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Doleman v. State

Supreme Court of Georgia

December 10, 2018

DOLEMAN
v.
THE STATE.

          MELTON, CHIEF JUSTICE.

         Following a jury trial, Dantevoise J. Doleman appeals his convictions for murder and related crimes, contending, among other things, that the trial court made certain evidentiary errors and that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict.[1] For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         1. In the light most favorable to the verdict, the record shows that Doleman, Edward Lee, and Demetrice Octavian Scott (collectively "the co-defendants") were close friends who intermittently lived together at the home of Scott's cousin, Karen Gibson ("Karen"). Between December 15, 2011, and January 20, 2012, the co-defendants planned and executed a series of crimes in the Muscogee County area. Scott, who testified during the trial of Lee and Doleman, recounted these events.

         (1) On December 15, 2011, Patricia Banks was approached in the Columbus Clinic parking lot by Doleman and Scott. Doleman pointed a gun at Banks and ordered her out of her Kia Sportage ("Kia"), and the two men drove off in the vehicle.[2]

         (2) On December 15, 2011, the co-defendants drove the Kia to a nearby apartment complex. While Doleman was in the Kia, Lee and Scott approached Julane Fleming with a stolen .38 revolver[3] and a paintball gun and stole her 2000 RX 300 Lexus ("Lexus"). Lee then drove off in Fleming's Lexus while Doleman and Scott drove off in the Kia.

         (3) On December 20, 2011, Scott and Lee attempted to commit armed robbery against Surendrakumar Patel at the Hometown Grocery in Muscogee County.

         (4) On December 21, 2011, Doleman was driving Scott around in the stolen Kia, and they broke into the home of Sarai Watters. Scott stole a laptop, the key to a Chevy Equinox, and a cell phone, and Doleman stole a flat-screen television. The next morning, Lee joined Scott and Doleman, and the co-defendants walked back to the residence to steal the Chevy Equinox. Lee later crashed the vehicle into a light pole, and the co-defendants fled the scene.

         (5) On January 5, 2012, Charlie Artis was shot dead at his barber shop on Gunboat Drive.[4] Multiple witnesses in the area at the time confirmed that a man with a blue jacket, later identified as Lee, ran from the scene toward a green car. Scott testified that the co-defendants planned to rob Artis on this day, and both he and Doleman waited for Lee in a green Mercury car, previously procured by Doleman.

         (6) On January 11, 2012, the co-defendants invaded the home of Felicia Scott, taking her television, laptops, and a red and white jacket. Demetrice Scott testified that, when turned on, the television had three lines going across its screen.

         (7) On January 15, 2012, the co-defendants committed another robbery, breaking into the home of R.L. at 23 Street and East Highland in Muscogee County. During the invasion, Scott held R.L. at gunpoint with a .32 revolver while Doleman and Lee went through all of her belongings. After Doleman and Lee left the house, Scott raped R.L. She reported that Scott was wearing a red and white jacket during the attack.

         (8) A few days later, the co-defendants gave Joshua Myers a revolver and a flat-screen television in exchange for tattoo work. However, when Myers learned the television did not work properly because there were three lines running across it when it was turned on, he told the co-defendants he would not finish the remainder of the tattoo work and sold the television. The co-defendants then stole Myers's Xbox 360, and, in response, Myers informed the police that the co-defendants were staying at the home of Karen.

         After arriving at Karen's house, Officer Michael Vega knocked on the front door, and Officer Jason Mann observed three men running out the back door and ordered them back inside the house. Karen answered the front door and reported that no one was inside the residence, but officers saw Scott standing inside the house. When asked, Scott denied possessing an Xbox and offered to show the officers into the shared bedroom of Karen, Doleman, and Lee to prove the fact. Upon entering the room, the officers could see that there was an Xbox 360 controller under the bed and placed Scott into custody. Thereafter, the officers obtained consent from Karen to search the entire residence, and they found Doleman and Lee as well as the Xbox game console in another room. In their search of the house, the officers also discovered a .38 revolver underneath a mattress in the same room where they saw the Xbox controller. Karen told the officers that she had seen Doleman and Lee with a .38 revolver on occasion, and that occasionally Lee would carry his gun in the hood of his blue jacket.

         At trial, a number of witnesses testified regarding the close relationship of the co-defendants and their commission of the crimes. First, Scott, who had pled guilty to the offenses charged against him, testified about the details of each of the robberies, as well as the specific incidents where Doleman was present and involved. Scott also testified that Lee was wearing a blue jacket and in possession of a .38 revolver on the day Artis was shot. And the .38 revolver was recovered by police at the home of Karen. Karen, who was dating Doleman and Lee at various points throughout the time period when the co-defendants were residing at her house, testified that she saw both Doleman and Lee, at different times, with a .38 revolver. Karen also testified that she heard the co-defendants talk about a home robbery during which Scott raped the inhabitant. Cymon Gibson ("Cymon"), Scott's sister who is also Karen's cousin and lived at Karen's home during the same time period as the co-defendants, testified that she also saw Doleman with a .38 revolver and Lee with a .32 revolver. Cymon said she moved out of Karen's house around January 7, 2012 because the co-defendants were bringing stolen goods back to Karen's house, including flat-screen televisions, a Kia, and a Lexus. Cymon testified to seeing Scott and Doleman inside the Kia and Scott inside the Lexus. In addition, Darien Gibson, Karen's brother who also lived with Karen during the same time as the co-defendants, saw the Kia and Lexus in the backyard of Karen's house during the time the co-defendants were residing there.

         Doleman contends that there was insufficient evidence to convict him of the crimes charged in the indictment, specifically as to the murder and armed robbery of Charlie Artis. We disagree. This evidence was sufficient to enable the jury to find Doleman guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes for which he was convicted. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979). See also ...


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