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In re T.J.J.

Court of Appeals of Georgia

November 12, 2014

In the Interest of T. J. J, a child

Delinquency. Chatham Juvenile Court. Before Judge Stone.

Daveniya E. Fisher, for appellant.

Meg E. Heap, District Attorney, Austin D. Roberson, Diane M. McLeod, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

DOYLE, Presiding Judge. Miller and Dillard, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Doyle, Presiding Judge.

T. J. J. was adjudicated delinquent for committing two acts of felony theft by receiving stolen property[1] and two acts of misdemean

Page 705

or theft by receiving stolen property.[2] He appeals, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to support his delinquency adjudication. We disagree and affirm the judgment.

To prove that a juvenile is delinquent for committing acts of a criminal nature, the State must prove the commission of these acts beyond a reasonable doubt, just as it would in a criminal prosecution of an adult for the same acts. So, when a juvenile challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, we apply the standard set forth in Jackson v. Virginia,[[3]] and we consider whether the evidence adduced at the hearing would permit a rational trier of fact to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile committed the acts with which he is charged. In considering the sufficiency of the evidence, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the adjudication below, keeping in mind that it is for the trier of fact, not this Court, to weigh this evidence, resolve any conflicts in the evidence, and assess the credibility of witnesses.[4]

So viewed, the evidence shows that on June 17, 2013, Burgin David Lester's home was burglarized, and 17 firearms and a special edition bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey, among other items, were taken. On August 6, 2013, George Moore's home was burglarized, and his truck, jewelry, and seven watches were taken.

On September 17, 2013, Lisa Rogers's Toyota Tacoma was stolen from the parking lot in her apartment complex; her keys, which included one with a " Supergirl" emblem, were in the ignition. The following morning, police surveilled the area for the burglary suspects, [329 Ga.App. 538] and Detective Smith saw two male juveniles enter a wooded area near Rogers's apartment. After waiting for backup, Detective Smith went into the woods along the footpath the two juveniles traversed and found multiple items that were in Rogers's truck when it was stolen, as well as a license plate from another stolen vehicle.

Later that day, a police officer spotted Rogers's stolen truck parked in a Target parking lot. Police obtained and watched the surveillance videos from Target, which depicted T. J. J. and another male exiting the truck and entering the store. The two left the store approximately ten minutes later and began walking toward the vehicle, abruptly turning and walking out of the parking lot when they saw a police car parked near the Tacoma. Detective Smith viewed a still photograph of the Target surveillance video and ascertained that it depicted the same suspects he saw enter the woods near Rogers's apartment earlier that day. Police returned to the wooded area, where they apprehended T. J. J. and the other suspect, both of whom were wearing the same clothing as they were in the surveillance video footage.

Police took T. J. J. home and, pursuant to a search warrant, searched his bedroom, where they found multiple items: keys, one of which had " Supergirl" emblazoned on it; several watches; jewelry; an iPhone; a special edition bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey; a box of ammunition; SIM cards; and many latex gloves.

The following day, upon retrieving her truck, Rogers found a small black and brown Beretta in the center console and a pink-handled Ruger in the glove compartment, neither of which belonged to her. Police later identified the handguns as weapons ...


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