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Pressley v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 16, 2015

PRESSLEY
v.
THE STATE

Cert. applied for.

Armed robbery, etc. Gwinnett Superior Court. Before Judge W. Davis.

Zell & Zell, Rodney S. Zell, for appellant.

Daniel J. Porter, District Attorney, Christopher M. Quinn, Charles W. Grimsley, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

PHIPPS, Chief Judge. Ellington, P. J., and McMillian, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 267

Phipps, Chief Judge.

Darrin Pressley appeals his convictions for armed robbery, criminal trespass, and two counts of aggravated assault. He contends that he is entitled to a new trial because: (1) his " right to due process was violated, and the trial court erred by allowing the State to bolster one of its complaining witnesses" ; and (2) the state made an improper comment in its closing argument. We affirm.

The evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, showed the following. Pressley and Prescilla Smith had dated each other for about four years. During some of that time, Pressley resided with Smith in her home. After their " exclusive relationship" had ended, Pressley continued to be involved in Smith's life because he [331 Ga.App. 176] was " like a father" to Smith's children, and he would " still get the kids, still see the kids" ; but he no longer lived with Smith. Smith had the door locks changed.

On the weekend of July 4, 2010, approximately one year after Smith's and Pressley's dating relationship had ended, Smith met Quincy Bozeman in New Orleans at a festival. Bozeman resided in California. After the festival, Smith and Bozeman frequently spoke with each other by phone, and later that month, Bozeman traveled to Georgia to visit Smith; while in Georgia, he stayed at Smith's residence. On the night of July 31, as Smith and Bozeman were asleep in Smith's bed, they " woke up to [Pressley] in the house," pointing a firearm at them and threatening to kill them.

Pressley questioned Smith and Bozeman about their relationship. Eventually, Pressley retrieved Bozeman's clothes from Smith's side of the bed, threw them at Bozeman, and ordered Bozeman to leave. Bozeman had about $350 in the pocket of his pants; Pressley took the money as well as Bozeman's cell phone. After Bozeman put on his clothes, Pressley escorted him by gunpoint to his (Bozeman's) rental vehicle, which was parked in Smith's garage. Bozeman entered the vehicle and drove away, leaving Smith alone in the house with Pressley. Pressley ordered Smith upstairs, where he asked her more questions about her relationship with Bozeman. Pressley later left the house. Smith got dressed and went to a friend's house.

1. Pressley contends that he is entitled to a new trial because his " right to due process was violated, and the trial court erred by allowing the State to bolster one of its complaining witnesses."

At trial, Bozeman testified that Pressley held him and Smith at gunpoint, threatened to kill him, and robbed him of his money and cell phone. Near the end of the state's direct examination of Bozeman, the prosecutor asked Bozeman, " have you ...


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