Durand Jackson appeals his convictions for malice murder and
other crimes in connection with the shooting death of
Timbaland Crowder. Jackson argues that the evidence was
insufficient to convict him, the trial court erred in denying
his motion for a mistrial after a witness testified about
Jackson's Facebook and other social media posts, and the
trial court plainly erred in instructing the jury on the
charged crimes. He also argues that he received ineffective
assistance of counsel in several respects. We affirm because
the evidence was sufficient to support Jackson's
convictions, the trial court did not err in denying
Jackson's mistrial motion, the jury instructions were not
plain error, and trial counsel was not constitutionally
in the light most favorable to the verdicts, the trial
evidence showed that on the evening of May 30, 2015, a fight
involving 15 to 20 people broke out at Lakeview Apartments in
Carrollton. The fight ended, but another fight involving some
of the same people started several hours later outside of a
bar known as Cocoa's. The fight moved onto the street and
led to additional skirmishes among the 75 to 100 people that
were there. During this second fight, at least two witnesses
saw a person known as "Wet," Jackson's street
name, shoot Timbaland Crowder with a handgun. One of these
witnesses, Travaurus Freeman, identified Jackson at trial as
the shooter. Another witness saw a person with Jackson's
physical attributes walking down the street with a handgun
after the witness heard gunshots.
died from a gunshot wound to the chest, and the bullet
recovered from his body was a .380 metal-jacketed bullet that
could have been fired from a semi-automatic handgun. At some
point prior to the fighting on the street, Jackson and
Crowder had argued.
Terry, a co-indictee who testified at Jackson's trial,
said that he heard about the first fight and obtained a .380
semiautomatic handgun from his father because he wanted to
protect his cousin, who thought people wanted to fight him.
Terry went to the apartments and eventually to Cocoa's,
where he saw people fighting. Terry encountered Jackson on
the street and decided to enter the fray. Before doing so, he
handed his handgun to Jackson. Soon after, Terry heard a
gunshot and saw Crowder on the ground. Terry admitted to
being a member of the Bloods gang and stated that Jackson was
also affiliated with the gang. Terry also said that Crowder
was a member of the Crips gang.
J. J. Cole of the Carrollton Police Department was qualified
as an expert in gang investigations and testified that he
monitored criminal street gangs in Carrollton. The Bloods
street gang identified themselves with distinctive tattoos,
hand signs, and the color red. Prior to investigating the
murder in this case, Investigator Cole had been monitoring
Jackson's social media activity and collecting
information posted by Jackson. Pursuant to a search warrant,
Investigator Cole extracted images from Jackson's
Facebook account that showed: Jackson (with others)
displaying Bloods hand signs; Jackson wearing all red
clothing; and Jackson holding or possessing a handgun,
including while another individual flashed a gang sign.
Investigator Cole noted that the letter "C" had
been replaced with the letter "B" in Jackson's
Facebook posts, (e.g., "Be Bool" and
"Boolin' at da brib"), which Investigator Cole
explained was due to the Bloods' refusal to recognize the
letter "C," as they associated it with Crips.
of Jackson's Facebook posts, there was an image of a hand
holding a gun followed by an online discussion that occurred
on December 29 and 30, 2014. In that discussion thread,
Jackson used Bloods terminology and also wrote comments such
as: "Ima put it in a n***a life," "I pull dis
mf out dey go do wat eva I say," "Ima kill me a
n***a today." Investigator Cole explained that on the
day the discussion thread started, there was a shooting
toward an apartment; there were seven or eight people inside
the apartment at the time, including an individual believed
to be a Bloods member. Investigator Cole also stated that
Crowder the victim in this case was the primary suspect of
the apartment shooting. Based on his review, Investigator
Cole opined that Jackson was a member of the Bloods.
The evidence was sufficient to convict Jackson.
argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his
convictions for malice murder and violations of the Street
Gang Act. We disagree.
evaluating the sufficiency of evidence, the proper standard
of review is whether a rational trier of fact could have
found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (99 S.Ct.
2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979). We do not resolve conflicts in
the evidence or determine the credibility of witnesses;
instead, we view the evidence in the "light most
favorable to the verdict, with deference to the jury's
assessment of the weight and credibility of the
evidence." Hayes v. State, 292 Ga. 506, 506
(739 S.E.2d 313) (2013) (citation and punctuation omitted).
