Armed robbery, etc. Cobb Superior Court. Before Judge Staley.
R. Allen Hunt, for appellant.
D. Victor Reynolds, District Attorney, John R. Edwards, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.
BARNES, Presiding Judge. Ray and McMillian, JJ., concur.
Barnes, Presiding Judge.
A jury convicted Anthony Wynn of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and he was sentenced as a recidivist to life without parole plus ten years. On appeal, he argues that the evidence against him was insufficient, that the trial court erred in denying his motions for mistrial, that he was deprived of his right to a fair trial because of bad character references, that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to character evidence, and that his sentence was improper. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, the record shows
that on June 29, 2007, the victim, who worked for Cash America Pawn, noticed a man standing and staring at her while [332 Ga.App. 430] she waited in line at a local bank to cash a $3,000 check for the store. She called her manager as she was leaving the bank, and he was watching the back parking lot when he saw her pull in, followed by a black Jeep that came up fast and parked behind her. The manager immediately called 911 and watched as a man got out of the Jeep, pointed a gun at the victim, took the bank money bag from her, and got back in the Jeep, which left. The manager gave the 911 operator details about the robber's clothing, the gun, the vehicle, which had no license tag, and the vehicle's direction of travel. The victim subsequently described the robber's clothes to the responding officers, describing his hat as dark with some orange on it.
An officer responded to the dispatch about an armed robbery by parking his vehicle in the turn lane of the road facing the direction where the robbers were reportedly heading. He saw a black Jeep come toward him and began to follow it, but the windows were tinted dark and the vehicle had a license tag, so the officer was not sure if he was following the robbers or not. The Jeep's driver pulled into a convenience store lot, paused by the gas pumps, then parked by the front door. Two men got out, neither of whom matched the description of the robber, and went into the store. The officer ran the tag and waited for backup rather than follow the men inside, but blocked the Jeep with his patrol car. Just before backup arrived, a third man who matched the robber's description got out of the Jeep and also went into the store. The officer waited until the man, later identified as Sanchez Jones, came out of the store and began to walk away and then arrested him, but by the time the officers searched the store the two men who had gone inside earlier had left through a side door. A K9 officer and his dog tracked the two men for some distance but did not catch them.
Back at the convenience store, the officers saw that the license tag on the Jeep was creased along its top edge, which indicated it had been bent upward as if to conceal the tag numbers. At the police station, Jones waived his Miranda rights and confessed that he had robbed the victim, identifying the other two men involved as " Ant" and " Poochy." Jones's cell phone included contact numbers for Ant and " P," who Jones said was Poochy, and showed that Ant and Jones had exchanged calls earlier that day.
The next day the granddaughter of the black Jeep's owner came to the police station and told the detective that she had loaned the black Jeep to Wynn, known as " Ant," the day before. She explained that she had lied to the detective the day before when he called to ask if she knew Jones because she had been stuck at Wynn's house without her vehicle and had been afraid to say anything. She said that Jones was her boyfriend and worked for Wynn in Wynn's lawn [332 Ga.App. 431] care business, that her relative lived across the street from Wynn, and that she agreed to exchange vehicles with Wynn the day of the robbery because Wynn said he needed to use the trailer hitch on the black Jeep. She left the black Jeep with Wynn and drove away in his blue Jeep. Later that day, Wynn called the neighbor and asked her to call the woman who had loaned ...