P. J., COOMER and MARKLE, JJ.
Bonner appeals his conviction for three counts of aggravated
assault (OCGA § 16-5-21) on which he was found guilty
but mentally ill, one count of criminal damage to property in
the first degree (OCGA § 16-7-22), one count of
possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony
(OCGA § 16-11-106), and one count of discharge of a
firearm on the property of another (OCGA § 16-11-104).
On appeal, Bonner raises three issues: (1) that the trial
court erred by improperly admitting other acts evidence under
OCGA § 24-4-404 (b), (2) that his trial counsel was
ineffective for failing to request funds for an expert, and
(3) that the State committed a Brady violation. For
the reasons stated below, we affirm.
criminal conviction is appealed, the evidence is viewed in
the light most favorable to the verdict. Whaley v.
State, 337 Ga.App. 50, 50 (785 S.E.2d 685) (2016). The
record shows that Bonner lived and worked as a handyman at
Shady Acres Trailer Park, which was owned by his mother.
Norma Auceda Gomez ("Gomez") and her family were
Bonner's neighbors at Shady Acres Trailer Park. Bonner,
who had a history of mental health issues, testified that he
sometimes experienced hallucinations such as patterns,
projected holograms, and faces in clouds and trees.
6:00 a.m. on September 2, 2015, Bonner purportedly saw a
hologram of a man and woman on the side of Gomez's
trailer. The man's face looked "mean" and he
had seen it on prior occasions. Bonner came to the conclusion
that there was an ongoing hostage situation and he asked the
hologram of the woman if she was ready to die, to which she
shook her head "no." Bonner responded to her saying
"no, this has got to end. I'm ready to die if you
are," and the hologram woman nodded "yes."
Bonner then knocked on Gomez's trailer door and an
unfamiliar voice told him to wait a minute. When no one came
to the door after a few minutes Bonner left to return to his
trailer, and on the way back he encountered what he thought
was a drone and he asked it if the situation at Gomez's
trailer was legitimate, to which the drone responded
affirmatively. He then retrieved his shotgun and ammunition
from his trailer, returned to Gomez's trailer, and shot
twice into the side of the trailer, where the perceived
holograms were located. The shots went into the master
bathroom, where one of Gomez's daughters was getting
ready for school. The daughter received a minor injury.
the shooting, no one came out of the trailer and Bonner
returned to his work trailer. On his way back, Bonner saw
some children and he did not want them to see the gun so he
put it down by his side and away from them. When Bonner
returned to his work trailer, he "realized that things
weren't going like I thought they were" when no
gunmen or hostages emerged from Gomez's trailer. Bonner
then saw police cars drive into the park, and he realized
that he was "screwed" because he knew that the
officers were looking for him. He put the shotgun and
ammunition in a bedroom closet and went into the bathroom to
hide. Bonner heard the deputies enter the trailer and call
out, but he did not respond. He remained hidden in the
bathroom until the deputies came in and arrested him.
trial, Bonner stated that he believed the holograms were on
Gomez's trailer and people were inside the trailer. He
said that is why he asked the female hologram if she was
prepared to die. He further stated that when he saw the
sheriff's cars after the shooting he knew that it was
likely that what he had done was not the right thing to do.
In addition, he acknowledged that it was not right for him to
shoot the little girl.
Darcy Shores from the Department of Behavioral Health and
Development Disabilities (DBHDD) evaluated Bonner on January
4, 2016 and determined that he was incompetent to stand
trial. Bonner was then admitted to Central State Hospital. On
May 24, 2016, Bonner was again evaluated for competency at
Central State Hospital and was determined to have been
restored to competency. On December 5, 2016, Dr. Sanjay Shah
from the DBHDD evaluated Bonner for criminal responsibility.
