Timothy Sapp was tried and convicted of murder and related
offenses in connection with the shooting death of Christopher
Smith. Sapp appeals, claiming that the evidence
was insufficient to support his convictions. Finding no
error, we affirm.
sole enumeration of error, Sapp claims that the evidence
presented at trial was insufficient to authorize a conviction
as, he alleges, he was convicted on purely circumstantial
evidence. We disagree.
When evaluating the sufficiency of evidence, the proper
standard for review is whether a rational trier of fact could
have found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (99 S.Ct.
2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979). "This Court does not
reweigh evidence or resolve conflicts in testimony; instead,
evidence is reviewed in a light most favorable to the
verdict, with deference to the jury's assessment of the
weight and credibility of the evidence." Hayes v.
State, 292 Ga. 506, 506 (739 S.E.2d 313) (2013) . . . .
"While mere presence at the scene of a crime is not
sufficient evidence to convict one of being a party to a
crime, criminal intent may be inferred from presence,
companionship, and conduct before, during and after the
offense." Belsar v. State, 276 Ga. 261, 262 (1)
(577 S.E.2d 569) (2003). See also OCGA § 16-2-20 (party
to a crime statute); OCGA § 24-14-6 ("To warrant a
conviction on circumstantial evidence, the proved facts shall
not only be consistent with the hypothesis of guilt, but
shall exclude every other reasonable hypothesis save that of
the guilt of the accused.").
Thomas v. State, (Case No. S16A1520; decided on Jan.
these principles in mind, viewed in the light most favorable
to the jury's verdict, the evidence was sufficient to
sustain Sapp's convictions and sentences. The record
shows that, in the late evening hours of July 27, 2012, Sapp
and his brother Cyrus Bell went to Woodbine Apartments in
Woodbine, Camden County, Georgia. Sometime after their
arrival, the men ran into Clarence Loggins, a resident of the
apartment complex. Loggins and Sapp greeted one another with
a brief hug, at which time Loggins felt a gun in Sapp's
waistband. Sapp then asked Loggins if he had seen the victim,
Christopher "Peanut" Smith.
same evening, one of the victim's neighbors was outside
smoking a cigarette when he saw a man dressed in all black
talking on a cell phone. The man walked by the neighbor's
apartment and then turned a corner. Moments later, the
neighbor heard a gunshot and saw shadowy figures near the
direction of the noise. The neighbor then heard a second
gunshot after which Smith yelled, "Here, take it
all." At that time, the witness saw a man in all black
by his apartment. The neighbor went inside his residence and
called 911, then exited again after hearing Smith moaning
outside. He found the victim lying on the ground with a
gunshot wound to the back. Smith was taken to Camden Medical
Center where he later died of his injury.
after the murder, Sapp and Bell drove to the house of their
nephew, Telvis Brown. Brown recalled that Sapp: was dressed
in all black; had a black bandana tied around his face;
appeared nervous and sweaty; and, upon his arrival, removed a
fresh set of clothes from a book bag and changed. The men
left the bag with Brown and then drove off. Brown later
opened Sapp's bag and removed two guns. He set them onto
a dresser, took a picture of them and sent it to his
girlfriend; this photograph was admitted at trial. Sapp
called Brown two more times, first warning him not to say
anything about what had occurred, then later informing Brown
that he would come back to the house to pick up his book bag.
their investigation, law enforcement recovered the
victim's white t-shirt, three .40-caliber shell casings
at the scene, and later, obtained the black jeans worn by
Sapp on the night of the crime. The State presented testimony
from a firearms expert who concluded that all three casings
were fired from the same firearm, likely a Glock or Smith
& Wesson .40-caliber pistol. The expert further opined
that the two guns in the photograph taken by Brown were
consistent in appearance with Glock handguns. The State also
called the micro-analyst who examined both Sapp's jeans
and Smith's white t-shirt; she concluded that a fiber
discovered on the victim's shirt was consistent with
fibers from Sapp's black jeans.
surveillance footage obtained from the apartment complex from
the night of the murder showed Sapp and Bell's arrival.
Sapp is seen wearing all black and walking around the
property carrying a book bag. The video also captured the
initial confrontation between Sapp and Smith.
spoke with police telling varying versions of what had
occurred on the night of Smith's murder. Though he denied
being involved in the incident, he admitted: carrying a book
bag onto the property; being on the property with his
brother; wearing a long sleeve black shirt and dark jeans;
and hearing gunshots the night Smith was murdered.
on the foregoing, we find that the evidence was sufficient to
enable a rational trier of fact to conclude beyond a
reasonable doubt that Sapp was guilty of the crimes for which
he was convicted. See Jackson, 443 U.S. 307.
affirmed. All ...