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Williams v. State

Supreme Court of Georgia

June 1, 2015

WILLIAMS
v.
THE STATE

Reconsideration denied July 6, 2015.

Murder. DeKalb Superior Court. Before Judge Adams.

Gerard B. Kleinrock, for appellant.

Robert D. James, Jr., District Attorney, Deborah D. Wellborn, Zina B. Grumbs, A'Sheika L. Penn, Assistant District Attorneys; Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General, Patricia B. Attaway Burton, Deputy Attorney General, Paula K. Smith, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Andrew G. Sims, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

HINES, Presiding Justice. All the Justices concur, except Hunstein, J., who concurs in the judgment only as to Division 2.

OPINION

Page 214

Hines, Presiding Justice.

Quentric Williams appeals from his convictions and sentences for malice murder, two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, all in connection with the death of Mitt Lenix. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.[1]

[297 Ga. 461] Construed to support the verdicts, the evidence showed that Williams, a dealer of illegal drugs, attended a drive-in movie theater with his girlfriend, Angel Thomas. At 11:00 p.m., Williams fired a single bullet from his handgun while he and Thomas sat in the back seat of a pickup truck he had rented. According to what Williams told Thomas after the shooting, and what he testified to at trial, Williams saw Lenix approaching the truck " ducking and dodging" between cars, putting his hand in his waistband, and reaching for the door of the vehicle. The bullet went through the closed driver's side window and fatally struck Lenix in the chest.

Immediately after the shooting, Williams rapidly drove away from the theater. Law enforcement officers engaged in a high-speed chase, and Williams crashed his vehicle and escaped by foot; he was later arrested. Williams testified at trial that, as far as he knew, he did not fire the bullet that killed Lenix; he stated that he shot above Lenix to scare him away, and fled because he was on probation and believed that a warrant was out for his arrest. A ballistics expert testified that the condition of the projectile fragment recovered from Lenix's body did not allow him to conclude that it was fired from

Page 215

the handgun found in Williams's truck. There was no evidence of any other gunshot having been fired at the drive-in that evening.

1. The evidence was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Williams was guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted. See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).

2. Williams asserts that during argument, the State misstated the law regarding justification and told the jury that, as a matter of law, Williams's failure to admit that he fired the fatal shot would preclude the affirmative defense of justification; Williams objected to the argument; the trial court overruled the objection, and informed the ...


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