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Alston v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

September 10, 2014

ALSTON
v.
THE STATE. PERKINS
v.
THE STATE

Page 505

Armed robbery, etc. Cobb Superior Court. Before Judge Poole.

Raina J. Nadler, for appellant (case no. A14A1018).

Ashleigh B. Merchant, for appellant (case no. A14A1019).

D. Victor Reynolds, District Attorney, Amelia G. Pray, Kimberly L. Schwartz, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

Phipps, C. J., and Ellington, P. J., concur.

OPINION

Page 506

McMillian, Judge.

Kelton Alston and Chance Perkins were tried together before a jury and each was convicted of aggravated assault, armed robbery, theft by receiving, cruelty to children, criminal street gang activity[1] and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. They filed separate motions for new trial, which the trial court denied. Alston and Perkins then filed separate, timely notices of appeal, which were docketed in this Court as Case Nos. A14A1018 and A14A1019, respectively. We consolidated their cases for review and now affirm.

Construed to support the verdict,[2] the evidence shows that Alston, Perkins and Quadell Leonard[3] traveled from New Jersey to Georgia on March 31, 2009, for a visit. They initially stayed at an apartment on Six Flags Drive with Darien White and his girlfriend, Teranisha Posey, who Perkins claimed was his relative. White testified that appellants and Leonard told him they were members of the Bloods street gang, that they wore red clothing and bandanas as proof of their membership, and that they talked of committing robberies and other crimes to make money to go back to New Jersey.

White testified that he left his apartment for a while on April 4, 2009, and that when he returned home he discovered that his belongings had been rearranged and that his handgun had been taken. White reported the gun stolen at that time. White encountered the defendants later that day at a nearby apartment complex and asked for his " property" back. The defendants started to run away, [329 Ga.App. 45] but one of them turned around and fired White's gun in his direction, striking his vehicle. White called police again to report the shooting incident. White testified he saw Perkins the next day at a gas station, and Perkins pulled up his shirt to show White that he still had his handgun.

Brittany Dawn Baker testified that on April 5, 2009, she was waiting at the bus stop outside Six Flags amusement park (" Six Flags" ) with her friend Iya Akinsaye when three men wearing " red big jewelry going around their necks" walked up and began talking to them. Baker testified that the men said they wore the beads to " represent" the Bloods and that they all had numerous tattoos on their bodies.

Baker testified that a " nice" car turned in the lane near them, and one of the men ran up to the car, but it pulled away. He rejoined the group and remarked, " I could have had her, I could have had her," and touched what appeared to be a gun under his shirt. Baker said the two other men were behind him but also walked toward the car, and when he touched his waist, they also repeated, " yeah, yeah, we could have had her, we could have had her."

Baker said that a few minutes later, the man with the gun looked up toward the bridge that passes over Six Flags Drive and then tapped one of the other men on the shoulder, seeming to indicate " come on this way," and the men left together. Baker testified that about five or ten minutes after the men left, a man and a young boy walked up to them from the direction of the bridge the men had walked toward and said that they had been robbed. She said the boy was crying and the man appeared distressed and scared and asked to use a cell phone so he could call the police.

Page 507

Paul Santos Rivera (" Santos" )[4] testified that he and his five-year-old son went to Six Flags on April 5, 2009. He and his son left the park around 5:00 p.m., and were walking to a nearby gas station to meet his wife who was picking them up there. However, before they reached the gas station, three men came up to him, and one of them pointed a gun at his head and demanded that he drop his valuables. Santos put his Play Station Portable, cell phone, and money on the ground, and the perpetrators picked up the items and then walked away laughing. Santos further testified that he saw the gunman, and possibly the other two perpetrators, talking to a girl at a bus stop outside Six Flags when he and his son passed by on the way to the gas [329 Ga.App. 46] station, and that shortly after they passed the bus stop, he heard footsteps behind him and feared something bad was about to happen.

Santos said that he walked back to the bus stop to borrow a cell phone so he could call police, and he borrowed a phone from one of the women he had seen talking to the perpetrators to call 911. A short time later, defendants were apprehended in a nearby ...


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