his uncle, Christopher Howard, and told him that Jackson had been shot and he and Jackson were being chased by Trammell. Howard advised Marsh to drive to Howard's neighborhood, a few blocks from Jackson's home. In Howard's neighborhood, Marsh and Jackson abandoned their car in a cul-de-sac and separately ran on foot to Howard's house, which is located in Decatur.

After receiving the phone call from Marsh, Howard asked his wife to call the police, then went outside and saw Marsh's car " flying down" the street. Howard got into his own car, drove down the hill to the cul-de-sac and pulled up alongside Marsh's abandoned car moments later. Howard walked over to the car, saw that it was covered in blood, and heard gunfire. Howard then saw the gray Jeep Cherokee drive by and saw a passenger in the back seat, who was not Trammell, fire numerous shots toward him, reload the gun, and fire more shots. Howard retrieved his own weapon and fired at the Jeep as it passed by him. The Jeep then drove away, and Howard realized that he had been shot and drove his car home.

Police responded to Howard's home. Jackson, Marsh and Howard all made statements to police after being taken to separate hospitals. Police later recovered a silver Jeep Cherokee at a gas station. The night clerk told police that two men came into the gas station, purchased gas for another vehicle, and left in that vehicle, leaving the Jeep at the station. The back window of the Jeep had been shot out, the vehicle bore bullet holes, and police observed shell casings inside.

At trial, Jackson identified Trammell and testified that he was one " hundred percent sure" that Trammell was the person who shot at him and Marsh on the night in question. Marsh also identified Trammell as the person who chased him in the Jeep.

[328 Ga.App. 47] 1. Trammell contends that the evidence is insufficient to support the verdict because the State presented no physical evidence to connect him to the crime and there was no evidence that he shot Howard. For the same reasons, he contends that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict. We disagree.

Under Georgia law, a person commits the offense of aggravated assault when that person commits an assault with a deadly weapon. OCGA ยง 16-5-21 (b) (2). Furthermore, " [e]very person concerned in the commission of a crime is a party thereto and may be charged with and ...


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