MCFADDEN, P. J., BRANCH and BETHEL, JJ.
Hughes and Blaise Harris were indicted and tried
jointly on two counts of armed robbery and three
counts of aggravated assault stemming from a late-evening
robbery of a pizzeria. They now appeal from their convictions
and the denial of their motions for new trial. In Case No.
A17A1413, Hughes argues that the State did not present
sufficient evidence to support the charges against him and
that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because
his trial counsel did not move to suppress certain evidence
obtained after his arrest. In Case No. A17A1414, Harris also
challenges the sufficiency of the evidence presented against
him, and he argues that he received ineffective assistance of
counsel because his trial counsel did not call a particular
witness that could have established an alibi. For the reasons
set forth below, we affirm.
appeal, a defendant "is no longer presumed innocent and
all of the evidence is to be viewed in the light most
favorable to the jury verdict." Batten v.
State, 295 Ga. 442, 443 (1) (761 S.E.2d 70) (2014)
(citation omitted). So viewed, the evidence as presented at
trial shows that on the evening of December 11, 2013, shortly
before 11:00 pm, two men entered a pizzeria in Gwinnett
County. The first man wore a letterman-style jacket, covered
his face with a black ski mask, and carried a revolver, while
the second man covered his face with a red and gold Iron
Halloween mask and carried a set of brass
an altercation with employees, the man wearing the Iron Man
mask struck one of the employees with the brass knuckles,
resulting in a gash to the victim's head. The same man
then took that employee's cell phone. Both assailants
then demanded money from a second employee and took money
from a cash register. The man wearing the ski mask and the
letterman jacket repeatedly asked the employees, "No one
wants to die tonight, right?" One of the employees
testified that he was in fear of losing his life or being
injured during the time he was being held at gun point and
threatened by the two assailants. The two assailants left the
restaurant with the cash and the cell phone they had taken.
witness, a third employee of the pizzeria, ran out of the
restaurant toward nearby businesses to seek assistance. A
person he encountered outside called 9-1-1 to report the
incident. While outside, the employee observed multiple
people getting into a white Dodge vehicle which then drove
away. The employee provided a description of the vehicle to
police dispatch provided the vehicle description to officers
in the area around 11:00 pm. Moments later, a police officer
stopped a white Dodge Charger in response to the call. The
vehicle was only occupied by the driver, but the arresting
officer noticed a set of brass knuckles and an Iron Man mask
inside the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was wearing a
driver was taken into custody, and the police drove him to
the pizzeria so they could ask witnesses if they had seen him
during the incident (the "show up"). On the way to
the show up, unsolicited by the officer, the driver asked
"Is this where the robbery happened?" and whether
the officers had "caught the other two guys." After
arriving at the pizzeria for the show up, two employees of
the pizzeria that were asked could not identify the
driver's face because he had been masked, but they did
recognize his clothes as the letterman jacket worn by the
assailant who was carrying the gun and covering his face with
the ski mask.
trial, the State called the driver as a witness. In his trial
testimony, the driver stated that he drove Hughes and Harris
and dropped them off near the pizzeria. They returned to his
car five or ten minutes later, and Harris told him that they
had robbed the pizzeria. After driving away from the
pizzeria, he dropped off Harris and Hughes at Harris's
car, which was parked closeby. The driver stated that he had
purchased the Iron Man mask just before the robbery at the
direction of Harris and that the brass knuckles belonged to
Harris. He also stated that Hughes owned a letterman jacket
similar to his and that Hughes was wearing his own jacket the
night of the robbery.
the driver's arrest, pursuant to a search warrant, police
searched the Dodge Charger. The police took fingerprints from
the outside of the car, one of which matched Harris's
fingerprints. Police also took a black ski mask, an Iron Man
Halloween mask, a revolver, and a set of brass knuckles from
the vehicle. The black ski mask was submitted to the Georgia
Bureau of Investigation ("GBI") for DNA analysis. A
GBI analyst testified at trial that the DNA profile taken
from the ski mask matched a buccal swab of Hughes taken by
the police. Trial testimony regarding analysis of cell
phone records showed that calls placed from Harris's
phone both before and after the robbery were routed through a
cell tower in the vicinity of the pizzeria.
a jury trial, Hughes and Harris were convicted on all counts.
Both filed motions for new trial, which were denied following
hearings. This appeal followed.
Hughes and Harris first argue that the evidence presented by
the State was insufficient to support guilty verdicts on each
of the counts against them. We disagree.
an initial matter, we note that there was conflicting
evidence regarding the identity of Harris and Hughes and
their roles in the incident at the pizzeria. Both Harris and
Hughes suggested below and on appeal that the testimony of
the driver, who the State believed to be their accomplice in
committing these acts, was insufficient as a matter of law to
sustain their convictions because his testimony was not
corroborated by other evidence presented by the State. We
OCGA § 24-14-8 provides, in relevant part, that
[t]he testimony of a single witness is generally sufficient
to establish a fact. However, in certain cases, including . .
. felony cases where the only witness is an accomplice, the
testimony of a single witness shall not be sufficient.
Nevertheless, corroborating circumstances may dispense with
the necessity for the testimony of a second witness[.]
sufficiency of the corroborating evidence is a matter for the
jury, and if the verdict is based upon the slightest evidence
of corroboration connecting an accused to a crime, even if it
is circumstantial, it is legally sufficient."
Reynolds v. State, 267 Ga.App. 148, 151 (3) (598
S.E.2d 868) (2004) (punctuation and footnote omitted).
"The corroboration need not be sufficient to warrant a
guilty verdict or prove every material element of the crime;
it need only tend to connect and identify the defendant with
the crime charged." Id. (footnote and
punctuation omitted). "The amount of corroborative
extraneous evidence necessary to connect the accused with the
commission of ...