BARNES, P. J., MCMILLIAN and REESE, JJ.
Douglas County jury found Paul Michael Libri guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt of two felony counts of impersonating a
peace officer,  one felony count of identity fraud,
one misdemeanor count of obstructing a law enforcement
officer.He was sentenced to a total of twenty
years, with the first five years in confinement and the
remainder on probation. Following the denial of his motion
for new trial, he files this appeal, arguing there was
insufficient evidence to support his convictions. For the
reasons set forth infra, we affirm.
appeal following a criminal conviction, we view the evidence
in the light most favorable to the jury's
verdict. So viewed, the evidence shows that, on May
12, 2014, 17-year-old N. C. did not return home from school.
According to N. C.'s friends, N. C. left school at around
10:00 a.m. that morning. N. C.'s mother testified that
she argued with her daughter the previous night and took away
N. C.'s cell phone. After calling friends and family
without finding N. C., N. C.'s mother contacted the
Douglas County Sheriff's Office ("DCSO") and
reported her daughter missing. Investigator Jones from the
DCSO was assigned to the investigation.
13, N. C.'s mother was contacted on her cell phone by
"Tim Taylor, " who was later identified as the
Appellant. N. C.'s mother testified that the
Appellant told her he obtained her phone number from a friend
of her daughter through "Facebook or Instagram." N.
C.'s mother denied giving her daughter's friend
permission to give out her phone number.
the first of four or five phone conversations, the Appellant
told N. C.'s mother that he was an investigator with the
Metro Atlanta Metro Human Trafficking Task Force, and, based
on his title and the name of the organization, she thought
that the Appellant was part of "law enforcement"
and a "top-notch investigator." He told her that he
used to be a police officer in Atlanta and had resources that
"a regular Police Department or a Sheriff's
Department" might not have. The Appellant told her that
he would find N. C. and that he "ha[d] found many [other
missing children]." He also told N. C.'s mother that
her daughter could be at risk for human trafficking.
Appellant's request, N. C.'s mother provided him with
her and N. C.'s personal information, including their
full names, birth dates, social security numbers, e-mail
addresses, passwords, and social media accounts. She also
gave him a description of N. C., including "[e]verything
about her appearance[, ]" pictures of her daughter, N.
C.'s interests and activities, and provided the names of
her friends. N. C.'s mother testified that she was
desperate to find her daughter and thought the Appellant
would find her because he asked for information that the DCSO
had not requested. The Appellant posted N. C.'s picture
on her Facebook page with the words: "She's missing.
Help us find her, " and he changed her Facebook account
password. According to N. C.'s mother, the Appellant did
not ask for money in exchange for his assistance.
Jones with the DCSO also contacted N. C.'s mother on May
13, 2014, and obtained information about N. C.'s social
media accounts. During his investigation that day,
Investigator Jones was able to log into a Facebook account
registered to N. C. On May 15, 2014, however, he was unable
to log directly into N. C.'s Facebook account or access
her Facebook page. When he accessed N. C.'s page through
the Facebook page of one of her friends, he found that N.
C.'s page "had been completely changed." There
were "flyers or wanted posters" posted on it along
with N. C.'s picture and the Metro Atlanta Human
Trafficking Task Force "logo." Investigator Jones
"was highly annoyed[, and] knew somebody had accessed
[N. C.'s account] and done . . . everything [he] would
never do." He explained that kids "communicate via
social network" and, because someone had changed N.
C.'s password, she "was locked out of her . . . main
avenue of communicating with all of her friends [and
to Investigator Jones, his office used social media to assist
in locating runaway juveniles, and he monitored missing
children's Facebook accounts as part of the
investigations. He never altered missing children's
Facebook accounts because children knew "[what was] on
their page[s], and if [he were] to alter anything, they would
know somebody's been there, red flags go up, . . . [and
the missing children] will quit using it." Investigator
Jones testified that, by posting something on social media,
such as a "wanted poster, " there was a risk that
the children would "disappear." He also testified
that he generally did not share detailed information as to
the status of the search for a missing child with family
members or friends because that information could get back to
the missing juvenile and cause him to lose track of the
being locked out of N. C.'s Facebook account,
Investigator Jones, with the assistance of DCSO Investigator
Wright, found another Facebook account with N. C.'s
picture on the page. He testified that he believed that N. C.
