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Leeks v. State

Supreme Court of Georgia

February 16, 2015

LEEKS
v.
THE STATE

Page 297

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 298

Murder. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Manis, Senior Judge.

Judgment affirmed in part and vacated in part, and case remanded for resentencing.

Sheueli C. Wang, for appellant.

Paul L. Howard, Jr., District Attorney, Paige Reese Whitaker, Marc A. Mallon, Assistant District Attorneys, Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General, Patricia B. Attaway Burton, Deputy Attorney General, Paula K. Smith, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Rochelle W. Gordon, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

HUNSTEIN, Justice. All the Justices concur.

OPINION

Page 299

Hunstein, Justice.

Appellant Carrie Leeks was convicted by a jury of murder and related offenses for the July 4, 2006 stabbing death of her husband, Louis Woodall. Appellant appeals the denial of her amended motion for new trial and the grant of the State's motion to supplement the record. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm in part and vacate in part.[1]

Viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, the evidence adduced at trial established as follows. On July 4, 2006, [296 Ga. 516] Appellant and her husband were hosting a party at their apartment when they began arguing. The victim shoved Appellant but not very hard. Appellant picked up a knife from a nearby table and stabbed the victim in the chest. The victim fell to the ground, then stood up, stumbled out of the apartment, and collapsed on the apartment's patio. Appellant washed the knife in the sink. One of Appellant's sisters called 911, and the dispatcher instructed her to apply pressure to the victim's wound. She handed the phone to Appellant so that she could treat the victim, and Appellant told the dispatcher that an unknown male stabbed the victim. When the ambulance arrived, Appellant rode with the victim in the ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital. After the ambulance departed, one of Appellant's sisters told police officers that Appellant had stabbed the victim. Police officers apprehended Appellant at the hospital. The victim died at the hospital. According to the medical examiner, the victim died from a stab wound in his left chest, which entered his heart. Appellant was interviewed by a detective later that same day, and her videotaped statement from this interview was played for the jury. In her statement, Appellant admitted repeatedly that she stabbed the victim.

1. Though Appellant has not enumerated the general grounds, we find that the evidence as summarized above was sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Appellant was guilty of the crimes of which she was convicted. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979); see also Vega v. State, 285 Ga. 32, 33 (1) (673 S.E.2d 223) (2009) (" 'It was for the jury to determine the credibility of the witnesses and to resolve any conflicts or inconsistencies in the evidence.' " ) (citation omitted).

2. Appellant argues that Judge Manis erred in granting the State's motion to supplement the record.[2] The jury submitted five notes to Judge Glanville. The first three notes are discussed in the trial transcript: Judge Glanville discussed the questions with counsel, called the jury to open court, and responded to the questions in the presence of Appellant and all counsel.

There is no discussion in the transcript of the last two jury notes. However, both of these notes are included as exhibits in the record, showing the time and date received by the court as well as a handwritten response by Judge Glanville. The question and

Page 300

response on Jury Note 4 are as follows: " On charges 2 (Felony Murder) are there lesser charges, such as manslaughter. ... Answer: You will have [296 Ga. 517] to rely upon the ... charge of the court." The question and response on Jury Note 5 are as follows: " We would like to see the letter Ms. Leeks wrote to Mrs. Woodall. ... ...


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