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Powell v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

June 8, 2015

POWELL
v.
THE STATE

Family violence, etc. Dougherty Superior Court. Before Judge Marshall.

Judgment affirmed.

Kevin C. Armstrong, for appellant.

Gregory W. Edwards, District Attorney, D. Jared Parrish, Smith N. Wilson, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

BARNES, Presiding Judge. Ray and McMillian, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 400

Barnes, Presiding Judge.

A jury acquitted Evelyn Powell of aggravated assault with a knife but convicted her of family violence battery, family violence terroristic threats and two counts of cruelty to children in the third degree for having committed aggravated assault and battery in the [332 Ga.App. 438] presence of a minor. On appeal, she argues that the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce similar transaction evidence and that the error was not harmless. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence at trial showed that the 13-year-old victim, her 16-year-old sister, and her 19-year-old sister and her baby lived with their grandparents, Powell and her husband, along with other family members. On the day of the incident that led to the charges against Powell, Powell became angry when the victim would not give her letters addressed to other family members. Powell

Page 401

followed the victim into her bedroom, grabbed her shirt, " jacked [her] up," and scratched her neck. The victim got loose, and Powell started to walk away, then turned and shoved the victim into a wall. One of the victim's sisters heard a " boom" and came out of her bathroom to find the victim sitting on the floor crying. Powell went into the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and came toward the victim with it while threatening to kill her. Another sister came out of her room and asked Powell why she was chasing the victim with a knife, and Powell said, " I'm going to kill you, bitch."

The victim and her sisters all testified that Powell had previously threatened the victim with a knife whenever she became angry, which was often. Powell also accused the victim and her sisters of having inappropriate relations with their grandfather, Powell's husband, when she was mad. Shortly before this incident, Powell came up behind the victim while she was washing dishes and poked her in the back and leg with a knife because she was angry about something, and the victim went into her sister's room to get away.

A patrol officer responded to the call about a domestic dispute. The victim had been crying, was shaking, and had " a huge knot on her forehead over her right eye." Powell said she pushed the victim because she refused to be disrespected, but denied pushing her into a wall. She also denied threatening the victim with a knife, explaining to an investigator that she had been in her bedroom cutting up onions for her soup and stood up holding the knife when she overheard someone talking about her.

Powell's daughter testified that she called the police on a different occasion because her mother was drunk and throwing things in the kitchen. The responding officer testified that the kitchen was in disarray and the daughter said Powell had pulled a knife on her. Powell would not talk to the officers and began disrobing so they would leave the room. As the officers stood in the front room, the daughter told them that if Powell came at her with a knife again, she was going " to do what I've got to do," and Powell came into the room and said, " Well, I'll kill her." Once the officers decided to take Powell [332 Ga.App. 439] into ...


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