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DeVaughn v. State

Supreme Court of Georgia

February 2, 2015

DeVAUGHN
v.
THE STATE

Page 71

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 72

Murder. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge McBurney.

Judgment affirmed.

Janice L. Mathis, Adrian L. Patrick, for appellant.

Paul L. Howard, Jr., District Attorney, Paige Reese Whitaker, Lenny I. Krick, 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.

NAHMIAS, Justice. All the Justices concur.

OPINION

Page 73

Nahmias, Justice.

Appellant Jean Pierre DeVaughn was convicted of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the shooting death of William Eric Clark. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in striking two black jurors for cause, allowing a key witness to testify on short notice, and admitting evidence obtained in violation of his Miranda rights. Appellant also argues that the State failed to disclose an agreement with a witness. We affirm.[1]

1. Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdicts, the evidence at trial showed the following. Appellant's cousin, Constance Clark (Clark), was the victim's wife; the couple lived in Bessemer, Alabama. Clark was having financial difficulties, and the victim had life insurance policies for $600,000 that named her as the primary beneficiary. Clark told Appellant that the victim abused her and offered Appellant $5,000 to kill him.

[296 Ga. 476] The victim worked a side job as a bartender, and on December 13, 2005, he drove from his home to Atlanta to meet with Appellant, who was supposed to take him to a discount liquor store to purchase supplies for an event. Appellant called his friend Khorey Branch to ask if Branch knew where he could buy a gun, and Branch contacted Christopher Tumlin, who agreed to sell Appellant a handgun. Appellant and Branch drove in Appellant's car to Tumlin's home in southwest Atlanta, where Tumlin sold Appellant a handgun. Tumlin then rode with Appellant and Branch to a gas station near Six Flags, where they met up with the victim around 9:00 p.m.

Under the impression that he was being led to the liquor store, the victim followed Appellant and his two associates until both cars stopped in a driveway in an isolated section of the unfinished Waterford Edge subdivision near College Park. Appellant and the victim got out of their cars and engaged in what appeared to be a casual conversation until Appellant suddenly pulled out his gun and shot the victim four or five times, killing him. Immediately after the shooting, Tumlin jumped out of Appellant's car and got into the victim's car, and both cars sped out of the subdivision. Appellant dropped Branch off at Branch's home before returning home himself. Appellant called the victim's cell phone, which Tumlin answered, to ask where Tumlin planned to leave the victim's car; Tumlin told Appellant not to call him and then abandoned the ...


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