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Holiday v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Second Division

July 2, 2015

HOLIDAY
v.
STATE OF GEORGIA. NELSON
v.
STATE OF GEORGIA

Forfeiture. Houston Superior Court. Before Judge Nunn.

Rodney E. Davis, for appellant (case no. A15A0591).

M. Stanley Martin, for appellant (case no. A15A0593).

George H. Hartwig III, District Attorney, Kirby H. Wincey, Jr., Marie R. Banks, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.

MILLER, Judge. Andrews, P. J., concurs. Branch, J., concurs in judgment only.

OPINION

Page 794

Miller, Judge.

Following a bench trial, the trial court concluded that a trailer and a mobile home owned by Milton Holiday, as well as the property on which the trailer and the mobile home sat, and a vehicle owned by

Page 795

Rosa Nelson were subject to forfeiture because the trailer, the mobile home and the vehicle had been used by Andrew Holiday to sell methamphetamine.[1] In Case No. A15A0591, Milton appeals, contending that the trial court erred in (1) failing to find that he was an [332 Ga.App. 748] innocent owner pursuant to OCGA § 16-13-49 (e) (1), and (2) holding that the forfeiture of his property was not an excessive fine. In Case No. A15A0593, Nelson appeals, contending that the trial court erred in finding that she was not an innocent owner. Since the evidence showed that both Milton and Nelson knew or could reasonably have known that their property was being used in a manner to facilitate drug trafficking and the forfeiture of Milton's property was not an excessive fine, we affirm.

In rendering judgment on a complaint for forfeiture, the trial court is required to make mixed findings of fact and law, which this Court must accept unless they are clearly erroneous. We defer to the trial court's judgment as to witness credibility and will affirm the trial court's findings if there is any evidence supporting them.

(Citations and footnotes omitted.) Little v. State of Ga., 279 Ga.App. 329, 330 (630 S.E.2d 903) (2006).

In November 2011, police officers began investigating Andrew for narcotics trafficking. Andrew had previously been arrested in 2009 and spent five to six months in jail before entering guilty pleas to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Andrew, Milton and Nelson lived near one another. Andrew lived with a roommate in a mobile home located on Milton's property. Nelson lived next door to Andrew. Milton lived in a house approximately 300 yards away. Milton also ...


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