BARNES, P. J., MCMILLIAN and MERCIER, JJ.
BARNES, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Lundy appeals his conviction for kidnapping with bodily
injury, arguing that the evidence was insufficient, he was
entitled to a new trial on the general grounds, the trial
court should have struck a biased juror for cause, and the
jury should have been instructed on lesser included offenses.
We find no error and affirm.
in favor of the verdict,  the record shows that around 1:15 a.m.
on January 6, 2011, the victim was in her bedroom when Rodney
Salter, a friend from the neighborhood, knocked on the door.
The victim had used crack cocaine earlier in the day, but was
"in [her] right mind" at that point. Salter told
her that he needed a ride, which she agreed to provide in
exchange for more drugs. The victim met Salter in the
driveway, where two other men - whom the victim did not know
- also were waiting. The victim got in her car, with Salter
in the passenger seat and the other two men in the back, and
drove toward a gas station. On the way, Salter spotted Lundy
and told the victim to slow down. The victim had seen Lundy
"hanging out" before and had previously bought
drugs from him. Lundy ran toward them, calling Salter's
name, and the victim stopped to let Lundy inside the car.
victim continued to the gas station, where Salter bought some
gas for her car. Lundy told the victim he had several places
to go and would pay her to take him. At Lundy's request,
the victim drove to an apartment building, another gas
station, and a convenience store. Lundy then directed the
victim down a dark road with abandoned houses, where Lundy
got out and later returned with a bag containing a large
wrench with a hook on the end. Concluding that the men were
"stringing [her] along" and would not be supplying
drugs, the victim said she wanted to go home, but Lundy told
her he "had to do something." Lundy instructed her
to drive to a liquor store, where she waited in the car while
one or more of the men broke a window. The men then ran back
to the car, and Lundy told the victim to "drive, drive,
drive, drive, " which she did.
victim again told Lundy that she wanted to go home. Lundy
cursed at her, told her "you in it now, we used your
car, " and pulled a gun on her. The victim kept driving,
following Lundy's directions. When they reached a
secluded area, Lundy ordered the victim out of the car,
pointed the gun at her head, and told her to take off her
jewelry and clothes, which she did. Lundy then hit the victim
in the head with the gun "so hard [she] thought [he]
shot her, " and she lost consciousness. When she came
to, she was alone and the car was gone. The victim spent six
days in the hospital, where she was treated for a head
laceration, skull fracture, and cranial bleeding. Her car was
later found at an abandoned house.
and Lundy were arrested and charged with hijacking a motor
vehicle, armed robbery, kidnapping with bodily injury,
aggravated battery, possession of a firearm during the
commission of a felony, and possession of firearm by a
convicted felon. Salter pled guilty to lesser offenses and
testified at trial against Lundy. The jury found Lundy guilty
of kidnapping with bodily injury, but not guilty of the
moved for a new trial on the general grounds, as well as
other bases. The trial court denied the motion and Lundy
appeals, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to
support his conviction and that the trial court erred by
denying his motion for new trial on the general grounds,
denying his motion to strike a juror for cause, and refusing
to charge the jury on lesser included offenses.
Regarding Lundy's challenge to the sufficiency of the
evidence, our role is to determine whether "any rational
trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the
crime beyond a reasonable doubt." Jackson v.
Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (III) (B) (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61
L.Ed.2d 560) (1979). "A person commits the offense of
kidnapping when he abducts or steals away any person without
lawful authority or warrant and holds such person against his
or her will." OCGA § 16-5-40 (a). The offense
carries a more stringent sentence "if the person
kidnapped received bodily injury." OCGA § 16-5-40
does not identify any particular deficiency in the evidence
or any element of the crime that was not established. We find
that the evidence that he forced the victim at gunpoint to
drive to a secluded location was sufficient to establish the
offense of kidnapping. See Sipplen v. State, 312
Ga.App. 342, 343-344 (1) (718 S.E.2d 571) (2011) (evidence
was sufficient to establish kidnapping where defendant got
inside the victim's truck, pointed a gun at him, and
forced him to drive to a location of the defendant's
choosing). And the evidence that Lundy struck the victim in
the head, causing a laceration, skull fracture, and cranial
bleeding, was sufficient to establish the bodily-injury
element of the offense. See Nelson v. State, 278
Ga.App. 548, 551 (3) (629 S.E.2d 410) (2006) ("Evidence
of any physical injury, however slight, satisfies the bodily
injury element necessary to establish kidnapping with bodily
injury.") (citation omitted).
Lundy contends that the trial court abused its discretion by
denying his motion for new trial on the general grounds. We
Even when the evidence is legally sufficient to sustain a
conviction, a trial judge may grant a new trial if the
verdict of the jury is "contrary to . . . the principles
of justice and equity, " OCGA § 5-5-20, or if the
verdict is "decidedly and strongly against the weight of
the evidence." OCGA § 5-5-21. When properly raised
in a timely motion, these grounds for a new trial - commonly
known as the "general grounds" - require the trial
judge to exercise a broad discretion to sit as a
and punctuation omitted.) White v. State, 293 Ga.
523, 524 (2) (753 S.E.2d 115) (2013). "A trial court
reviewing a motion for new trial based on these grounds has a
duty to exercise its discretion and weigh the evidence and
consider the credibility of the witnesses." Choisnet
v. State, 292 Ga. 860, 861 (742 S.E.2d 476) (2013). If
the trial court performs this duty, then we have no basis for
reviewing the court's decision, as "such a decision
is one that is solely within the discretion of the trial
court." (Citation and punctuation omitted.) Dixon v.
State, ___ Ga.App.___ (2) (b) (___ S.E.2d ___) (Case No.
A17A0233, decided April 19, 2017).
order denying Lundy's motion for new trial on the general
grounds, the trial court wrote:
Having independently considered the credibility of the
witnesses the court - as the 13th juror - hereby approves the
jury's verdict and concludes the verdict for kidnapping
with bodily injury was not decidedly and strongly against the
weight of the evidence [and]. . . is not contrary to the
principles of justice and equity.
order reflects that the trial court performed its duty using
the proper legal standard, we have no basis for disturbing
the court's exercise of discretion. Dixon,
Ga.App. at; see also Smith v. State, 300 Ga. 532,
534 (1) (796 S.E.2d 671) (2017).
Lundy argues that the trial court erred by denying his motion
to strike Juror No. 1, who initially expressed doubt about
her ability to be fair and impartial because of her
experience as a crime victim. We ...