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Leggett v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

March 19, 2015

LEGGETT
v.
THE STATE

Page 51

Child molestation, etc. Colquitt Superior Court. Before Judge Hardy.

Hayden L. Willis, for appellant.

J. David Miller, District Attorney, Brian A. McDaniel, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

MCFADDEN, Judge. Andrews, P. J., and Ray, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 52

McFadden, Judge.

A jury found Jasper Leggett, Jr., guilty of child molestation and burglary. The trial court denied Leggett's motion for a new trial. Leggett appeals, claiming that there was insufficient evidence, that the trial court failed to exercise its discretion in considering the general grounds, that the trial court erroneously admitted hearsay, that the trial court allowed improper bolstering testimony, and that his trial counsel was ineffective. However, there was sufficient evidence from which the jury could find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, there is nothing in the record showing that the trial court failed to exercise its discretion and weigh the evidence, Leggett has failed to show improper admission of hearsay or has waived such objection, the testimony in question was not bolstering, and Leggett has not shown that trial counsel's performance was deficient and prejudicial. Accordingly, we affirm.

1. Sufficiency of the evidence.

On appeal from a criminal conviction, the standard for reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence

is whether a rational trier of fact could have found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This [c]ourt does not reweigh evidence or resolve conflicts in testimony; instead, evidence is reviewed in a light most favorable to the verdict, with deference to the jury's assessment of the weight and credibility of the evidence.

Hayes v. State, 292 Ga. 506 (739 S.E.2d 313) (2013) (citations omitted).

Viewed in that light, the evidence showed that near 5:00 a.m. on September 12, 2010, Leggett entered the house of the victims. He went into the bedroom where 11-year-old D. L. was sleeping with her sister and a friend who had spent the night at their house. Leggett sat on the edge of the bed, reached inside D. L.'s shorts, and touched her vagina and buttocks. D. L. was awakened by the touching, and Leggett put a finger to his lips, indicating that she should be quiet. He continued to touch her, and then left the bedroom.

Leggett went into the living room where D. L.'s mother was sleeping on a couch. The

Page 53

mother woke up to find Leggett lying on the floor right next to her, staring at her face. The mother, who did not know Leggett, jumped up and asked him what he was doing there and how he had gotten into the house. Leggett identified himself as [331 Ga.App. 344] " G from across the street," and said that he had " just [come] in," that he had come to see her, and that if it was a problem for him to be there he would leave.

In the meantime, D. L. woke up her sister, 15-year-old I. S., and told her what had happened. I. S. ran into the living room and told the mother that the man had touched D. L. The mother immediately went to the phone to call the police, and Leggett then left the house. The mother informed the police that the intruder had identified himself as " G" and that he had been wearing a white shirt and black pants.

At approximately 8:00 that same morning, D. L. and her sister talked to a neighbor about what had happened. The neighbor, who is related to Leggett, confirmed that Leggett is known as " G" and helped the mother find Leggett in an apartment across the street from their house. As the mother confronted Leggett about the incident, he fled. The mother and the neighbor chased after Leggett and called the police. Officers responded to the call and arrested Leggett, who was wearing a white shirt and black shorts. The mother and D. L. identified Leggett as the man who had intruded into their house.

Leggett's mother testified for the defense, stating that Leggett was in her house at the time of the incident. She testified that she had gotten up at 5:00 on the morning in question to get some water. ...


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