During that evaluation, for the first time since being
arrested, Bonner relayed a version of events that included
holograms on Gomez's trailer and a belief that there was
a hostage situation. Dr. Shah concluded that Bonner was
criminally responsible. Dr. Shah testified at trial that
Bonner possessed the mental capacity to distinguish right
from wrong because there was no prior documentation of Bonner
relaying a version of events that included holograms and
hostages. Further, Dr. Shah testified that even if Bonner had
actually believed that a hostage situation was ongoing,
shooting a gun into the trailer would not have been a
justifiable act. Finally, Dr. Shah said that he believed that
Bonner's actions after the shooting were inconsistent
with an alleged attempt to rescue the people inside the
was found guilty but mentally ill on three counts of
aggravated assault, and guilty of one count of criminal
damage to property in the first degree, one count of
possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony,
and one count of discharge of a firearm on the property of
another. Bonner timely filed a motion for new trial.
Following a hearing, the trial court denied his motion. This
Bonner contends that the trial court improperly admitted
evidence of a prior act under OCGA § 24-4-404 (b) for
the purposes of intent, identity, absence of mistake or
accident, and consciousness of guilt. Specifically, he argues
that the evidence pertaining to a 2008 incident at Shady
Acres Trailer Park had no probative value for any of the
purposes listed above. We disagree.
appeal, we review the admission of Rule 404 (b) evidence for
a clear abuse of discretion." Gunn v. State,
342 Ga.App. 615, 620 (1) (804 S.E.2d 118) (2017) (citations
and punctuation omitted).
2008 incident, which was admitted into evidence at trial,
Bonner attempted to stop a domestic abuse situation that
occurred at Shady Oaks Trailer Park. He heard one of his
neighbors, who he believed had been a prior victim of
domestic abuse, cry out for help. In response to his
neighbor's cry for help Bonner fired a gun into the air
and told the abusive neighbor to stop. After firing the shot,
Bonner believed the abuse was still ongoing. He ultimately
fired three shots outside of the neighbor's trailer over
the span of several minutes. By that time, police arrived and
Bonner returned home.
Bonner first argues that he was not afforded notice of the
purposes for which the Rule 404 (b) evidence would be used at
trial. Prior to trial, the State provided notice to Bonner
that it would use the evidence to show intent, identity,
absence of mistake or accident, and consciousness of guilt.
At trial, the trial court instructed the jury to limit its
consideration of the evidence to those same purposes.
Bonner's notice argument hinges on the State's
assertion during the motion for new trial hearing that it had
admitted the evidence to rebut Bonner's defense of
insanity. Despite this post-trial assertion by the State, the
notice Bonner received before trial of the Rule 404 (b)
purposes corresponded with the purposes for which the
evidence was actually used at trial. Therefore, Bonner's
argument that he did not receive proper notice is without
the merits, we find that the Rule 404 (b) evidence was
admissible for the purpose of intent. In his brief, Bonner
argues that by virtue of pleading not guilty by reason of
insanity, he admitted to the act of shooting into Gomez's
trailer, and therefore, his intent was not at issue during
were to adopt Bonner's argument, Rule 404 (b) evidence
would never be admissible to show intent when an accused
pleads not guilty by reason of insanity. However, the Georgia
Supreme Court has held that when a defendant pleads not
guilty by reason of insanity, prior act evidence is
admissible insofar as it "aids in identification or
shows the state of mind . . . of the accused." Blake
v. State, 239 Ga. 292, 295 (1) (236 S.E.2d 637) (1977)
(citations omitted). Contrary to Bonner's assertions, he
placed his intent at issue during trial by pleading not
guilty by reason of insanity. See Kirk v. State, 168
Ga.App. 226, 231 (13) (308 S.E.2d 592) (1983) (Trial court
did not err in instructing the jury on the State's burden
to prove criminal intent where defendant pled not guilty by
reason of insanity.). Therefore, the Rule 404 (b) evidence
about the 2008 incident involving Bonner was relevant and the
State was permitted to use it to show Bonner's intent at
the time of the shooting. See Olds v. State, 299 Ga.
65, 75 (2) (786 S.E.2d 633) (2016) ("[B]ecause a plea of
not guilty puts the prosecution to its burden of proving
every element of the crime - including intent - evidence of
other acts that ...