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Scott v. State

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Fifth Division

February 14, 2019

SCOTT
v.
THE STATE.

          MCFADDEN, P. J., RICKMAN and MARKLE, JJ.

          MCFADDEN, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         After a jury trial, Benjamin Scott was convicted of armed robbery and possession of tools for the commission of a crime. Scott appeals the denial of his motion for new trial, arguing that the state failed to prove venue, but the evidence was sufficient to authorize the jury to find that the crimes were committed in Chatham County as charged. Scott also argues that the trial court erred by admitting certain irrelevant hearsay, but we find that it is not highly probable that any such error contributed to the verdict of guilt. So we affirm.

         1. Evidence.

On appeal from a criminal conviction,
the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, and the defendant no longer enjoys the presumption of innocence; moreover, an appellate court does not weigh the evidence or determine witness credibility but only determines whether the evidence is sufficient under the standard of Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).

Morris v. State, 322 Ga.App. 682 (1) (746 S.E.2d 162) (2013) (citation omitted). So viewed, the evidence showed that the victim was the assistant manager at a Garden City Domino's pizza restaurant in Chatham County. Scott had been a delivery driver for the restaurant.

         Scott stopped coming to work. One night three weeks later, the victim was making the night deposit at the Wells Fargo bank adjacent to the Domino's restaurant. He was in the bank parking lot when someone approached him. The hood of the person's shirt partially covered his face.

         The victim began to run away, but when he reached the end of the bank parking lot, he slipped and fell. He got up and started running again toward the Domino's restaurant. The robber caught up with him, grabbed him, and slammed him to the ground. As the victim fell, the robber struck him in the back with a long object he was carrying, inflicting injuries requiring stitches, and asked him, "Where's the money at?" The victim recognized the voice as Scott's. The robber grabbed the deposit bags, which contained $1, 000, from the victim's hands and ran off.

         At the scene, the police recovered a long piece of wood wrapped in yarn with spray-painted razor blades embedded in the sides and an object that seemed to be a homemade tool wrapped in a jacket with an ROTC patch. Scott wore the same kind of jacket with an ROTC patch.

         The police executed a search warrant at Scott's house and found bags of yarn, Domino's deposit bags, and deposit slips prepared by the victim in Scott's bedroom. In the trash can outside Scott's house, the police found spray paint and razor blades like the spray paint and razors blades used in the homemade weapons.

         At the police station, Scott spontaneously told the lead investigator that he did not hit the victim; rather, the victim ran into his weapon. He also said that he just needed money.

         The jury found Scott guilty of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, and possession of tools for the commission of a crime. The trial court merged the aggravated assault convictions into the armed robbery conviction and imposed a sentence of twenty years, twelve years to be served in confinement and the remaining eight years to be served on ...


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