BARNES, P. J., MCMILLIAN and MERCIER, JJ.
Barnes, Presiding Judge.
Pefinis, Jr. was indicted on two counts of serious injury by
vehicle, driving under the influence less safe (drugs), and
reckless driving. Following a jury trial, Pefinis was found
guilty of one count of serious injury by vehicle and reckless
driving. The two counts were merged for sentencing, and
Pefinis was sentenced to fifteen years, to serve ten.
Following the denial of his motion for new trial, as amended,
he appeals and contends that the evidence was insufficient
and that trial counsel was ineffective. Following our review,
Regarding Pefinis' contention that the evidence was
insufficient to sustain his convictions,
[o]n appeal from a criminal conviction, we view the evidence
in the light most favorable to support the jury's
verdict, and the defendant no longer enjoys a presumption of
innocence. We do not weigh the evidence or judge the
credibility of the witnesses, but determine only whether the
evidence authorized the jury to find the defendant guilty of
the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt in accordance with the
standard set forth in Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S.
307 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Hall v. State,
335 Ga.App. 895 (783 S.E.2d 400) (2016).
viewed, the facts pertinent to this appeal demonstrate that
on October 8, 2010, the victim was driving westbound on a
two-lane curved stretch of Bankhead Highway in Douglas County
when she observed a red van, later determined to be driven by
Pefinis, drift across the road into her lane "like he
was changing lanes." According to the victim,
"it's as though he didn't turn and follow the
curve, he just went into [her] lane." The van was
approximately "eight or nine car lengths" in front
of her, and when it did not change its course but "kept
coming at [her]" while "still in [her] lane, "
the victim believed that she had "to get out of the
way" to avoid a collision. As she attempted to avoid
Pefinis' van by crossing into the eastbound lane to pull
into the driveway of a gas company, Pefinis crossed back into
the eastbound lane and struck the victim's car.
investigator with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office
testified that based on his investigation, it appeared that
"[t]he [victim's] car was coming westbound . . . and
the red van [was] coming from the eastbound side. But with
these marks going across the road and the area of impact. .
., it appears that the red van was in this lane . . . going .
. . eastbound in the westbound lanes." A witness driving
behind the victim in the same lane also testified that when
Pefinis's car approached the curve "he [didn't]
turn at all. He just comes straight" into the westbound
lane. She further testified that as Pefinis' van traveled
in their lane, "[w]e didn't know if he was asleep,
if he'd wake up [.]"
and the victim both sustained severe injuries and were
transported by ambulance to an area hospital. The victim was
hospitalized for almost two months and suffered severe
injuries, including fractures of the right tibia, ankle,
pelvis, left wrist and knee, and internal injuries, resulting
in a bowel resection, and the removal of the victim's
appendix and gallbladder. The victim received physical and
occupational therapy to learn to walk again, but she was not
able to resume teaching dance because of her wheelchair
intake nurse at the emergency room testified that Pefinis
told her that on the day of the crash he had taken methadone,
a medication that could cause drowsiness and "impair
[his] ability to operate and automobile, " On November 10,
2011, Pefinis provided police with a recorded statement about
the crash, and the officer testified that Pefinis said that
he had not taken methadone on the day of the crash, but
provided the officer with a prescription he had for Xanax,
which Pefinis said that he had taken earlier that
On January 22, 2012, following his indictment and the
issuance of an arrest warrant, Pefinis gave police a second
recorded statement, after which he was
§ 40-6-390 (a) provides that "[a]ny person who
drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of
persons or property commits the offense of reckless
driving." And, "[w]hoever, without malice,
shall cause bodily harm to another by depriving him of a
member of his body, by rendering a member of his body
useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or member thereof
. . . through the violation of Code Section 40-6-390 . . .
shall be guilty of the crime of serious injury by
vehicle." OCGA § 40-6-394.
Pefinis contends that the evidence demonstrated that the
collision was accidental rather than reckless, it is the role
of the jury, not this Court, to "determine the
credibility of the witnesses and to resolve any conflicts or
inconsistencies in the evidence." (Punctuation omitted.)
Harris v. State, 332 Ga.App. 789, 790-91 (1) (775
S.E.2d 165) (2015). Here, the jury resolved those conflicts
against Pefinis. See Brock v. State, 293 Ga. 156,
157-58 (1) (743 S.E.2d 410) (2013) ("It is the
jury's role to assess the credibility of witnesses and
resolve any inconsistencies in the evidence."); Moss
v. State, 209 Ga.App. 59, 60 (1) (432 S.E.2d 825) (1993)
("Whether the injuries sustained by the victims were
caused through appellant's violation of any subsection of
OCGA § 40-6-391 (a) was a question of fact for the jury.
This fact, like any other fact, may be established by
circumstantial evidence.") In this case, the evidence
was sufficient to support Pefinis' convictions under the
standard established in Jackson v. Virginia, 443
U.S. at 319 (III) (B).
Pefinis also contends that trial counsel was ineffective for
failing to advise him that by not testifying he was
forfeiting a jury charge on accident. The record reflects
that Pefinis requested a charge on accident, and asserted
that it was an affirmative defense supported by the evidence
at trial. The State argued that Pefinis was not entitled to
the charge unless he had testified and admitted to committing
the offense, and that he had not done so, instead maintaining
that he did not remember what happened and had not driven
recklessly. The trial court denied the charge on accident,
appearing to find that it was not warranted by the evidence.
[T]o obtain reversal of a conviction based on a claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel, a defendant has the burden
of proving that counsel's performance was deficient, and
that, but for the deficiency, there was a reasonable
probability the outcome of the trial would have been
different. To establish deficient performance, a defendant
must show that counsel's performance fell below an
objective standard of reasonableness under the circumstances
confronting counsel at the time without resorting to
hindsight. In considering adequacy of performance, trial