MILLER, P. J., BROWN and GOSS, JJ.
MILLER, PRESIDING JUDGE.
a jury trial, Ronnie O. Evans was convicted of the
misdemeanor offenses of driving under the influence - less
safe (OCGA § 40-6-391 (a) (1)) and operating a motor
vehicle with defective or no headlights (OCGA §
40-8-22). The trial court sentenced Evans to
consecutive terms of 12 months' imprisonment, for a total
sentence of 24 months. The trial court ordered that Evans serve
the sentence "day-for-day" and "sit in jail
for two years," and that if he were to be released from
prison before the expiration of the 24-month term, he would
be required to serve the remainder on probation. Evans
appeals, arguing that these two conditions of his sentence
are erroneous. We agree, and therefore, reverse and remand
for resentencing without these conditions.
Evans argues, and the State concedes, that the trial court
erred in requiring that he serve his sentence
§ 42-4-7 (b) (1) provides that the custodian of a county
inmate is authorized to "award earned time allowances .
. . based on institutional behavior," while OCGA §
42-4-7 (b) (3) provides that "[a]n inmate sentenced to
confinement as a county inmate shall be released at the
expiration of his or her sentence less the time deducted for
earned time allowances." In Sanford v. State,
251 Ga.App. 190, 191 (533 S.E.2d 854) (2001), the trial court
revoked the defendant's probation and ordered him to
serve "180 days with credit for 24 days served/NO EARLY
RELEASE." This Court held that the trial court's
requirement of "no early release" was inconsistent
with OCGA § 42-4-7 (b), and remanded for the trial court
to strike this requirement from its judgment. Id.
This Court explained:
We have ruled that [OCGA § 42-4-7 (b) (1) & (3)] are
directly related to the duties of administration,
affirmatively delegated to the custodians of inmates by the
legislature. Likewise, our Supreme Court has ruled that a
sentencing judge has no authority to say what good-time or
extra good-time allowance a prisoner shall be given, as the
law vests that authority in the Board of Corrections for
prisoners under its jurisdiction and as to misdemeanor
prisoners sentenced to serve in the county, in the custodian
of the prisoners.
(Citations and punctuation omitted.) Id. See also
Grimes v. Stewart, 222 Ga. 713 (152 S.E.2d 369)
(1966) (trial court lacked authority to specify amount of
good-time credit defendant would earn); Davis v.
State, 181 Ga.App. 498 (1) (353 S.E.2d 7) (1987) (trial
court lacked authority to order that good-time credit be
withheld from defendant until his fines were paid).
here the trial court's requirement that Evans serve his
24-month sentence "day-for-day" is erroneous
because it usurps the authority of the custodian of a county
inmate under OCGA § 42-4-7 (b) to grant earned-time
allowances. Accordingly, we reverse Evans's sentence and
remand so the trial court can strike the requirement that
Evans serve his sentence "day-for-day."
this enumeration of error, Evans also claims that the trial
court erred in sentencing him on his conviction for driving
with defective or no headlights, and that he should be
resentenced on this count. However, "[t]his claim is
deemed abandoned because [Evans] does not support it with
argument or citation to authority, and mere conclusory
statements are not the type of meaningful argument
contemplated by Court of Appeals Rule 25 (a) (3)."
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Percell v.
State, 346 Ga.App. 219, 226 (4) (c) (iii) (816 S.E.2d
Evans also argues that under Hutchins v. State, 243
Ga.App. 261 (533 S.E.2d 107) (2000), the trial court erred in
ordering him to be placed on probation if he were to be
released before the end of his 24-month sentence. The State
concedes the validity of this argument under
Hutchins, but relies upon the dissent in
Hutchins to claim that case was wrongly decided
because the majority relied upon Johns v. State, 160
Ga.App. 535 (287 S.E.2d 617) (1981), which involved a felony,
not a misdemeanor, sentence. We agree with Evans that the
trial court erred in requiring that he be placed on probation
if released before the end of his sentence.
Johns, supra, 160 Ga.App. at 535, the trial court
sentenced the defendant to two years' imprisonment and
eight years' probation for felony offenses, but ordered
that if he were to be released before the expiration of his
two-year prison term, he would be required to serve the
remainder of that term on probation. This Court held that
this requirement was invalid because it was inconsistent with
the authority of the Executive Department under former Code
Ann. § 77-320.1 to give inmates earned-time allowances.
Id. at 536. This Court explained that the trial
attempt to impose the additional probation at the early
release date is contrary to the expressed intent of the
Legislature that in computing a prisoner's release date
it will be 'less the time earned as earned time
allowances.' If we were to sanction this type sentence,
it would permit the trial court to forfeit 'earned
time' of a prisoner awarded by the Executive Department
and nullify a legislative enactment on computation of a
prisoner's release date.
(Citation omitted.) Id.
in Hutchins, supra, 243 Ga.App. at 261, the trial
court sentenced the defendant to 12 months' imprisonment
for a misdemeanor offense, and ruled that upon the service of
180 days in confinement, the remainder of the sentence could
be served on probation. The sheriff awarded the defendant 60
days credit for good time and released him after 120 days of
confinement. Id. Upon serving probation for 185
days, the defendant moved to have his sentence terminated,
which the trial court denied on the ground that the 60 days
of good-time credit had to be served on probation.
Id. This Court concluded that the motion to
terminate should have been granted: "Based on
Johns, we hold that [OCGA § 42-4-7 (b) (3)]
prohibits a judge from imposing probation on any time by
which confinement is shortened due to good-time credit."
Id. at 262 (2). This Court reasoned that the holding
in Johns was based on the authority of the custodian