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Glover v. State

Supreme Court of Georgia

October 20, 2014

GLOVER
v.
THE STATE

Page 827

Murder. Polk Superior Court. Before Judge Sutton.

Karen S. Wilkes, for appellant.

Oliver J. Browning, Jr., District Attorney, Ryan H. Remsen, Matthew S. Nestrud, Assistant District Attorneys, Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General, Patricia B. Attaway Burton, Deputy Attorney General, Paula K. Smith, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Ryan A. Kolb, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

THOMPSON, Chief Justice. All the Justices concur.

OPINION

Page 828

Thompson, Chief Justice.

A jury found appellant Kionte Glover guilty of felony murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting and killing of Ronnie Ferguson and the shooting and injuring of Melissa Henderson-Smith and James Fennell.[1] Appellant appeals, contending that the trial court erred in denying his motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence, in admitting a prior consistent statement of a State's witness, and in recharging the jury. We affirm.

[296 Ga. 14] 1. The evidence at trial, taken in the light most favorable to the verdict, shows that on the night of September 12, 2008, appellant and Tyson Wilson[2] went to the home of Melissa Henderson-Smith. They did so, according to appellant's pre-trial statement to the police, for the purpose of selling cocaine. As they approached the front door of the home, they encountered a neighbor, Constance Babb, who was walking a few steps behind them. Appellant told Babb to leave, because they were " trying to do some business here," and Babb returned home. Henderson-Smith, Ferguson, Fennell, and Dean Bryant were present at the home. The door to the house was cracked open, and appellant and Wilson came into the living room without knocking, and appellant locked the door. Appellant briefly met with Ferguson in a back bedroom and then came back to the living room where the others were. Wilson started demanding money from others in the room, and appellant handed Wilson a silver revolver. When Bryant saw the gun, he went to another room and hid. At that time, Fennell, who was sitting by the door and had unlocked it, tried to open the door, but appellant blocked him from doing so. The others in the home asked appellant and Wilson to leave. Wilson then shot Henderson-Smith in the neck, severely wounding her. Ferguson struggled with Wilson for the gun, but appellant pushed him down. Wilson retained control of the gun and shot Ferguson in the face, killing him. As Fennell ran out the door, Wilson shot at him, grazing the side of his head. Fennell and Bryant ran to neighbors' houses. Appellant later disposed of the gun, which was never found. Although appellant told the detective who interviewed him the day after the crimes that he only went with Wilson to Henderson-Smith's house to sell cocaine, that he did not know that Wilson had a gun, and that he " took off running" when Wilson fired the first shot, Babb testified that she was sitting by a window when she heard the shots and that, shortly thereafter, she heard Wilson and appellant talking near her window.

We conclude that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to authorize a rational jury to find appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes of which he was convicted. See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979); OCGA § 16-2-20 (parties to a crime).

2. Appellant contends that the trial court erred in denying appellant's motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence. We disagree.

[296 Ga. 15] At the motion for new trial hearing, appellant presented, as newly discovered evidence, affidavits from three witnesses who testified at trial that they had seen appellant with a silver revolver on the night of the crimes. In their affidavits, the witnesses recanted their testimony and said that their

Page 829

testimony resulted from coercion by the lead detective or the prosecutor or both. At the motion for new trial hearing, the lead prosecutor and detective denied that they had pressured or threatened the witnesses. After the hearing, the trial court denied ...


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