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Howell v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

February 11, 2015

HOWELL
v.
THE STATE (two cases)

Family violence battery, etc. Clayton Superior Court. Before Judge Carter.

Judgment affirmed in Case No. A14A2073.

Appeal dismissed in Case No. A14A2074.

Tyler R. Conklin, James C. Bonner, Jr., for appellant.

Tracy Graham-Lawson, District Attorney, Brian K. Ross, Elizabeth A. Baker, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

RAY, Judge. Andrews, P. J., and McFadden, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 99

Ray, Judge.

In two indictments, Thaddeus Octavius Howell was charged with various offenses involving acts of domestic violence. The indictments were later joined by consent and tried together in a single jury trial. Howell was convicted of false imprisonment (OCGA § 16-5-41), family violence battery (OCGA § 16-5-23.1 (a), (f)), interference with a 911 call (OCGA § 16-10-24.3), simple battery on a police officer (OCGA § 16-5-23 (a), (e)), and obstruction of a law enforcement officer (OCGA § 16-10-24) under the first indictment, and he was convicted of family violence battery (OCGA § 16-5-23.1 (a), (f)), aggravated assault (OCGA § 16-5-21 (b) (2)), and false imprisonment (OCGA § 16-5-41) under the second indictment. Howell now brings two identical appeals from the trial court's denial of his motion for new trial, contending that the trial court erred (1) in permitting the court reporter to testify at the trial over his objection and (2) in charging the jury on aggravated assault. Finding no reversible error, we affirm Howell's convictions in Case No. A14A2073 and dismiss the identical appeal as redundant in Case No. A14A2074.

On appeal from a criminal conviction, the defendant no longer enjoys the presumption of innocence, and we view the evidence in the light most favorable to support the jury's verdict. Weeks v. State, 316 Ga.App. 448, 449 (729 S.E.2d 570) (2012).

The evidence showed that on the morning of December 4, 2010, Dawn Cloud was preparing to leave her house when Howell, who was Cloud's live-in boyfriend at the time, came home and an argument ensued. When Cloud asked Howell to leave, he struck Cloud in the back of her head, put her in a headlock, and choked her to the point that she could no longer breathe. Cloud attempted to call 911, but Howell snatched the phone away from her and broke it into pieces on the floor. After Cloud pressed the panic button on her car keys to [330 Ga.App. 669] activate her vehicle's horn alarm, Howell picked her up and " body-slammed" her onto the floor, wresting the

Page 100

keys from her hands. Cloud attempted to get away, but Howell physically restrained her and said " you're not going anywhere." During the incident, Cloud sustained visible injuries, including scratches to her hands and arms and red marks on her neck.

Cloud was later allowed to leave the residence, and she immediately called the police. The police officers who responded to the scene observed Cloud's injuries and obtained statements from both of the parties. Howell admitted that he and Cloud had been in a physical altercation that morning, but he could not explain how Cloud had received her injuries. When the officers advised Howell that he was under arrest, Howell resisted and got into a physical altercation with the officers, ...


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