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Jones v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

November 5, 2014

JONES
v.
THE STATE

Armed robbery, etc. Muscogee Superior Court. Before Judge William Smith, Senior Judge.

William J. Mason, for appellant.

Julia F. Slater, District Attorney, W. Donald Kelly, Katelyn M. Hartford, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

BARNES, Presiding Judge. Boggs and Branch, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 658

Barnes, Presiding Judge.

Following the denial of his motion for new trial, Wesley L. Jones appeals his armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony convictions and contends that the evidence was insufficient, the State did not provide sufficient notice of its intent to present evidence of similar transactions, the trial court erred in admitting hearsay testimony, and his trial counsel was ineffective. Following our review, we affirm.

In undertaking an appellate review of a criminal conviction, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict. English v. State, 301 Ga.App. 842, 842 (689 S.E.2d 130) (2010). So viewed, the evidence

Page 659

demonstrates that at approximately 2:00 a.m. on December 10, 2004, a clerk was working in a convenience store when a man entered the store, pointed a gun at him, and demanded money. The clerk gave the robber the money from the cash register, and was then instructed to open the safe. When the clerk could not open the safe, the robber became angry, chambered a round in the gun, and pointed it at the clerk and at a second clerk who was also working. The second clerk was able to open the safe and give the money inside to the robber, who then left the store.

The clerk told police that the robber was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, and that he had a white cloth around the lower part of his face. He described the robber as about six feet tall, weighing 190 pounds, with distinctive " bug eyes" that were not crossed but " cockeyed." The second clerk testified that the robber's eyes were " doing crazy stuff" and were " crossed and then they weren't crossed and they were just moving all around."

In reviewing the police report of the robbery, the sergeant over the robbery division noticed similarities to a robbery of a restaurant that had occurred three days before and three blocks away from the convenience store. One of the suspects in the earlier robbery was Jones, and the sergeant prepared a photographic lineup that included a picture of Jones. The convenience store clerk positively identified Jones from the lineup as the man who robbed the store. He also positively identified Jones at trial as the robber.

[329 Ga.App. 479] At the trial, the State presented a certified copy of Jones' conviction for armed robbery of the restaurant that occurred three days before the convenience store robbery.[1] The lead detective testified to the facts of that robbery. Specifically, the detective testified that two men had entered the restaurant, and one man pointed a handgun at the employees and patrons while the other emptied the cash register. The man with the handgun wore a hooded sweatshirt and had a white bandana tied around the bottom of his face. A fingerprint recovered from the register belonged to Jones' co-defendant, who later identified Jones as his accomplice in the restaurant robbery.

1. Jones first contends that the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions and asserts that the evidence connecting him to the crime was tenuous at best, as it was only based on the ...


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