a jury trial, Reco Dehaven West, a/k/a Rico Dehaven West, was
found guilty of malice murder and other offenses arising out
of a home invasion that resulted in the shooting death of
Nicolas Jackson II. On appeal, West contends that the trial
court erred in admitting evidence that he conspired and
attempted to improperly influence a juror in his trial. He
also claims that the evidence was insufficient to enable a
rational trier of fact to find him guilty beyond a reasonable
doubt of armed robbery and of felony murder predicated on the
armed robbery. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.
in a light most favorable to the verdict, the evidence shows
the following. On the afternoon of February 2, 2012, Nicolas
and his sister, Nikia Jackson, drove from school to their
Gwinnett County residence. No one else was home. After they
entered through the basement door, Nicolas went to his room
in the basement and Nikia went to her room upstairs. While
she was watching television, Nikia heard what she thought was
the sound of a bouncing basketball. She left her room and
called for her brother, but she heard no response.
Nikia got to the living room on the main floor, she looked
out the window and saw a van full of men. Another man
carrying a black bag got into the vehicle, which sped away.
Nikia found Nicolas lying against his bedroom door, bleeding
and not speaking. The day after the shooting, Nikia
identified West from a photographic lineup as one of the men
in the van.
lieutenant with Gwinnett County fire emergency services
responded to a 911 call from the Jackson home, where he
discovered that Nicolas had no pulse and was not breathing.
His attempt at CPR was unsuccessful. According to the medical
examiner, Nicolas died as a result of a gunshot wound to the
as a result of Nikia's 911 call, a City of Norcross
police officer was advised of a burglary in process at the
Jackson home and that a silver van was being used in the
burglary. En route to the Jackson home, the officer saw, and
then followed, a silver van. The van stopped after the
officer activated his blue lights and turned on his siren.
Two men, West and Anthony Lumpkin, got out and ran. When
backup arrived, officers ordered the four men who remained in
the van out of the vehicle and then placed them in handcuffs.
Another responding officer located and arrested West and
Johnson, the driver of the van, testified at West's trial
after entering a negotiated plea of guilty to charges related
to the shooting. According to Johnson, a cocaine dealer named
Kevell Ross wanted Johnson to find someone to burglarize the
Jackson residence with the understanding that Ross would take
15 % of the proceeds. Ross promised they would find at least
$1 million in cash.
further testified that he and Darrez Chandler, Jason Dozier,
Lumpkin, and Eddie Green were involved with planning the
burglary. After they conducted surveillance of the residence,
and following an aborted attempt in December 2011, Dozier
called Johnson on February 2, 2012, and told him that he and
Chandler were "going back up there this morning."
Johnson then met with Dozier, Chandler, and Lumpkin. Green
arrived with the van, and Johnson eventually agreed to drive.
to Johnson, he and Green left to pick up the "young
guys" to assist in the crime. West and his co-defendant,
Michael Davis, got into the van when they pulled up. West and
Davis were both armed, and Lumpkin had already told them
about the planned burglary.
further testified that he drove to the Jackson residence with
West, Davis, Dozier, Lumpkin, and Green in the van. Chandler
drove a Pontiac and served as a lookout. When they arrived,
West, Davis, Dozier, and Lumpkin got out of the van and
walked down the driveway to the basement door. Johnson
circled the block, and he heard gunfire when he came back to
the house. He quickly circled around a second time, and,
before he could stop the van, he saw the four men exiting the
home and running towards him. Dozier was carrying a laptop
computer bag. After the men got in the van, Lumpkin said that
he "had to shoot" someone inside the house. Shortly
thereafter, a police car followed the van and activated its
blue lights. When Johnson stopped, he saw his passengers
handing guns to Green, who threw them out of the vehicle.
& Wesson .40 caliber handgun and a Jiminez Arms 9 mm
handgun were discovered on the ground in the vicinity of the
van. Police found two more handguns, including a Kel-Tec
.380, inside the van, as well as a laptop computer taken from
the Jackson residence.
the arrest of West, Davis, Dozier, Green, Johnson, and
Lumpkin, an officer used gunshot residue kits on them.
Examination of the kits by the Georgia Bureau of
Investigation ("GBI") showed gunshot residue on
West, Davis, Dozier, and Lumpkin, the four men identified by
Johnson as having entered the Jackson residence. The kits did
not show gunshot residue on Johnson or Green.
millimeter and .380 shell casings were recovered from inside
the Jackson home. Investigators found that the basement door
of the Jackson home had been kicked in from outside, and that
there was a shoe impression on the door. That shoe print was
consistent with Lumpkin's shoes. Dozier's DNA and
fingerprints were found on the Kel-Tec .380. The testimony of
a GBI firearms examiner showed that the bullet recovered from
Nicolas's body was fired by the Jiminez Arms 9 mm.
State introduced recordings of several incriminating
telephone calls made by West while he was in jail. In one
call, West spoke with a man who identified himself as Ball.
Before the call recording was played for the jury, a
detective testified that the parties to the call used
"condom" as a coded reference for gun. Johnson had
previously testified that Lumpkin was known as "Cat
Eyes." During the call, after Ball asked about the
"little homie," West explained, in apparent
reference to the victim, that "[h]e closed the door ...