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Crapps v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

November 20, 2014

CRAPPS
v.
THE STATE

Page 179

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 180

Aggravated stalking. Gwinnett Superior Court. Before Judge T. Davis.

Judgment affirmed.

Pamela T. Britt, for appellant.

Daniel J. Porter, District Attorney, Richard C. Armond, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

BRANCH, Judge. Barnes, P. J., and Boggs, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 181

Branch, Judge.

Alander Crapps was tried by a Gwinnett County jury and convicted of a single count of aggravated stalking.[1] He now appeals from the denial of his motion for a new trial, asserting that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction and that the trial court erred in failing to give a curative instruction after the victim's testimony improperly placed Crapps's character in issue. Crapps also asserts a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. We find no error and affirm.

On appeal from a criminal conviction, the defendant is no longer entitled to a presumption of innocence, and we therefore construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's guilty verdict. Martinez v. State, 306 Ga.App. 512, 514 (702 S.E.2d 747) (2010). So viewed, the record shows that Crapps began a romantic relationship with Erica Pass in July 2011 and shortly thereafter the couple began living together, along with Pass's son, at Crapps's DeKalb County apartment. At some point during the couple's relationship, Crapps qualified for Social Security mental health disability benefits. Social Security would not pay the benefits directly to Crapps, however, and required that he designate another individual as his payee.[2] Crapps asked Pass to serve as his payee, telling her that he knew no one else who could fill that role. Pass explained that when she received those funds each month, she gave them directly to Crapps.

On February 12, 2012, after the couple had been living together for approximately six months, Crapps awakened Pass at around 3:00 [329 Ga.App. 821] a.m. and began screaming at her. Crapps, who had just examined the contents of Pass's cell phone, was demanding to know with whom Pass had been communicating via text message. Pass attempted to calm Crapps, but when her efforts failed, she gathered her son and went to her car in an effort to leave. Crapps, however, followed Pass and stood behind her car, thwarting her attempt to get away from him. When Pass rolled down her car window slightly to talk to Crapps, he reached inside the car and pulled on the window, breaking the window out of the car. Crapps then dragged Pass out of the car through the window opening, with Pass suffering significant cuts to her back in the process. Once Pass was out of the car, Crapps punched her in the face; he then took Pass's shoes and fled the scene.

Pass called the police, who eventually located and arrested Crapps. Crapps subsequently bonded out of jail and on February 16, 2012, the DeKalb County Magistrate Court entered an order of " Special Condition of Bond" for Crapps, which required Crapps

Page 182

to " [s]tay away, absolutely, directly or indirectly, by person and telephone, from the person, home, job, and school of Erica Pass . ..." Immediately following the February incident and for some period of time following entry of the protective order, Pass continued to stay at Crapps's apartment periodically because she had no place else to sleep. On some of those occasions, Crapps was present. Approximately four to six weeks after the entry of the order, Pass was able to move into the Gwinnett County home of her aunt. Additionally, Pass obtained a job at a Waffle House in Lawrenceville.[3]

Following her move to Gwinnett County, Pass initiated limited contact with Crapps via text message regarding his disability benefits and the fact that Crapps needed to designate a new payee to receive those funds on his behalf. When Crapps continued to use Pass as his payee, Pass went to the local Social Security office in May 2012 and had herself removed as payee for Crapps's disability benefits. She then informed Crapps of this fact via text message.

On May 27, 2012, Pass reported to her Waffle House job at around 9:00 p.m. Approximately one hour later, Pass's co-worker, Ashley Byrd, answered the Waffle House telephone and a woman asked if Pass was there. When Pass came to the phone, however, Crapps was on the other end of the line. Crapps then threatened Pass, telling her, " I'm going to fuck you up. You want to fuck with my money? I got you. I'm going to fuck you up. We're going to see about this." Pass immediately hung up the phone, but Crapps called back [329 Ga.App. 822] within minutes. Crapps then threatened Pass a second time, telling her: " You want to fuck with my money? You think ...


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