MELTON, Presiding Justice.
a jury trial, Michael Williams was found guilty of malice
murder and other offenses in connection with the beating
death of four-year-old Nasir Patrick. On appeal, Williams contends
that the trial court erred in denying him funds to obtain a
medical expert, that his trial counsel was ineffective, and
that the trial court erred in striking "juror number
10" for cause. For the reasons set forth below, we
Viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict,
the record shows that Williams and Yakeera Patrick were in a
romantic relationship. Ms. Patrick had two children, Nasir
and Joy (ages four and three, respectively). Williams
occasionally babysat for Ms. Patrick when she was at work and
did not have alternative childcare. In the afternoon on
January 25, 2012, the children were alone with Williams while
their mother was at work. Around 5:00 p.m., paramedics were
dispatched to Ms. Patrick's home, where they found Nasir
lying on the floor having a seizure.
Nasir arrived at the hospital, he was treated by Dr. Brian
Costello, and Nasir was unresponsive to touch, verbal, or
painful stimulus. Nasir's right pupil was dilated larger
than the left and unresponsive to light, which showed signs
of severely increased pressure on the brain.
was transferred to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta,
where he was seen by Dr. Stephen Messner, a child abuse
pediatrician. Nasir had a fracture at the back of his skull
and swelling of the brain. Blood covered the brain, including
under the brain's surface and between the two halves. The
location of blood throughout the brain indicated that
significant, or possibly repeated, force had been applied to
died on February 6, 2012, after being taken off life support.
The autopsy by the Fulton County Medical Examiner revealed
that Nasir died of blunt force trauma to the head. In the
medical examiner's opinion, the fracture to Nasir's
skull was the result of an adult pounding Nasir's head
against a hard surface, which made the injury
"catastrophic, " instantly rendering Nasir
"nonfunctional" and "comatose." There was
also evidence of two additional impacts, one to the right
side of Nasir's head and one to the forehead, which
caused bleeding beneath the scalp. The two additional head
injuries appeared to have occurred within the same time frame
as the fatal injury. Although Nasir had previously
experienced febrile seizures, the medical examiner concluded
that Nasir's pre-existing medical conditions did not
contribute to his death.
January 26, 2012, Williams waived his Miranda rights
and gave a statement to police. He stated that Nasir had been
complaining about his head hurting for a few days. The day
Williams was babysitting, Nasir was sweating through his
shirt during his nap. After Nasir awoke, he ate, but then
threw up. Nasir then played on the floor with his toy trucks.
When Nasir stood up, he appeared dizzy, and he fell backwards
onto one of his plastic toy trucks and his eyes rolled back
in his head.
younger sister, Joy, testified that Williams hurt Nasir with
a belt and whipped him in the head and legs with a television
remote. While Nasir was at the hospital, Ms. Patrick's
cousin, Kearta Sewell, overheard Williams speaking on his
phone, where he said, "I whooped him, but I didn't
whoop him that much." Williams told a neighbor, Anthony
Garrett, that "If that baby die, they going to give me
life." When Garrett inquired as to why that would
happen, Williams replied, "I ain't mean for that to
evidence was sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to
find Williams guilty of malice murder beyond a reasonable
doubt. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (99 S.Ct.
2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).
Williams contends that the trial court erred in denying him
funds to obtain a medical expert. We disagree.
decision whether to grant or deny a motion for an expert
witness rests within the sound discretion of the trial court,
and that decision will be upheld on appeal absent abuse of
discretion. Crawford v. State, 267 Ga. 881, 883 (2)
(485 S.E.2d 461) (1997). In order to obtain funds for an
expert witness, a motion on behalf of an indigent criminal
should disclose to the trial court, with a reasonable degree
of precision, why certain evidence is critical, what type of
scientific testimony is needed, what that expert proposes to
do regarding the evidence, and the anticipated costs for
services. Lacking this information, a trial court will find
it difficult to assess the need for assistance.
Roseboro v. State, 258 Ga. 39, 41(2) (d) (365 S.E.2d
115) (1988). Here, Williams made no showing to the trial
court as to what the expert proposed to do regarding the
evidence, or what the anticipated cost for the expert's
services would be. Due to Williams' failure to provide
sufficient information to the trial court to allow the court
to make an informed decision about his need for assistance,
we cannot say that the trial court abused its discretion in
denying the motion for funds. See id. at 41 (2)
Williams also argues that his trial counsel was ineffective
for failing to provide the trial court with sufficient
information to allow it to grant ...