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Aikens v. State

Supreme Court of Georgia

June 1, 2015

AIKENS
v.
THE STATE

Murder. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Brasher.

Judgment affirmed.

Gerard B. Kleinrock, for appellant.

Paul L. Howard, Jr., District Attorney, Paige Reese Whitaker, Marc A. Mallon, Peggy R. Katz, Assistant District Attorneys; Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General, Patricia B. Attaway Burton, Deputy Attorney General, Paula K. Smith, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Matthew B. Crowder, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

BLACKWELL, Justice. All the Justices concur.

OPINION

Page 230

Blackwell, Justice.

Maurice Aikens was tried by a Fulton County jury and convicted of murder and several other crimes in connection with the fatal shooting of Kyle Moore. Aikens appeals, contending that the evidence is insufficient to sustain one of his convictions, that the trial court erred when it responded to a question submitted by the jury, and that he

Page 231

received ineffective assistance of counsel. We see no error, and we affirm.[1]

Page 232

1. Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence shows that, on the evening of May 3, 2007, Aikens, his friend Edward Wallace, and his girlfriend Ladasha Eison conspired to commit a robbery at a bus stop near the Lakewood MARTA station. When Moore -- a 17-year-old high school student who was unknown to the [297 Ga. 230] assailants -- arrived at the bus stop, Wallace and Aikens ran up to him while Eison stood as a lookout. Wallace pointed a gun at Moore, and Wallace and Aikens took Moore's wallet (which contained no cash) and his cell phone. Wallace then shot Moore multiple times, including in the chest, and Moore died from his wounds soon thereafter. Aikens, Wallace, and Eison met up later that evening at Wallace's home, and the men agreed that Aikens would keep Moore's cell phone and Wallace would keep his wallet. Aikens later told Eison that he had sold the cell phone, and she saw the cash that he had received for it.

Eison told several of her co-workers about the crimes, and one of her co-workers contacted the police. When police officers interviewed Eison, she initially lied to them, but she later admitted to the roles played by Aikens, Wallace, and herself in the robbery and murder. And ballistics testing confirmed that a 9mm handgun found by police officers in Wallace's bedroom was the gun used to kill Moore.

Aikens claims that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction for the unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon because the evidence showed that Wallace never allowed him to exercise any control over the gun. Even so, the evidence showed that Aikens and Wallace conspired to commit a robbery at the bus stop with a firearm. Because the foreseeable acts of any one of the co-conspirators in furtherance of the conspiracy might properly be attributed to all of the co-conspirators, the evidence was sufficient to show that Aikens was in constructive possession of Wallace's gun. See Murray v. State, 309 Ga.App. 828, ...


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