MCFADDEN, P. J., MCMILLIAN and GOSS, JJ.
MCFADDEN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
jury trial, Melody Louise Priester was convicted of and
sentenced for committing the offenses of armed robbery (OCGA
§ 16-8-41) and hijacking a motor vehicle (OCGA §
16-5-44.1). She argues that the trial court erred in
denying her motion to continue her trial, but we find no
abuse of discretion. She argues that the trial court erred
because, in sustaining an objection by the state, he
improperly expressed an opinion on the facts in violation of
OCGA § 17-8-57; however, Priester did not make this
objection at trial and she has not shown plain error.
Finally, she argues that her trial counsel was ineffective in
failing to object to bolstering testimony from a law
enforcement officer, but she has not shown that this
performance was deficient. So we affirm.
evidence introduced at trial, viewed in the light most
favorable to the verdicts, see Jones v. State, ___
Ga.___, ___ (___ S.E.2d ___) (Case No. S19A0392, decided Apr.
15, 2019), shows that, a few days after meeting and
exchanging telephone numbers with the victim, Priester called
the victim early in the morning and asked him to meet her.
They met at a gas station and drove in separate cars to an
apartment complex. There, Priester got into the victim's
parked car, leaving the passenger door open. As she and the
victim talked, Priester repeatedly looked in the direction of
a building in the complex.
minutes later, a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt
appeared from around the corner of the building and walked
past the victim's car, then pivoted and began to run
toward the victim's side of the car. The man held a
pistol and made a comment suggesting that he was going to rob
the victim, and the victim fled, leaving his cellular phone
in his car. Priester did not run or scream; instead, she got
back into her car and drove away, and the man in the
sweatshirt got into the victim's car and closely followed
Priester out of the apartment complex.
victim ran to a friend's house nearby and called 911. He
gave the dispatcher identifying information about both his
and Priester's cars. Soon afterward, a law enforcement
officer stopped Priester. A male passenger in Priester's
car jumped out of the car and fled. Several items were found
in Priester's car, including a black hooded sweatshirt, a
gun, the victim's cellular phone, an insurance card for
the car stolen from the victim, and an identification card
belonging to the victim. The victim's car was recovered
the next day.
custodial interview, Priester denied knowing the victim, but
at trial she admitted that this was a lie. Instead, she
testified at trial that the victim had hassled her while she
was out with a male friend, who had confronted the victim.
She stated that she left the scene when that happened, but
she later picked up her friend; the friend then fled when she
was stopped by law enforcement, leaving the various items in
argues that the trial court erred by denying her a
continuance, which she sought on the ground that her counsel
needed more time to prepare for trial. This matter is within
the court's "sound legal discretion," OCGA
§ 17-8-22, and we will not reverse the trial court's
ruling "unless it is clearly shown that the trial court
abused [his] discretion." Massalene v. State,
224 Ga.App. 321, 322 (1) (480 S.E.2d 616) (1997) (citation
and punctuation omitted).
has not made the necessary showing. She cites to cases such
as Hughes v. State, 168 Ga.App. 413, 414-415 (2)
(309 S.E.2d 409) (1983), in which trial courts denied
continuances even though trial counsel had only recently been
appointed. But the same trial counsel had represented
Priester for more than a year before she moved for a
continuance. The reason this counsel was arguably unprepared
for trial was because Priester had stopped working with him
while she pursued the possibility of retaining a different
lawyer. The record indicates that, for approximately two
months leading up to trial, Priester did not respond to her
trial counsel's efforts to communicate with her. The
trial court was authorized to consider this conduct of
Priester in deciding not to grant her a continuance. See
Massalene, 224 Ga.App. at 322 (1) ("The conduct
of the party is a relevant and proper consideration of the
judge in the exercise of [his] discretion in order to prevent
a party using the discharge and employment of counsel as a
dilatory tactic.") (citation and punctuation omitted).
See also Lewis v. State, 330 Ga.App. 650, 651 (768
S.E.2d 821) (2015); Hibbard v. State, 208 Ga.App.
457 (430 S.E.2d 824) (1993).
Ruling sustaining objection.
enumerates as error the trial court's ruling sustaining
an objection made by the state during her counsel's
cross-examination of one of the state's witnesses. But
she does not challenge the merits of that ruling; in her
appellate briefs she neither argues nor cites to authority
for the proposition that the trial court should have allowed
the witness to answer the cross-examination question. So to
the extent that Priester has enumerated as error the merits
of the trial court's ruling, she has abandoned that
enumeration. Ct. App. R. 25 (c) (2).
she does argue is that the words the trial court used in
ruling on the state's objection improperly commented on
the evidence in violation of OCGA § 17-8-57. We ...