MCFADDEN, P. J., RICKMAN and MARKLE, JJ.
case stems from a domestic dispute between a father and his
adult children. Herbert Eugene Anderson, Jr. was convicted by
a jury of three family violence charges - one charge of
simple battery (OCGA § 16-5-23 (f)) and two charges of
trespass (OCGA §§ 16-7-21 (b), 19-13-1). He
appeals, contending that there was insufficient evidence to
convict on any of the charges. We agree, and the State
concedes, that there was insufficient evidence to convict
Anderson of trespass arising from his initial presence on the
property, and we reverse that conviction. The evidence was
sufficient as to the remaining two charges, however, and we
affirm those convictions.
appeal from a criminal conviction, a defendant no longer
enjoys the presumption of innocence, and the evidence is
viewed in the light most favorable to the guilty
verdict." (Citation and punctuation omitted.)
Scarborough v. State, 317 Ga.App. 523, 523 (731
S.E.2d 396) (2012). "When an appellant challenges 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." (Citation and punctuation
omitted; emphasis in original.) Jackson v. State,
309 Ga.App. 24, 24 (1) (709 S.E.2d 44) (2011).
viewed, the record shows that, on June 7, 2016,
Anderson's sons were at the home they share with their
mother and sister. The older son asked Anderson if he could
borrow money, and Anderson became agitated. Anderson began to
criticize his sons' grandfather, and the encounter
escalated when Anderson's youngest son, who was 25 years
old at the time of the trial, interjected. Although Anderson
was himself screaming, he got mad when his youngest son
raised his voice back and spoke to him in a manner Anderson
felt was disrespectful. Anderson threw a glass he was holding
against a wall and then charged at his youngest son and got
in his face. Anderson's youngest son extended his arm to
keep Anderson at arm's length. Anderson then shoved his
youngest son and the two began pushing each other. Both of
Anderson's sons told him to leave multiple times after he
got violent, but Anderson did not leave. Anderson's
oldest son called 911 when his father would not leave, and
Anderson was still at the house when the police arrived.
was charged with simple battery family violence for
intentionally making contact in an insulting and provoking
manner with his youngest son in violation of OCGA §
16-5-23 (f) (Accusation No. 418068), criminal trespass family
violence for entering a premises after receiving prior notice
from an authorized person that entry was forbidden in
violation of OCGA § 16-7-21 (b) (2) and OCGA §
19-13-1 (Accusation No. 418069), and criminal trespass family
violence for remaining on the premises after receiving notice
to depart in violation of OCGA § 16-7-21 (b) (3) and
OCGA § 19-13-1 (Accusation No. 418070). Anderson was
convicted by a jury of all three charges, and he now appeals.
Anderson contends the evidence was insufficient to convict
him of simple battery (Accusation No. 418068). We disagree.
person commits the offense of simple battery when he
intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or
provoking nature with the person of another. OCGA §
16-5-23 (a) (1). Anderson contends that the jury could not
have convicted him of this offense because his youngest son
was the aggressor, and because any contact with his adult son
constituted legal parental discipline.
the arguments in turn, the jury heard conflicting evidence as
to how the verbal altercation escalated to a physical one.
Both of Anderson's sons testified that Anderson made the
altercation physical when he shoved his youngest son after
his youngest son defensively tried to put physical distance
between himself and Anderson. Anderson, on the other hand,
testified that his youngest son was the initial aggressor.
The jury even received a charge on the affirmative defense of
self-defense. However, "[i]t is the role of the jury to
resolve conflicts in the evidence and to determine the
credibility of witnesses, and the resolution of such
conflicts adversely to the defendant does not render the
evidence insufficient." (Citation omitted.) Brooks
v. State, 281 Ga. 514, 516 (1) (640 S.E.2d 280) (2007).
Here, the jury resolved the conflict against Anderson.
argument that he was engaged in an authorized form of
parental discipline likewise lacks merit. Anderson is correct
that Georgia law exempts "corporal punishment
administered by a parent or guardian to a child" and
"reasonable discipline administered by a parent to a
child in the form of corporal punishment, restraint, or
detention" from the definitions of simple battery and
family violence, respectively. OCGA §§ 19-13-1,
of these statutes define "child" with regard to
these exemptions, but "[t]he General Assembly need not
define every word it uses in a statute, as a cardinal rule of
statutory construction is [that] the ordinary signification
shall be applied to all words, except words of art or words
connected with a particular trade or subject matter[.]"
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Land v. State,
262 Ga. 898, 899 (1) (426 S.E.2d 370) (1993); see also OCGA
§ 1-3-1 (b). We find that the ordinary signification of
"child," in the context of parental discipline, is
a minor. Not only is this common sense, but it is also
consistent with the treatment of the term in the similar
context of the affirmative defense of justification. The
defense of justification can be claimed "[w]hen the
person's conduct is the reasonable discipline of a
minor by his parent or a person in loco
parentis[.]" (Emphasis supplied.) OCGA § 16-3-20
(3); see also Paul v. State, 274 Ga. 601, 603 (3)
(a) (555 S.E.2d 716) (2001) ("The conduct of a parent or
one standing in loco parentis in administering the
reasonable discipline of a minor is justified and is
a defense to prosecution for any crime based on that
conduct.") (emphasis supplied); LaPann v.
State, 191 Ga.App. 499, 500 (382 S.E.2d 200) (1989)
("[A]pplied force is legally justified only when a
parent's conduct in disciplining a minor is
reasonable.") (emphasis supplied).
argues that if the parental discipline exemption does not
extend to adult children, the family violence statute cannot
be applied as between a parent and his adult child. This
argument lacks merit. The fact that an exemption is available
only to certain parents, those with minor children who the
parents can properly and legally discipline, does not mean
that the remainder of the statute cannot apply to all
we do not find that the battery or family violence statutes
permit a parent to corporally punish an adult child, and thus
the jury was authorized to convict Anderson for his contact
with his adult son.
Anderson contends that the evidence was insufficient to
convict him of trespass for his initial presence on the
property (Accusation No. 418069). The State concedes ...