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Young v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

May 14, 2015

YOUNG
v.
THE STATE

Aggravated assault, etc. Henry Superior Court. Before Judge Amero.

Teresa L. Smith, for appellant.

James L. Wright III, District Attorney, Atha H. Pryor, Sandra G. Rivers, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

OPINION

Page 808

McFadden, Judge.

After a jury trial, Brandon Ray Young was convicted of aggravated assault on a correctional officer and aggravated battery on a correctional officer. He appeals, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence. Because a rational trier of fact could have found from the evidence that Young was guilty of each offense beyond a reasonable doubt, we affirm.

In considering whether the evidence was sufficient to support a defendant's convictions, " the relevant question is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt." Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (III) (B) (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979) (citation omitted; emphasis in original). It is the function of the jury, not the reviewing court, to resolve conflicts in the testimony, weigh the evidence, and draw reasonable inferences from the evidence. Id. " As long as there is some competent evidence, even though contradicted, to support each fact necessary to make out the [s]tate's case, the jury's verdict will be upheld." Miller v. State, 273 Ga. 831, 832 (546 S.E.2d 524) (2001) (citation and punctuation omitted).

Viewed in this light, the evidence showed that on May 27, 2010, correctional officers

Page 809

escorted Young into the fingerprinting room of the Henry County jail. Another correctional officer entered the room to obtain a set of gloves. When that officer leaned over to retrieve the gloves, Young reached over, raised his cuffed hands, and struck the officer's head with his fists. The officer fell against a door and collapsed to the ground, losing consciousness.

1. Aggravated battery on a correctional officer.

Young argues that the evidence was insufficient to authorize his conviction for aggravated battery on a correctional officer. That offense requires a showing that a person " maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him or her of a member of his or her body, by rendering a member of his or her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his or her body or a member thereof." OCGA § 16-5-24 (a). " The bodily member need not be rendered permanently useless, and even the temporary reduced use of a bodily member may be sufficient to render it useless under the aggravated battery statute." Walls v. State, 283 Ga.App. 560, 561 (1) (642 S.E.2d 195) (2007) (citation and punctuation omitted). " A person who knowingly commits the offense of aggravated battery upon a correctional officer while the correctional [332 Ga.App. 362] officer is engaged in ... his or her official duties" is subject to an increased minimum term of imprisonment for the offense. OCGA § 16-5-24 (e) (2).

The state alleged that the correctional officer's head was rendered useless by Young's strike. Young argues that no evidence showed that he rendered the officer's head useless, even temporarily. We disagree. A video recording of the incident, shown to the jury at trial, depicted Young striking the officer in the head and the officer collapsing to the ground, and the officer testified that she lost consciousness upon being struck, stating: " I ... leaned over to get gloves out and then everything went black. I opened my eyes and I was on the floor." The jury was authorized to find from this evidence that Young committed aggravated battery on a correctional officer. See Scott v. State, 243 Ga.App. 383, 384-385 (1) (b) (532 S.E.2d 141) (2000) (evidence ...


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