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Edwards v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

February 19, 2015

EDWARDS
v.
THE STATE (two cases)

False statement. Floyd Superior Court. Before Judge Niedrach.

Judgments affirmed.

Steven A. Miller, for appellant.

Leigh E. Patterson, District Attorney, Emily G. Johnson, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

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

OPINION

Page 151

Ray, Judge.

A jury convicted Randy Edwards of one count of making a false statement and writing (OCGA § 16-10-20). He was convicted because, although he had obtained and pawned the title to a car, he signed an official Cancellation of Certificate of Title for Scrap Vehicles form falsely stating that he had not obtained the title and that there were no security interests or liens on the vehicle. In Case No. A14A1902, he appeals from that conviction and from the trial court's denial of his motion for new trial, arguing that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to file a special demurrer or other challenge to the indictment. He also challenges the sufficiency of the evidence.

As a result of statements he made to a police officer while he was in custody during the investigation of Case No. A14A1902, Edwards was then charged and convicted of five counts of terroristic threats and acts (OCGA § 16-11-37 (a)). In Case No. A14A1903, he appeals from his conviction and the trial court's denial of his motion for new trial, arguing that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance for failing to file a special demurrer or otherwise challenge the indictment, and that the trial court erred in failing to direct a verdict of acquittal.

We have consolidated these cases for purpose of appeal. After careful review, we affirm in both cases.

" On appeal from a criminal conviction, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to support the verdict, and [the defendant] no longer enjoys a presumption of innocence[.]" (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Jackson v. State, 252 Ga.App. 268, 268 (1) (555 S.E.2d 908) (2001). On appeal, this Court determines only whether the evidence authorized the jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and in doing so, we neither weigh that evidence nor judge the credibility of witnesses. Id. We will consider each case in turn.

1. Case No. A14A1902. The record shows that in October 2011, Edwards entered into a pawn contract with Complete Cash, a title pawn business in Rome. As part of the transaction, Edwards provided, inter alia, a title to his 1988 Chevrolet van, proof of address, and driver's license. After the loan process was complete, Complete [330 Ga.App. 733] Cash allowed the contracted 30 days for the customer to fully repay the loan. After the 30-day period, Edwards had not paid the loan, and Complete Cash tried many times to contact him from November 2011 through March 2012. Edwards never made a payment on the loan until he paid it in full in June 2012.

On November 29, 2011, Edwards sold the van to Newell Recycling for scrap, and Newell Recycling paid him $540. On that date, Edwards completed a Cancellation of Certificate of Title for Scrap Vehicles form in conjunction with the sale. The form clearly states that the form was to be delivered to the Department of Revenue -- Motor Vehicle Division in Atlanta within 72 hours of purchase. On that form, Edwards checked that there were no security interests or liens on the vehicle and that he had " not obtained a Certificate of Title on this ...


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