Javin Rashad Andrews was tried and convicted of malice murder
and a related offense in connection with the November 2010
shooting death of Ricardo Francois. Andrews appeals, alleging
the trial court erroneously admitted his custodial statements
at trial. Finding no error, we affirm.
in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, the
evidence adduced at trial established that, on November 20,
2010, cab driver Ricardo Francois picked up Andrews and his
co-indictee James Mitchell from a Walmart parking lot. Andrews sat
behind Francois, while Mitchell sat behind the empty front
passenger seat. Francois drove Andrews and Mitchell to
Cumberland Mall but, by the time they arrived, it had closed.
Andrews subsequently requested that Francois take them to
Lincoln Hills Apartments in Cobb County, Georgia, which was
adjacent to an apartment complex where Andrews resided with
his mother. Upon their arrival, Andrews shot Francois in the
back of the head. Francois died as a result of the gunshot
crime scene, officers located a .25 caliber shell casing on
the floor of the cab. A GBI firearms examiner determined that
the bullet was fired from either a FIE or Tanfoglio .25 ACP
case went cold until late January 2012, when law enforcement
received information that, around the time of the murder,
Andrews had confessed to shooting a cab driver. Specifically,
Andrews had told others that: he rode to the mall in a cab
with a friend; he had the cab take him home; he shot the
driver in the back of the head; and the shooting was for
information led law enforcement to apply for a search warrant
for Andrews' DNA, as well as his finger and palm prints.
On February 6, 2012, detectives executed the warrant at the
Cobb County Detention Center where Andrews was being held on
unrelated charges. While speaking with officers, Andrews
eventually admitted to taking a cab to Cumberland Mall with
Mitchell on the night Francois was killed and to previously
possessing a .25 caliber semiautomatic handgun; however, he
denied being involved in the murder.
subsequently obtained a search warrant for Andrews'
residence. There, they spoke with Calandrial Afriyie,
Andrews' mother. She provided officers with photographs
of a .25 caliber Titan pistol (a weapon that is manufactured
by FIE) that she had taken in January 2011 after discovering
the pistol in Andrews' jacket. According to Afriyie, when
she confronted Andrews about the weapon, he took the gun from
the house; it was never recovered. Officers also located cell
phones at the residence belonging to Andrews. One cell phone
contained photographs of Andrews taken less than a week after
the murder holding a .25 caliber gun.
was interviewed by law enforcement a second time on February
14, 2012, during which he admitted to being in the cab the
night the driver was murdered, but implicated Mitchell as the
Though not enumerated by Andrews, we find that the evidence
as summarized above was sufficient to enable a rational trier
of fact to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Andrews
was guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted.
Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61
L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).
Prior to trial, Andrews moved to suppress his February 6 and
February 14 custodial statements to law enforcement, alleging
that the statements were not made freely and voluntarily.
After holding a Jackson-Denno hearing, the
trial court found the statements to be freely and voluntarily
given without hope of benefit, coercion, or fear of injury.
Andrews argues now, as he did below, that the trial court
erred in admitting both February statements because they were
not freely and voluntarily given. We find this argument to be
trial court determines the admissibility of a defendant's
statement under the preponderance of the evidence standard
considering the totality of the circumstances."
(Citation omitted.) Vergara v. State, 283 Ga. 175,
176 (657 S.E.2d 863) (2008). "Although we defer to the
trial court's findings of disputed facts, we review de
novo the trial court's application of the law to the
facts." Clay v. State, 290 Ga. 822, 823 (725
S.E.2d 260) (2012). We "will not disturb the trial
court's factual and credibility determinations unless
they are clearly erroneous." Wright v. State,
285 Ga. 428, 432 (677 S.E.2d 82) (2009).
record supports the trial court's findings that
Andrews' statements were made freely and voluntarily.
Andrews was informed of and understood his
Miranda rights. Although he refused to sign the
written waiver, the audio recordings of both interviews
establish that Andrews was verbally advised of these rights.
See Thomas v. State, 268 Ga. 135, 138 (485 S.E.2d
783) (1997) ("[T]he mere fact that there was no written
waiver of Miranda rights or other written record of
such waiver did not render his statement inadmissible.")
(Citation omitted.) After receiving the verbal warnings,
Andrews agreed to speak with law enforcement without an
attorney, never requested to stop the interview, was not
promised a hope of benefit, and was not coerced into making
his statements. Based on the totality of the circumstances,
providing the proper deference to the findings of the trial
court, we find no error.
also claims that, because the February 6 interrogation began
prior to the reading of his Miranda rights, his
admission that he was in a cab at the mall on the night of
the murder was the product of an improper "two-stage
interrogation" in violation of Missouri v.
Seibert, 542 U.S. 600 (124 S.Ct. 2601, 159 L.Ed.2d ...