MILLER, P. J., DOYLE, P. J., and REESE, J.
a jury trial, Chelsea Brooke Clary was convicted of two
counts of first-degree arson,  concealing the death of another,
three counts of theft by bringing stolen property into the
State. Clary appeals the subsequent denial of her
motion for new trial, arguing that the evidence was
insufficient to support the verdict; trial counsel was
ineffective; and the trial court erred by failing to give a
curative instruction following improper closing argument by
the State. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
On appeal, the
appellant is no longer presumed innocent[, ] and all of the
evidence is to be viewed in the light most favorable to the
jury verdict. This Court does not reconsider evidence or
attempt to confirm the accuracy of testimony. Assessing a
witness's credibility is the responsibility of the
factfinder, not this Court. Instead, we review the case to
determine if the evidence, when viewed in the light most
favorable to the prosecution, supports the verdict. Upon
review of the sufficiency of the evidence, the relevant
question is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light
most favorable to the prosecution, any rational
trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the
crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
viewed, the record shows that on September 28, 2014, Clary
and her boyfriend, Jonathan Cann, drove from South Carolina
to Elbert County, Georgia, in two separate cars. Cann drove a
Kia Spectra belonging to Charles Paul Mills, whose deceased
body was in the trunk wrapped in carpet. Clary followed
behind driving a Dodge Ram truck containing an assault rifle
and coins stolen from Charles Wayne Jackson during a burglary
in South Carolina five days earlier. Cann's friend, Blair
Leroy, was a passenger in the Dodge.
the drive, the trunk to the Kia popped open, and Leroy
observed what appeared to be the underside of carpeting in
the trunk. She asked Clary what was inside the trunk, and
Clary told her that it was a deer. Cann stopped the Kia and
closed the trunk, and the trio proceeded to Elbert County.
Elbert County, Cann pulled off the highway onto a dirt road
leading into the woods. Clary followed in the truck, but she
ran it into a guardrail, where it became stuck. Leroy
observed Cann standing next to the Kia, which was on fire.
After unsuccessfully attempting to dislodge the truck from
the guardrail, Cann set the truck on fire and began walking
Jason Blanton, a volunteer fireman, and his son, Joseph
Blanton, observed the smoke from the nearby road, and he
drove into the woods to assist. When the Blantons got out to
offer aid, Cann exited the truck, aimed the assault rifle at
them, told them their help was not needed, and then fled into
the woods with Clary.
responded, where they found Mills's charred body in the
trunk of the Kia. A subsequent autopsy revealed that he had
died before the fire. After several hours, Clary and Cann
were located in the woods, attempting to conceal themselves
under leaves and branches. When she was apprehended, Clary
had in her possession a backpack containing the stolen coins.
While in jail, Clary gave her cell mate a hand- drawn map
depicting the location of the rifle and asked her to find and
dispose of the gun because Clary and Cann had used it to kill
someone and did not want police to find it. Authorities
ultimately confiscated the map and used it to locate the
rifle, which had a serial number belonging to Jackson.
was charged with two counts of first-degree arson (Counts 1
and 7), concealing the death of another (Count 2), and four
counts of theft by bringing stolen property into the State
(Counts 3, 4, 5, and 6). The jury found her not guilty on
Count 4, but guilty on the remaining six
counts. Clary filed a motion for new trial, which
the trial court denied, and this appeal followed.
Sufficiency of the evidence.
Arson (Count 1). Clary contends that the evidence
was insufficient to support her conviction for Count 1,
arson. We disagree.
Count 1 charged that Clary
did knowingly damage, by means of fire, a Kia Spectra, a
motor vehicle, under such circumstances that it was
reasonably foreseeable that human life might be endangered in
that said accused did immolate said vehicle by use of
accelerant in a wooded area adjacent to a residential
neighborhood where it was foreseeable that the accused's
actions could ignite a forest fire and burn down said
residential neighborhood. . . .
OCGA § 16-7-60 (a) (5) provides in relevant part:
A person commits the offense of arson in the first degree
when, by means of fire or explosive, . . . she knowingly
damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises,
encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage .
. . [a]ny vehicle . . . under such circumstances that it