Delwoun Williams was convicted of felony murder and other
crimes in connection with the shooting death of Cornelius
Gordon. On appeal, Appellant argues that the trial
court erred in denying his request to charge the jury on
voluntary manslaughter. We conclude that this contention is
without merit and affirm.
in the light most favorable to the verdicts, the evidence at
trial showed that Appellant (also known as "Mad
Max" and "Maximilian") was a member of the
Bloods gang and, around the time of the crimes, was
reportedly selling a significant amount of marijuana. The
victim, Cornelius Gordon, was a member of another gang, the
Gangster Disciples, and he made a living as a marijuana
evening of June 25, 2017, Gordon rode with his friend Angela
Seecharan and Seecharan's friend Linda Santana, an
associate of the Bloods gang, to "the main [Bloods']
trap house on Dean Street" in Gainesville, Georgia.
Later, Seecharan drove the trio to a nightclub. While
Seecharan and Gordon were sitting in the car in the
club's parking lot, Santana exited the club with Daquan
Henderson, also a member of the Bloods gang, who asked
Seecharan for a ride.
Henderson's direction, Seecharan drove the group of four
to several locations around town before arriving at a mobile
home on Barnes Street around 2:00 a.m. where a group of 10 to
15 people was standing outside. As Henderson exited the car,
Seecharan heard gunshots and noticed a short, black male in
his early twenties with shoulder-length dreadlocks standing
near Gordon's front-passenger window. She also heard
someone scream, "I told y'all n****rs, I told
y'all, y'all thought this was a game." Seecharan
then noticed that Gordon was slumped to the side with a
bullet hole in his head; at that point, she drove the car to
the hospital where Gordon died several hours later as a
result of his injury.
testified that Santana told her she saw "Max" shoot
his gun three times. Seecharan looked for Appellant on social
media and found a profile for "Maximilian" with a
picture showing the person Santana saw shooting. Seecharan
gave this information to investigators. At trial, Seecharan
confirmed that Appellant was the person in the picture.
morning after the crime, investigators located Appellant at a
hotel, where they took him into custody and questioned him.
In statements recorded by investigators, Appellant offered
multiple accounts of what happened the previous night. Though
he claimed he did not own a gun, a holster was found on his
person during his arrest. Appellant eventually admitted to
owning a gun and to firing a gun three times, claiming that
he was shooting back at gunfire coming from a truck.
Appellant indicated that the bullets he fired were full metal
jackets, which, as an investigator noted at trial, were
consistent with four of five shell casings recovered at the
crime scene. The location at which the casings were
found was consistent with Appellant's account of the
direction he ran as he fled the scene.
Words, a former associate of the Bloods gang, was arrested in
March 2018 on a charge unrelated to the crimes at issue here.
During questioning subsequent to his arrest, he told
investigators where Appellant hid the gun. Words later
testified at trial that Appellant was armed with a
nine-millimeter handgun on the night of the crimes. When the
shooting occurred, Words fled the mobile home, and Appellant
went with him, commenting that he did not want to be walking
around "with that big a** gun on him." Words and
Appellant walked around Gainesville and eventually went to
the home of the grandmother of Brandon Yarbrough, another
Bloods associate. Words and Appellant left cash, marijuana,
and the gun with Yarbrough; while there, Appellant commented
that "they was shooting at us, so I started shooting
back." After leaving Yarbrough, Words and Appellant got
a hotel room together. While watching television, they saw
coverage of the shooting, and Appellant said he
"couldn't have did that because [his] first shot hit
[Seecharan's] back door." Words also noted that, as
the night went on, Appellant "just got sketchy. He got
Seecharan's car was processed, a bullet was found in the
back of the driver's seat, lodged in the frame;
investigators determined, based on the bullet's
trajectory, that it came through the rear passenger-side
door. A second bullet, which hit Gordon, came through the
front passenger-side window.
enforcement located a nine-millimeter handgun in
Yarbrough's grandmother's backyard, where it had been
buried along with live ammunition; the gun was wrapped in a
rag and placed in a plastic bag. A firearms examiner
determined that four of the five shell casings recovered from
the crime scene were consistent with having been fired from
the gun. Moreover, the recovered ammunition was consistent
with the shell casings recovered at the scene. Two copper
jackets found in Seecheran's car were determined to have
been fired from the gun.
trial, the State introduced letters that Appellant wrote from
jail to Words and Santana that were intercepted. In the
letter to Words, Appellant asked Words to take the stand and
pin the blame on another Bloods member, Xavier Neal.
Appellant's letter to Santana included a similar request.
defense at trial was one of mistaken identity; he posited
that Neal was responsible for Gordon's death. Appellant
admitted to owning a nine-millimeter handgun and to having it
in his possession before the crimes, but he claimed that he
and Neal switched guns earlier in the evening, at Neal's
request. Appellant also testified that he fired his weapon
into the air twice "as like a warning" when he
heard gunshots coming from the street. Santana testified for
the defense, explaining that she saw Appellant standing 10
feet from Seecharan's car shooting his gun in the air.
Santana denied knowing who shot into the car.
not enumerated as error by Appellant, in accordance with this
Court's practice in murder cases, we have reviewed the
record and conclude that the evidence summarized above was
sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find
Appellant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes of
which he was convicted. See Jackson v. Virginia, 443
U.S. 307, 319 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).
his sole enumeration of error, Appellant argues that the
trial court erred in denying his request to charge the jury