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Williams v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

August 26, 2014

WILLIAMS
v.
THE STATE

Page 262

Burglary. Bibb Superior Court. Before Judge Porter, Senior Judge.

Chambless, Higdon, Richardson, Katz & Griggs, Larry Fouché , for appellant.

K. David Cooke, Jr., District Attorney, Dorothy V. Hull, Brian R. Granger, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

Doyle, P. J., and Miller, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 263

Dillard, Judge.

Following a jury trial, Anthony Williams was convicted of one count of burglary. Williams appeals his conviction, arguing that the trial court erred in excluding evidence of a witness's prior conviction and in denying his claim that the prosecutor engaged in misconduct by failing to comply with discovery requirements. For the reasons set forth infra, we affirm.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict,[1] the record shows that on the morning of April 4, 2012, Ledale Curry left his home to help a friend run a few errands. Curry returned home less than an hour later, and upon entering his front door, he heard footsteps inside--which he found disconcerting because his family members were usually not at home that time of the day. A few seconds later, Curry saw a young male--subsequently identified as Williams--walking down the hallway. For a moment, Williams and Curry stared at each other, allowing Curry to get a good look at Williams's face. And although Curry did not know Williams's name, he recognized him as [328 Ga.App. 877] someone he had seen in the neighborhood. Williams then quickly fled out the back door of Curry's home. Curry briefly gave chase, but stopped when Williams and another young male, whom he had not seen inside his home, escaped over the fence in his backyard.

In the aftermath of this unsettling encounter, Curry noticed his television unplugged and laying on the sofa, as well as a laptop computer and iPad on the ground just outside the back door, indicating that the burglars dropped these items as they fled the premises. He then called the police to report the burglary, but the perpetrators were not apprehended at that time. However, later that same afternoon, Curry saw Williams and another young male, ultimately identified as Devan Williams, walking through the neighborhood. And recognizing Anthony Williams as one of the burglars, Curry immediately called the police again. This time, the responding officers were able to arrest both suspects.

Both Anthony Williams and Devan Williams were charged, via indictment, with one count of burglary.[2] And during the trial, Curry testified about coming home and interrupting the burglary in progress and reiterated that Anthony Williams was the young man he saw inside his house.[3] In addition to presenting Curry's testimony, the State called the responding detective to testify regarding his investigation of the matter, and at the trial's conclusion, the jury found Anthony Williams guilty of burglary. This appeal follows.

1. Williams contends that the trial court erred in excluding evidence of the victim's (i.e., Curry's) prior conviction for possession of cocaine. We do not agree that this exclusion constituted reversible error.

As a general rule, admission of evidence is a matter " resting within the sound discretion of the trial court, and appellate courts will ...


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