BARNES, P. J., MCMILLIAN and REESE, JJ.
D. Nixon appeals the trial court's denial of his motion
for new trial after a jury convicted him of voluntary
manslaughter,  aggravated assault, and two counts of
possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Nixon argues on appeal that the trial court erred in (1)
finding that the evidence was sufficient to convict him of
voluntary manslaughter; (2) denying his motion for directed
verdict as to the aggravated assault charge; and (3)
instructing the jury on aggravated assault. Finding no merit
to these arguments, we affirm.
in the light most favorable to the verdict,  the evidence at
trial showed that on the night of July 16, 2011, Nixon and
others were attending a party in a residential neighborhood,
where a large group of people were gathered in a cul-de-sac.
During the evening, a fight broke out between Nixon's
brother and another attendee, Antonio Jimperson, in the
driveway of a house several houses up the street from the
cul-de-sac (the "House"). At one point during the
fight, Jimperson looked up to see Nixon near the driveway
holding a gun, and he ran. Less than a minute later, he heard
gunshots. Other witnesses testified that shots were fired
into the crowd from the House, and after a few moments other
shooters returned fire. Police later determined that other
firearms, using two other calibers of ammunition, were also
fired during this exchange.
the gunfire began, the party attendees began running in all
directions. One party guest, Naquan Henderson, was struck by
a bullet as he ran away from the fight. He later died from
his injuries. Octavious Davis, another guest, was watching
the fight, but when he saw a man get off the ground with a
gun in his hand, he began to run away. As he was running, he
was shot in the back of his right shoulder. Nixon also
received a through-and-through shot to his calf.
Nixon initially denied being involved in any fight and said
that he knew he did not "pull the trigger," he
eventually admitted to police that after his brother and he
arrived at the party, people began coming at them and jumped
them. Nixon admitted that during the fight, he found a gun on
the ground, which had one round in it (he checked), and he
shot it into the air. He said he only shot the gun once.
Nixon said he dropped the gun when he was shot, but it was
never recovered by police.
party attendee, Latron Sledge, testified that he did not know
who was fighting or who did the shooting. However, Sledge
admitted that around the time of the incident, he told police
that Nixon was the shooter, identifying him from a
photograph, and this statement was admitted into evidence as
a prior inconsistent statement. In his earlier statement,
Sledge told police that after Nixon's brother became
involved in the fight, Nixon asked where his gun was, grabbed
a gun "from one of his homeboys," and then started
shooting. Sledge also admitted, and his earlier statement
reflects, that he told police that he was standing near the
shooter when he fired multiple shots from in front of the
Nixon was convicted and his motion for new trial was denied,
this appeal followed.
Nixon asserts that this and the other evidence presented by
the State was insufficient to support his convictions for
voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. Therefore, he
argues that the trial court erred: (a) in denying his motion
for new trial as to his conviction for voluntary manslaughter
and (b) in denying his motion for directed verdict on the
charge of aggravated assault.
standard of review for the denial of a motion for a directed
verdict of acquittal is the same as for determining the
sufficiency of the evidence to support a conviction."
Hester v. State, 282 Ga. 239, 240 (2) (647 S.E.2d
60) (2007). On appeal from the denial of a directed verdict
and a jury verdict, Nixon no longer enjoys the presumption of
innocence, Scott v. State, 344 Ga.App. 412, 413 (810
S.E.2d 613) (2018), and
the proper standard for review is whether a rational trier of
fact could have found the defendant guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt. See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S.
307 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979). This Court does
not reweigh evidence or resolve conflicts in testimony;
instead, evidence is reviewed in a light most favorable to
the verdict, with deference to the jury's assessment of
the weight and credibility of the evidence.
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Thomas v. State,
300 Ga. 433, 436 (1) (796 S.E.2d 242) (2017). See also
Hayes v. State, 292 Ga. 506, 506 (739 S.E.2d 313)
Nixon argues that the trial court erred in finding that the
evidence supported his conviction for voluntary manslaughter
because the State failed to present evidence showing that he
shot Henderson, as it failed to link Nixon to the weapon that
fired the projectile later found in Henderson's body.
the State presented direct and circumstantial evidence to
show that Nixon was shooting a gun the night of the party.
First and foremost, Nixon admitted to shooting a gun that
night in the area of the fight. Jimperson testified he looked
up during the fight, saw Nixon with a gun, and began running
before he heard gunshots less than a minute later. Jimperson
testified he did not hear any gunshots before he saw Nixon
holding the gun, and Davis testified that he first heard
gunshots after he heard someone yell during the fight,
"He got a gun." Sledge told police that he was
standing near Nixon and saw him shoot a gun multiple times in
front of the House. Although this evidence came in the form
of a prior inconsistent statement, the jury was entitled to
consider the statement as substantive evidence. See
Terrell v. State, 300 Ga. 81, 85 (1) (793 S.E.2d
411) (2016) (prior inconsistent statements by a witness can
be used at trial both to impeach the witness and as
substantive evidence); OCGA § 24-8-801 (d) (1) (A).