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Eason v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 10, 2015

EASON
v.
THE STATE

Armed robbery. Cobb Superior Court. Before Judge Green.

Judgment affirmed.

James M. Miller, for appellant.

D. Victor Reynolds, District Attorney, John R. Edwards, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

McMILLIAN, Judge. Phipps, C. J., and Ellington, P. J., concur.

OPINION

Page 773

McMillian, Judge.

Kenneth Andre Eason was found guilty by a jury of armed robbery, and the trial court sentenced him as a recidivist to life in prison. See OCGA § 17-10-7 (a). He appeals following the denial of his motion for new trial, as amended, arguing his trial counsel was [331 Ga.App. 60] ineffective, the trial court should have given him more time to prepare for trial, his in-custody statement was improperly admitted, and the trial court improperly restricted his right to individually question prospective jurors. We affirm for the reasons set forth below.

Construed to support the jury's verdict,[1] the evidence at trial shows that on October 28, 2012, Charles Anderson went to an apartment complex located on Six Flags Drive in Cobb County to ask his relative Willie Plummer if he could borrow Plummer's car. Plummer agreed, and Anderson left in the car with Dashon Hicks,[2] ostensibly to look for day work. Instead, Anderson and Hicks drove to Fayetteville, where they picked up Shantel Washington, whom Hicks identified

Page 774

as his cousin, and her boyfriend, defendant Kenneth Eason.

According to Hicks, Anderson then drove to his residence on Marietta Street in Atlanta, where he went inside and changed clothes while the others waited in the car. When Anderson emerged, he had on a hoodie sweater and was carrying a black or dark blue bag. Anderson got back in the car, and Washington, who had taken over the driving, drove back to Six Flags Drive and parked about a quarter mile down from a Waffle House located there. Eason, who was wearing a black shirt, then took a black ski mask out of the bag and put it on, and Anderson zipped up his hoodie sweater, which had some sort of " eye holes" in it, so that it covered his face.

Hicks testified that Anderson and Eason exited the car and ran toward the Waffle House, while he and Washington waited in the car. According to witnesses inside the Waffle House, two men dressed in black with their faces covered up entered the restaurant at about lunchtime on October 28, 2012, and the taller and heavier of the two men stayed near the entrance of the restaurant and kept people from leaving while the shorter and slighter man ran inside the restaurant with a gun.[3] Anderson walked toward the register, which was open because a waitress was checking out a customer, and brandishing a gun, demanded the money from the register. Another waitress, who was also nearby, remarked to Anderson to get the money himself, and Anderson jumped or climbed across a booth where customers were sitting, reached inside the register, and took the money out with one hand while pointing the gun at the waitress with the other hand.

Eason and Anderson ran out of the Waffle House and back toward the car where Washington and Hicks were waiting. A witness, who [331 Ga.App. 61] was driving along Six Flags Drive, saw two men who were wearing masks run down the street and jump into a slowly moving car. She arrived at the Waffle House moments later, and when she realized there had been a robbery, she made a U-turn and started following the car. She instructed her daughter, who was in the car, to call police and was able to get close enough to the other vehicle to give police the tag ...


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