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Williams v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

June 17, 2015

WILLIAMS
v.
THE STATE

Page 127

Drug violation. Chattooga Superior Court. Before Judge House.

Victor P. Aloisio, for appellant.

Herbert E. Franklin, Jr., District Attorney, Alan C. Norton, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

McMILLIAN, Judge. Barnes, P. J., and Ray, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 128

McMillian, Judge.

Larry Eugene Williams was charged with nine drug-related counts[1] arising out of three drug transactions on two different dates. Williams was convicted on all counts on March 4, 2009, but the trial court later granted his motion for new trial. On retrial, he was again convicted on all nine counts. Williams now appeals the denial of his subsequent motion for new trial, asserting that the trial court erred in granting the State's motion in limine and in denying his motion for new trial despite what he asserts is a fatal variance between the allegations in the indictments[2] and the evidence introduced at trial.

[332 Ga.App. 547] Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence showed that in June and July 2008, Brice Parrish was assisting Detective Josh Brock of the Summerville Police Department in making undercover purchases of controlled substances. On June 24, 2008, Parrish made two separate undercover purchases from Williams of a substance that contained cocaine. The next day, Williams again sold cocaine to Parrish during another controlled buy. Williams was later arrested and charged with the nine drug-related counts. Additional facts will be recited as necessary to consider Williams' arguments.

1. Williams asserts that the trial court erred in granting the State's motion in limine to prevent his cross-examining Brock about a website and publication with which he was affiliated.

At the hearing on the motion in limine, the parties presented no evidence and thus the trial court made no findings as to disputed facts or credibility. Moreover, the parties' arguments reflect no factual dispute regarding the circumstances at issue. Therefore, we will review the trial court's ruling on the motion in limine " to ensure that there was a substantial basis for it," and we review de novo the trial court's application of the law to the undisputed facts. State v. Gaggini, 321 Ga.App. 31, 32 (740 S.E.2d 845) (2013).

(a) We first address the State's assertion that Williams failed to preserve this issue for appellate review under the requirements of OCGA § 24-1-103 (a) (2). That statute provides:

Error shall not be predicated upon a ruling which admits or excludes evidence unless a substantial right of the party is affected and ... [i]n case the ruling is one excluding evidence, the ...

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