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Young v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

August 20, 2014

YOUNG
v.
THE STATE

Effective assistance of counsel. Chatham Superior Court. Before Judge Karpf.

Judgment affirmed.

Amy L. Ihrig, for appellant.

Meg E. Heap, District Attorney, Jerome M. Rothschild, Jr., Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

Phipps, C. J., and McMillian, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 138

Ellington, Presiding Judge.

A Chatham County jury found Daqwan Young guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of armed robbery, OCGA § 16-8-41 (a), and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, OCGA § 16-11-106 (b). Following the denial of his motion for a new trial, Young appeals, contending he received ineffective assistance of counsel. For the reasons explained below, we affirm.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict,[1] the record shows the following. On April 8, 2011, the victim visited his friend Rocregus Cummings. After the two men smoked marijuana and then went to a pizza restaurant, Cummings suggested they go to visit Quayshaun Floyd, who was at his girlfriend's apartment. At that apartment, the three men smoked marijuana and listened to music. Young arrived and, with a shirt tied over his face and holding a shotgun, approached the victim. The victim did not know Young's name, but he recognized him as a cousin of Floyd. The victim had seen Young a few times before, including about three weeks earlier, when Young had been bragging about his new shotgun. Even though Young had a shirt tied over his face, the victim was able to identify him because of his distinctive eyes, skin tone, and voice. Young beat the victim with his fists and the butt of the shotgun and choked him. During the attack, Young did not interfere when Cummings left the room. Young and Floyd went through the victim's pockets and took his debit card, cell phone, and cash and then took his clothes and shoes as well.

Young and Floyd then told the victim to leave that apartment. The victim ran to the pizza restaurant and called 911 and reported that he had been robbed by Cummings, his cousin " Quayshaun," and another cousin whose name he did not know but whom he would be able to identify. A few days later, he identified Young as the perpetrator from among those pictured in a photo array prepared by an investigator. When Floyd was arrested, he was wearing the shoes and some of the clothes that had been stolen from the victim.

At trial, the victim identified Young as the gunman. During that testimony, the prosecutor held a piece of paper in front of his face so that it concealed the same area of his lower face as the shirt had concealed for the gunman. The prosecutor then asked if the victim could identify him by his voice and his eyes, even though the prosecutor [328 Ga.App. 858] and the victim had met only once. Defense counsel did not object to this demonstration.

An investigator testified, without objection, that he obtained records that documented multiple phone calls between Cummings' and Young's cell phones within minutes before the robbery and additional phone calls shortly after the robbery. The records also showed that Young's, Floyd's, and Cummings' cell phone were all " pinging off" a cell tower located near the scene of the robbery at the time it occurred.

Young's counsel's defense strategy at trial was to attack the ...


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