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Wingster v. State

Supreme Court of Georgia

September 22, 2014

WINGSTER
v.
THE STATE

Page 681

Murder. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Campbell.

Kenneth W. Sheppard, for appellant.

Paul L. Howard, Jr., District Attorney, Lenny I. Krick, Assistant District Attorney, Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General, Patricia B. Attaway Burton, Deputy Attorney General, Paula K. Smith, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Katherine L. Iannuzzi, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

OPINION

Page 682

Melton, Justice.

Following a jury trial, Marquis Wingster was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, and various other offenses in connection with the shooting death of Mark Boston.[1] On appeal Wingster contends, among

Page 683

other things, that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support the verdict and that his trial counsel was ineffective. We affirm.

1. Viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, the evidence reveals that, at around 9:00 p.m. on November 24, 2007, Wingster, a convicted felon, was standing in a gas station convenience store. Shortly after receiving a phone call, Wingster exited the store, walked up to Boston (who was sitting in a truck), and shot him in front of several witnesses -- two of whom knew Wingster personally. Boston suffered gunshot wounds to the head and chest, and died from his injuries.

This evidence was sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to find Wingster guilty of all of the crimes of which he was convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).

2. Wingster contends that the trial court erred by denying his motion to strike Juror Number 19 for cause. " The decision to strike a potential juror for cause lies within the sound discretion of the trial court and will not be set aside absent some manifest abuse of that discretion." (Citation omitted.) Abdullah v. State, 284 Ga. 399, 400 (2) (667 S.E.2d 584) (2008). There is no such manifest abuse of discretion regarding a decision not to strike a juror

unless it is shown that the juror's opinion is so fixed and definite that he or she will be unable to set the opinion aside [295 Ga. 726] and decide the case based upon the evidence and the trial court's instructions. Neither a prospective juror's doubts as to his ability to be impartial nor his statement that he will try to set aside ...

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