Samuel Stork was convicted of malice murder in connection
with the shooting death of Rodney Pate. In this appeal, he
claims that the evidence was insufficient to support his
conviction and that his trial counsel provided ineffective
assistance by failing to call a witness. Neither of these
claims has merit, so we affirm.
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the
evidence presented at trial showed the following. On February
1, 2014, Pate, Adarrius Keaton, and Aquala Mobley were
hanging out at Shiver's Alley, a dead-end street leading
to an apartment complex in Camilla, Georgia. Mobley was
Keaton's cousin and Appellant's girlfriend, and she
was pregnant with Appellant's child. When she told Pate
and Keaton that she had not been able to get in touch with
Appellant, they told her that it was probably because he was
with another girl. Pate then drove the group to
Appellant's home, where they found Appellant and
Shakendria Brown sitting in a car together. Appellant and
Brown drove away, but Pate, Keaton, and Mobley followed them.
When Pate caught up, he blocked Appellant's car, and
Keaton and Mobley got out and yelled at Appellant.
shooting occurred a week later, on the night of February 8.
Pate, Keaton, and Jason Williams were drinking at
Shiver's Alley. Mobley, who was in her apartment nearby,
called Appellant and asked him to come get her. Appellant
picked her up, and as he was driving away, Pate got in front
of the car, banged on it, and said, "You pus*y a*s
nig*er. You and that bit*h better stop playing with me."
Appellant and Pate argued, then Appellant drove Mobley to his
house, which was about 10 minutes away. After going inside
for a few seconds, Appellant drove back to Shiver's
Alley. On the way back, Mobley could tell that Appellant was
upset about his encounter with Pate. She told Appellant,
"If you [are] thinking about [doing] something stupid,
just think about our baby." When they returned to the
alley, Appellant parked the car, and he and Mobley got out.
Mobley walked towards her apartment, but Appellant walked up
to Pate. Williams heard Appellant "talking trash"
to Pate, and another witness heard Appellant say, "Why
you banging on my window like that?" Appellant then
pulled out a gun and shot Pate seven or eight times. At some
point during the gunfire, Pate fell to the ground, and
Appellant continued to shoot. Pate died from the gunshot
left the scene and drove home, then ran to some nearby
railroad tracks where he called a friend, Darius Hines, to
pick him up. As Hines and Appellant drove, they saw a police
car, and Appellant asked Hines to let him out, saying,
"I think they're looking for me." Appellant
turned himself in to the officer in the car. He was still
wearing the jacket that witnesses described him wearing when
he shot Pate; the jacket later tested positive for gunshot
residue. Appellant told the police that he had been in Albany
that night with Hines and that he did not know Pate. Eight
9mm shell casings were found at the crime scene; they were
fired from the same gun as a shell casing found in a dresser
in Appellant's room.
to his statement to the police, Appellant testified at trial
that he knew Pate even before the February 1 incident and
that he remembered the first encounter with Pate on the night
of the shooting. Appellant claimed that Pate came up to him
cursing when he arrived back at Shiver's Alley and that
he felt threatened and angry when Pate banged on his car but
did not remember shooting Pate or anything else from the time
of the shooting until he reached the railroad tracks.
Appellant's defense at trial was that he was out of his
mind with rage and shot Pate in the heat of the moment. The
jury was given a voluntary manslaughter instruction but found
Appellant guilty as charged.
Appellant argues that the evidence summarized above was not
sufficient to prove malice murder beyond a reasonable doubt,
asserting that the evidence supported only a conviction for
the lesser included offense of voluntary manslaughter. We
Appellant testified that he was angry when Pate banged on the
hood of his car and argued with him, he did not shoot Pate
immediately in response. Instead, he waited the 20 minutes or
so that it took to drive with his girlfriend to his house, go
inside briefly, and drive back to Shiver's Alley.
Moreover, the evidence shows that Appellant shot the victim
seven or eight times, continuing to shoot even after the
victim had fallen to the ground. And the jury was entitled to
disbelieve Appellant's claim that he could not remember
the fatal encounter, particularly given his awareness that
the police were looking for him and the lies he told to the
police. Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict,
the evidence was sufficient to authorize a rational jury to
find Appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of malice
murder rather than voluntary manslaughter. See Jackson v.
Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d
560) (1979). See also Sears v. State, 298 Ga. 400,
404 (782 S.E.2d 259) (2016) (discussing the jury's
authority to reject a voluntary manslaughter verdict in favor
of a finding of malice murder); Vega v. State, 285
Ga. 32, 33 (673 S.E.2d 223) (2009) ("'It was for the
jury to determine the credibility of the witnesses and to
resolve any conflicts or inconsistencies in the
evidence.'" (citation omitted)).
Appellant also argues that his trial counsel provided
ineffective assistance by failing to call Shakendria Brown as
a witness at trial. Brown testified at the motion for new
trial hearing that if she had been called, she would have
addressed the volatile relationship between Appellant and the
victim. Specifically, she would have testified that Appellant
told her that Pate and Keaton were mad at him, and she would
have given more details about the incident on February 1.
prevail on this claim, Appellant must show both that his
counsel's performance was professionally deficient and
that, but for the deficiency, there is a reasonable
probability that the outcome of the trial would have been
more favorable to him. See Strickland v. Washington,
466 U.S. 668, 687, 694 (104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674)
(1984). Brown's account of the February 1 incident was
nearly identical to the account offered by Appellant at
trial, and substantially similar to the trial testimony of
Mobley and Keaton. There is no reasonable probability that
the outcome of the trial would have been different had Brown
been called to give her cumulative testimony. See Wesley
v. State, 286 Ga. 355, 358 (689 S.E.2d 280) (2010).
Moreover, in light of the compelling evidence regarding the
fatal encounter, Appellant has failed to show how some
additional testimony about his previous disputes with the
victim would in reasonable probability have convinced the
jury not to convict him of malice murder. See Washington
v. State, 285 Ga. 541, 544 (678 S.E.2d 900) (2009).
Thus, Appellant's ineffective assistance claim fails. See
Gomez v. State, 300 Ga. 571, 573 (797 S.E.2d 478)
(2017) ("If a defendant fails to meet his burden on one
prong of the two-prong [Strickland] test, then the
other prong need not be reviewed by the Court."
affirmed. All the Justices concur.
 Pate was killed on February 8, 2014.
On April 29, 2014, a Mitchell County grand jury indicted
Appellant for malice murder, felony murder, and aggravated
assault. His trial began on January 12, 2015, and two days
later the jury found him guilty of all charges. The trial
court sentenced Appellant to serve life in prison without
parole for malice murder; the felony murder verdict was
vacated and the aggravated assault verdict was merged for
sentencing purposes. Appellant filed a timely motion for new
trial, which he amended with new counsel on October 5, 2015.
After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied the
motion on August 22, 2016. On April 5, 2017, Appellant filed
a motion for out-of-time appeal on the ground that his
counsel had not been notified of the August 2016 order. After