was not "physically in danger" but was a runaway in
the presence of a caring family member. He further testified
that the second Facebook account hindered his ability to look
for N. C. and he lost track of her for "about four to
six hours." He started looking for N. C. in a
"completely" different direction which did not lead
to her being found and "wasted three investigators
[twelve] hours focusing on one complete area that [he
thought] was the best lead." But, when that lead failed
to locate N. C., Investigator Jones had to go "back to
square one" and start over.
evening of May 14, the Appellant called DCSO Sergeant
Hambrick and identified himself as "Tim Taylor, "
an "agent" who wanted to discuss N. C., a runaway
juvenile. The Appellant stated that the "Metro Atlanta
Human Trafficking Task Force" was working on the case,
wanted to help, had "accessed her account, " and
could "track her phone." Sergeant Hambrick gave the
Appellant his e-mail address because he did not know the
Appellant and was unable to speak with him at the time. The
Appellant e-mailed Sergeant Hambrick the next day, using
"very common[ ] police terminology." Sergeant
Hambrick testified that the Appellant never identified
himself as a volunteer of a non-profit organization, nor did
he ever tell Sergeant Hambrick that he was not a police
Hambrick testified that, on May 15, 2014, DCSO Investigator
Wright found a second Facebook account that was opened around
the time that N. C. went missing. Investigator Wright
subpoenaed the IP address of the Facebook account and the IP
address "came back to the residence that [the Appellant]
was utilizing." DCSO sent local police officers to the
residence associated with the account to look for N. C. The
Appellant lived at the residence and was home when the police
the Appellant answered the door, he told the officers that he
was with the Metro Atlanta Human Trafficking Task Force, that
he was working on N. C.'s case, and that he had been in
contact with DCSO investigators. One of the local police
officers testified that he looked around the Appellant's
home and asked the Appellant why "the investigators
would be getting a hit on the IP address that was associated
with this house, through [N. C.'s] Facebook
account." The Appellant showed the officer N. C.'s
Facebook page, which was open on his laptop. The officer
testified that it appeared that the Appellant was working
from inside the account, and that the information shown on a
Facebook page was "significantly different" when
viewing another person's page as a visitor compared to
viewing the page after logging into that account. The
Appellant called Sergeant Hambrick and asked him to explain
the situation to the local police officers. Sergeant Hambrick
told the officers, "[the Appellant] doesn't work for
our agency. He's not working with us on this case."
Sergeant Hambrick testified that he had "numerous
conversations and concerns about this case[, ]" and he
asked Investigator Wright to ask the Appellant to come into
the office for a "face-to-face conversation." After
speaking to Investigator Wright, Sergeant Hambrick received a
phone call from a "Shawna Hutchison,
" with the Metro Atlanta Human Trafficking
Task Force apologizing for the Appellant "not being
able" to come into the office for "a sitdown
C.'s mother became "frustrated" with the
efforts of the DCSO because she thought the law enforcement
agency had not made finding N. C. a priority. She changed her
mind, however, when she met with several investigators with
the DCSO on May 15, and realized they had paperwork and
information about N. C.'s Facebook page. At that meeting,
the DCSO told her that they knew about the Appellant, that he
was not part of law enforcement, and that she should probably
not talk to him or give him information.
C.'s mother testified to feeling "scared, "
"hurt, " and "mad" after her discussion
with the DCSO about the Appellant, because she had given him
all of her and N. C.'s personal information and she would
not have done so if he had not been a law enforcement
officer. She also decided she did not want to have anything
else to do with the Appellant.
N. C. returned home on May 18, 2014. N. C. testified that she
never gave the Appellant permission to use any of her
personal information, or to alter or lock her out of her
Facebook account. According to N. C., her sister saw on N.
C.'s Facebook page that the Metro Atlanta Human
Trafficking Task Force was looking for her, and N. C. thought
the organization was part of the police force. N. C.
testified that the Facebook posting caused her to return home
because it meant the police and several other people were
looking for her. N. C. also testified that she created her
first Facebook account when she was ten or eleven years old
and created her second Facebook ...