MELTON, PRESIDING JUSTICE.
a jury trial, Erwin Trevor Brewer appeals his conviction for
the murder of Larry Strickland and related crimes, contending
that the trial court erred by denying a motion for mistrial
and that he received ineffective assistance of
counsel. For the reasons set forth below, we
the light most favorable to the verdict, the record shows
that, on December 11, 2013, Brewer borrowed $100 from Jessica
Gates with the promise that he would repay the money on the
following day. On December 12, 2013, Brewer borrowed $100
from Strickland, his cousin, in order to repay Gates. Brewer
also promised Strickland that he would repay the debt on the
following day. On December 13, 2013, Brewer was socializing
at the home of Stefanie James and Jovan Edmondson with James,
Edmondson, Thomas Person, and Robert Hatcher. That afternoon,
Strickland arrived at the residence. At one point, Strickland
asked Brewer about the money that he had loaned to him.
Brewer became angry and started arguing with Strickland.
Edmondson intervened, separating the two. Strickland walked
outside. Brewer then grabbed Edmondson's handgun that was
sitting on a nearby table and pursued Strickland in a rage.
Person was also outside at that time, and he witnessed Brewer
confront and shoot Strickland, fatally wounding him. Hearing
the gunshots, James, Edmondson, and Hatcher ran outside to
find Brewer standing over Strickland with a gun in his hand.
Brewer then cursed at and disparaged Strickland, reached into
Strickland's pocket, and stole money. Brewer then fled in
Person's car. Ten days later, Brewer was found by police
and arrested. Brewer testified at trial that, in his initial
confrontation with Strickland, he felt a gun hidden beneath
Strickland's shirt, and he shot Strickland in
self-defense. The witnesses to the shooting, however,
testified that Strickland was unarmed.
evidence was sufficient to enable the jury to find Brewer
guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted beyond a
reasonable doubt. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307
(99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).
Brewer contends that the trial court erred by denying his
motion for mistrial after testimony from a State witness
allegedly placed his character into evidence. We disagree.
record shows that, prior to trial, the trial court prohibited
the State from eliciting testimony regarding the reason
Brewer needed the $100 loan, namely to pay for bond
associated with an unrelated misdemeanor charge. During
trial, the State asked Officer Roy Ham if he was involved in
the search for Brewer after Strickland's murder. Ham
testified that he was involved in the search and that he had
been contacted by others who "wanted to know if we could
possibly utilize in-house records and jail booking
information to locate" Brewer. At that point, Brewer
made a motion for mistrial, arguing that the testimony
regarding "booking information" had placed
Brewer's character in evidence. The trial court denied
the motion for a mistrial, but offered to give a curative
instruction. Trial counsel, however, declined the curative
[a] trial court's denial of a motion for mistrial based
on the improper admission of bad character evidence is
reviewed for abuse of discretion by examining factors and
circumstances, including the nature of the statement, the
other evidence in the case, and the action taken by the court
and counsel concerning the impropriety.
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Rucker v. State,
293 Ga. 116, 118 (2) (744 S.E.2d 36) (2013). Furthermore,
"[w]e have held that curative instructions are an
adequate remedy when a witness inadvertently refers to a
defendant's prior convictions or criminal acts.
[Cit.]" Bunnell v. State, 292 Ga. 253, 257 (4)
(735 S.E.2d 281) (2013). Given that Brewer declined the
court's offer to give a curative instruction with regard
to the statement, he cannot now complain about its refusal to
declare a mistrial. Pickren v. State, 272 Ga. 421
(9) (530 S.E.2d 464) (2000). Accordingly, Brewer has waived
his right to complain about the trial court's decision.
Id. Even if this right had been preserved, the trial
court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for
a mistrial. Walker v. State, 282 Ga. 703, 705 (2)
(653 S.E.2d 468) (2007).
Brewer contends that trial counsel rendered ineffective
assistance by declining the trial court's offer to give a
curative instruction regarding Officer Ham's mention of
In order to succeed on his claim of ineffective assistance,
[Brewer] must prove both that his trial counsel's
performance was deficient and that there is a reasonable
probability that the trial result would have been different
if not for the deficient performance. Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d
674) (1984). If an appellant fails to meet his or her burden
of proving either prong of the Strickland test, the
reviewing court does not have to examine the other prong.
Id. at 697 (IV); Fuller v. State, 277 Ga.
505 (3) (591 S.E.2d 782) (2004). In reviewing the trial
court's decision, "'[w]e accept the trial
court's factual findings and credibility determinations
unless clearly erroneous, but we independently apply the
legal principles to the facts.' [Cit.]" Robinson
v. State, 277 Ga. 75, 76 (586 S.E.2d 313) (2003).
Wright v. State, 291 Ga. 869, 870 (2) (734 S.E.2d
876) (2012). Furthermore, "[t]rial tactics and strategy
. . . are almost never adequate grounds for finding trial
counsel ineffective unless they are so patently unreasonable
that no competent attorney would have chosen them."
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) McNair v. State,
296 Ga. 181, 184 (2) (b) (766 S.E.2d 45) (2014).
discussed in the preceding division, the trial court acted
within its broad discretion in denying Brewer's motion
for a mistrial. In addition, Brewer's trial counsel
testified at the hearing on the motion for new trial that he
declined the trial court's curative instruction because
it "would bring [the booking reference] to the forefront
of the jury's mind, and it may have been that it got by
without the jury even hearing it." Trial counsel
believed that, "without the curative instruction that
maybe [the jury] wouldn't remember [the jail reference],
and it wouldn't be fresh on their memory." This
strategic decision not to draw the jury's attention to
the booking reference by declining a curative instruction was
"within the wide latitude of presumptively reasonable
professional conduct engaged in by a trial attorneys."
Kitchens v. State, 289 Ga. 242, 245 (2) (e) (710
S.E.2d 551) (2011). There was no ineffective assistance.
Brewer contends that the trial court committed reversible
error by disallowing evidence that Strickland, the victim,
had committed an alleged previous act of ...