The jury's resolution of these issues "adversely to
the defendant does not render the evidence
insufficient." Graham v. State, 301 Ga. 675,
677 (1) (804 S.E.2d 113) (2017) (citation and punctuation
The evidence was sufficient to support the malice murder
trial, the State called several witnesses who saw Jackson at
or near the scene of the crime at the time of the shooting.
Two of the witnesses saw a man known as "Wet"
Jackson's street name shoot the victim, and one of these
witnesses specifically identified Jackson in court as the
shooter. Jackson's co-indictee, Terry, said that he gave
Jackson a .380 semi-automatic handgun just prior to the
shooting, and the evidence showed that the victim died from a
gunshot wound from a .380 bullet that was consistent with
being fired from a semi-automatic handgun. Although Jackson
cites conflicts in the evidence regarding the number of
people at the fight, points to alibi witness testimony
favorable to him, and challenges the reliability of witnesses
who implicated him in the shooting, these issues were for the
jury to resolve, and the fact that the jury resolved the
conflicts in the evidence or credibility of the witnesses
adversely to Jackson does not render the evidence
insufficient. See Graham, 301 Ga. at 677 (1). The
evidence summarized above was sufficient to authorize the
jury to find Jackson guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of
The evidence was sufficient to support the Street Gang
was convicted of two counts of violating the Street Gang Act
by participating in criminal gang activity through the
commission of murder and an aggravated assault of Crowder
while "associated with the Bloods, a criminal street
gang." See OCGA §§ 16-15-4 (a) ("It shall
be unlawful for any person employed by or associated with a
criminal street gang to conduct or participate in criminal
gang activity through the commission of any offense
enumerated in [OCGA § 16-15-3 (1)]"); 16-15-3 (1)
(J) (enumerated offenses include any criminal offense that
involves violence or the use of a weapon). To convict
Jackson, the State had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt
that Jackson was associated with the Bloods, the Bloods were
a "criminal street gang," Jackson committed the
predicate acts of murder and aggravated assault, and the
commission of those offenses was intended to further the
interests of the Bloods. See McGruder v. State, 303
Ga. 588, 591-592 (II) (814 S.E.2d 293) (2018); Jones v.
State, 292 Ga. 656, 659 (1) (b) (740 S.E.2d 590) (2013).
The State proved each of these elements at trial.
trial, Terry, who admitted to being a member of the Bloods,
testified that Jackson was also associated with that gang.
The State introduced numerous images showing Jackson
displaying Bloods hand signs and using Bloods slang, such as
"Be Bool." See OCGA § 16-15-3 (3) (existence
of a gang "may be established by evidence of a common
name or common identifying signs, symbols, tattoos, graffiti,
or attire or other distinguishing characteristics").
Investigator Cole testified that he had monitored the Bloods
in Carrollton, the gang had at least three members there, and
the gang had committed many violent crimes, including
aggravated assault and murder. See OCGA § 16-15-3 (3)
(defining a "criminal street gang" as "any
organization, association, or group of three or more persons
associated in fact, whether formal or informal, which engages
in criminal gang activity").
the third element, the evidence discussed above in the
sufficiency analysis authorized a finding that Jackson shot
at and killed Crowder, establishing that he committed the
predicate offenses of aggravated assault and murder. The
evidence also showed that Crowder was a member of a rival
gang, the Crips, and was the primary suspect in shooting at a
Bloods member; on the same day of that shooting, Jackson
wrote on his Facebook page that he was going to "kill me
a n***a today." From this evidence, the jury was
authorized to conclude that Jackson shot and killed Crowder
in retaliation for Crowder's having shot at a Bloods
member. See In Interest of W. B., 342 Ga.App. 277,
282 (801 S.E.2d 595) (2017) ("Evidence showing that a
crime was done in retaliation for some act or insult
committed against the gang or its members will also serve to
show that the crime furthered the gang's interests."
(citations omitted)). Based on this evidence, the jury was
authorized to find Jackson guilty of the two violations of
the Street Gang Act.
The trial court did not err in denying Jackson's
motion for a mistrial.
argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a
mistrial after the State introduced into evidence images
obtained from his Facebook page and Investigator Cole's
testimony regarding a ...