IN THE INTEREST OF I. H., a child.
MILLER, P. J., RICKMAN and REESE, JJ.
October 2017, the Juvenile Court of Chatham County
adjudicated I. H. delinquent based upon offenses which, if
committed by an adult, would have constituted the crimes of
aggravated assault on a peace officer, aggravated assault,
two counts of obstruction of an officer, interference with
government property, simple battery, disorderly conduct,
disrupting public school, and three counts of simple assault.
On appeal, I. H. contends that the evidence did not support
his adjudication for aggravated assault on a peace officer
beyond a reasonable doubt and that the trial court erred by
failing to merge certain counts in the delinquency petition.
For the following reasons, we affirm.
In considering a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence
supporting an adjudication of delinquency, we construe the
evidence and every inference from the evidence in favor of
the juvenile court's adjudication to determine if a
reasonable finder of fact could have found, beyond a
reasonable doubt, that the juvenile committed the acts
charged. Thus, the standard of review on appeal in a case of
adjudication of delinquency of a juvenile is the same as that
for any criminal case. In reviewing such cases, we do not
weigh the evidence or determine witness credibility.
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) In the Interest of M.
L., 316 Ga.App. 413 (729 S.E.2d 548) (2012).
construed, the evidence showed that on February 24, 2017, I.
H., a student, went into a classroom that he did not belong
in. The teacher asked I. H. to leave the classroom, but he
refused and she had to call the office for assistance. I. H.
was using profanity and disrupting other students. The
principal and school resource officer came to the
teacher's classroom and escorted I. H. to the
the principal's office, I. H. attempted to retrieve his
cell phone out of a cabinet. I. H. was not supposed to have
his phone, so the officer tried to redirect him away from the
cabinet. Thereafter, I. H. picked up an approximately
ten-pound wooden office chair and threw it at the officer.
The officer had to make an evasive move to prevent the chair
from hitting him. The officer testified that he was
apprehensive that he would be injured when I. H. threw the
chair. I. H. then pushed the principal. While the officer was
trying to get control over I. H., his body microphone fell
off, and I. H. slammed the microphone on the floor causing it
break. I. H. attempted to flip over a table in the office,
and he threw a heavy, rolling office chair at the principal.
The incidents in the classroom and the principal's office
were recorded, and the videos were played for the juvenile
point, I. H. left the principal's office, and the
principal followed him outside. I. H. walked down to the
athletic fields, picked up an approximately three and a half
to four feet long metal pipe, and brandished it at the
principal. The principal was in fear that I. H. would hit him
with the pipe.
juvenile court adjudicated I. H. delinquent, and following a
disposition hearing, the juvenile court found that I. H. was
a delinquent child in need of rehabilitation, treatment, and
supervision. I. H. was placed on specialized probation with
an electronic monitoring device. I. H. appeals from his
H. contends that the evidence did not support his
adjudication for aggravated assault on a peace officer beyond
a reasonable doubt. Specifically, he argues that the State
failed to meet its burden to prove both that the wooden chair
I. H. threw at the officer was an object that when used
offensively against a person, is likely to result in serious
bodily injury and that I. H. possessed a general intent to
injure the officer.
person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or
she assaults: . . . with any object, device, or instrument
which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to
or actually does result in serious bodily injury." OCGA
§ 16-5-21 (a) (2). It is the factfinder's role to
determine whether "the State has shown that the
circumstances under which the object was used caused it to
function, when used offensively, in a way likely to result in
serious bodily injury." Hendrix v. State, 328
Ga.App. 819, 820 (1) (762 S.E.2d 820) (2014). "General
intent to injure is a question for the factfinder and may be
determined upon consideration of the words, conduct,
demeanor, motive, and all other circumstances connected with
the act for which the accused is prosecuted." (Citation
and punctuation omitted.) Frayall v. State, 259
Ga.App. 286, 288 (1) (576 S.E.2d 654) (2003).
the evidence showed that I. H. picked up an approximately ten
pound wooden chair and threw it at the officer. The officer
testified he was apprehensive that he would receive a violent
injury when I. H. threw the chair and that he had to make an
evasive move to prevent the chair from hitting him.
Accordingly, there was sufficient evidence to sustain I.
H.'s adjudication for aggravated assault on a peace
officer. See Hendrix, 328 Ga.App. at 820-821 (1)
(affirming defendant's conviction for aggravated assault
where he threw a table at the victim); Watson v.
State, 301 Ga.App. 824, 826 (689 S.E.2d 104) (2009)
(holding that there was sufficient evidence to show that the
defendant committed aggravated assault when he threw a glass
bowl at the victim); Sims v. State, 296 Ga.App. 461,
463 (1) (675 S.E.2d 241) (2009) (finding in an aggravated
assault case that "the evidence was sufficient to
support an inference by the jury that [the defendant] had the
requisite general intent to injure the deputy").
H. contends that the trial court erred by failing to merge
certain counts in the delinquency petition. I. H. argues that
the juvenile court erred by relying on In the Interest of
M. J. F., 191 Ga.App. 792 (383 S.E.2d 173) (1989), to
conclude that the doctrine of merger is inapplicable in
juvenile court. We disagree.
doctrine of merger precludes the imposition of multiple
punishments when the same conduct establishes the commission
of more than one crime. While a defendant's conduct may
constitute more than one crime, Georgia law bars conviction
and punishment of more than one crime if one crime is
included in the other." (Citation and punctuation
omitted.) Colbert v. State, 345 Ga.App. 554, 558 (3)
(813 S.E.2d 777) (2018). See OCGA § 16-1-7 ("When
the same conduct of an accused may establish the commission
of more than one crime, the accused may be prosecuted for
each crime. He may not, however, be convicted of
more than one crime if: [o]ne crime is included in the other;
or [t]he crimes ...