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Wright v. State

Supreme Court of Georgia

November 24, 2014

WRIGHT
v.
THE STATE

Page 440

Murder. Cobb Superior Court. Before Judge Kell.

Judgments affirmed.

Nicholas G. Dumich, for appellant.

D. Victor Reynolds, District Attorney, Jesse D. Evans, John R. Edwards, Assistant District Attorneys, Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General, Patricia B. Attaway Burton, Deputy Attorney General, Paula K. Smith, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Jason M. Rea, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

HINES, Presiding Justice. All the Justices concur.

OPINION

Page 441

Hines, Presiding Justice.

Jeffery Wright appeals from his convictions and sentences for the malice murder of Ricardo Carbajal, the aggravated assaults of Carbajal, Eduardo Torrijos, Librado Gonzalez, and Victor De Leon Vega, the false imprisonment and armed robbery of Andre Lard, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.[1]

[296 Ga. 277] Construed to support the verdicts, the evidence showed that on June 16, 2008, Wright, along with Zachary Brown and Nathan Stokes, approached Lard while in Wright's Crown Victoria automobile; Brown exited the vehicle and, at gunpoint, forced Lard into Wright's car and took from him some marijuana, his wallet, cell phone, shirt, and pants. After releasing Lard, Brown fired a shot, and Wright drove the car away. A .40 caliber spent cartridge casing was found at the scene.

On June 20, 2008, Wright placed a pistol in the rear passenger compartment of his Crown Victoria, while Brown was present.

Page 442

Later that day, Wright drove Brown and Stokes to the Sedona Falls apartment complex; they were " looking for some money" and intended to rob someone for it. Brown saw four Hispanic men seated on the ground and told Wright to stop, Wright did so, and Brown and Stokes exited the car; Brown carried a .40 caliber pistol. While Wright turned the car around, Brown and Stokes approached the Hispanic men and Stokes demanded their money while Brown pointed his pistol at them. The four Hispanic men rose from the ground, and put their hands in the air. At this time, a car carrying Christopher Mora and his family arrived; they were residents of the apartment complex and knew Carbajal. Mora told the driver, his wife, to stop; he exited the car and asked what was going on. Brown pointed the pistol at Mora, who retreated to his car; two of the intended robbery victims fled, and Carbajal raised his hand, at which point Brown fired two shots at him, one of which fatally struck him in the chest from close range.

Wright shouted to Brown just before Brown shot Carbajal.[2] After the shooting, Wright gestured to Brown and Stokes to get in the car, which they did. Brown continued to point the pistol at the victims as he went to the waiting car, and then pointed it at them out the car's window. Wright drove the Crown Victoria away. Mora found George Turner, an armed, uniformed security guard for the apartment complex, and told him of the shooting. In their separate vehicles, Turner and Mora followed Wright's car outside the apartment complex, while Turner called 911; through the open windows of the cars, Mora indicated to Turner that Wright's car was the one involved in [296 Ga. 278] the shooting, and Mora then ceased to follow Wright's car. Wright expressed to his companions the belief that they were being followed; he turned the Crown Victoria into the parking lot of another apartment complex, and stopped. Turner followed and stopped his vehicle, exited it, drew his pistol, and told the men in the Crown Victoria to put their hands up; the driver and front seat passenger looked at him, and the driver put the car in reverse, backed out of the space, and exited the parking area. The Crown Victoria was stopped by law enforcement officers a ...


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