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McCoy v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia

June 26, 2015

McCOY
v.
THE STATE

Similar transactions. Cobb Superior Court. Before Judge Bodiford.

Mary Erickson, for appellant.

D. Victor Reynolds, District Attorney, John R. Edwards, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.

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

OPINION

Page 180

Barnes, Presiding Judge.

Following a jury trial, Everton McCoy was convicted of armed robbery, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and obstruction of an officer.[1] McCoy filed a motion for new trial, which the trial court denied, and he now appeals from that order. On appeal, McCoy contends that the trial court erred in admitting a prior bad act that was dissimilar to the charged crime and for which there was only a highly prejudicial identification of McCoy as the perpetrator. Upon our review, and for the reasons that follow, we affirm the trial court's order denying McCoy's motion for new trial.

On appeal from a criminal conviction, we view the evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, and the appellant is no longer entitled to the presumption of innocence. Newsome v. State, 324 Ga.App. 665 (751 S.E.2d 474) (2013). We neither weigh the evidence nor assess the credibility of the witnesses, but determine only whether the evidence authorized the jury to find the appellant guilty of the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt. Byrd v. State, 325 Ga.App. 24 (752 S.E.2d 84) (2013).

So viewed, the evidence shows that on December 26, 2011, the victim was changing a tire on his sister's car when he was approached by a man who brandished a gun at him and demanded money. The robber took the victim's wallet, which contained $500 in cash and a bank card, his cell phone, and his keys. After the robber hurriedly walked away, the victim retrieved his cell phone and keys, which the robber had discarded nearby, called 911, and got into his car to follow the Honda Civic in which the robber was traveling and which was determined to be stolen. The victim followed the car, and stayed on his [332 Ga.App. 627] cell phone with the 911 operator until two patrol cars took up the pursuit of the robber's vehicle. The ensuing high-speed chase lasted approximately four minutes until the vehicle crashed, and the robber, still holding his gun and later identified as McCoy, and his accomplice ran from the scene. The men split up as they ran away. Police captured

Page 181

one of the men, who was identified as McCoy's cousin, Damario, but McCoy escaped. One of the pursuing officers later identified McCoy from a photograph in the lead detective's office. McCoy and Damario were indicted as co-defendants for armed robbery, two counts of theft by receiving stolen property, hit and run, VGCSA, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and obstruction of an officer.[2]

During the trial, Damario testified that he drove the stolen car to the apartment complex to sell marijuana, and that when they arrived at the complex, McCoy got out of the car. He further testified that when McCoy got back into the car he told Damario that, " I had to get him," and that after the ensuing " chaos" he assumed " those words meant that [McCoy] robbed somebody." Damario also testified that he saw the handle of what he believed to be a gun in McCoy's hand.

On appeal, McCoy contends that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of a prior bad act under OCGA § 24-4-404 (b). He maintains that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of a Florida robbery because it was too dissimilar to the case-in-chief and based upon a highly prejudicial in-court identification of McCoy. We disagree.

Because McCoy's trial was held after January 1, 2013, Georgia's new Evidence Code controls the admission of similar transaction evidence. OCGA ...


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