Valentin Guerrero was tried by a Toombs County jury and
convicted of murder and other crimes in connection with the
fatal shooting of Shiann Nicole Cray. Guerrero appeals,
claiming that the trial court erred when it refused to charge
the jury on justification. Upon our review of the record and
briefs, we see no reversible error and affirm.
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict, the
evidence shows that on the evening of May 4, 2016, police
officers were dispatched to Cray's home in Santa Claus, a
town just south of Lyons in Toombs County. Cray reported that
Guerrero, her boyfriend, had threatened to kill her if she
broke up with him.
next day, Guerrero shot and killed Cray in her home (and with
her own gun) while her two children-ages two and four-were
present. Guerrero left the scene in Cray's car, leaving
the children alone in the house with their mother's body,
although he thereafter asked a friend to check on the
children and retrieve (and destroy) Cray's cell phone.
Guerrero fled to Savannah and then to Texas, where he was
apprehended by law enforcement about eight miles from the
trial, Guerrero's defense was that Cray accidentally shot
herself during a struggle for her gun. Guerrero testified
that Cray threatened him with her gun, that he attempted to
get the gun away from her, and that the gun discharged
accidentally during the struggle. Guerrero repeatedly
testified that he never gained control or possession of the
gun as he struggled with Cray and that he did not shoot her
intentionally or otherwise. The State presented evidence that
Guerrero shot Cray from at least several feet away, that he
strangled her before he shot her, and that he had previously
made threats against her (both directly and in a conversation
with a friend whom he told that he "[m]ight have to
shoot his girlfriend" and needed "to know where he
could hide a body").
does not dispute that the evidence is legally sufficient to
sustain his convictions, but consistent with our usual
practice in murder cases, we nevertheless have reviewed the
evidence and considered its sufficiency. Viewed in the light
most favorable to the verdict, we conclude that the evidence
adduced at trial is sufficient to authorize a rational trier
of fact to find Guerrero guilty of the crimes of which he was
convicted. See Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307,
319 (III) (B) (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560) (1979).
his sole enumeration of error, Guerrero claims that the jury
could have found that the shooting was justified and,
therefore, that the trial court erred when it charged the
jury on accident but refused his request to charge the jury
on justification See OCGA § 16-3-21 (a) It is
well-established, however, that "[i]t is not error to
refuse a justification charge where there is no evidence to
support it" Green v State, 302 Ga 816, 818 (2)
(a) (809 S.E.2d 738) (2018) (citation and punctuation
omitted) And where the defense "is supported by only the
slightest evidence and is inconsistent with the
defendant's own account of the events or with the main
defense theory presented at trial," the failure to give
a charge on the defense generally will be harmless in any
event McClure v State, ____ Ga (Case No S18G1599, decided Oct
7, 2019) (Nahmias, PJ, concurring).
argues that an instruction on justification was required by
Koritta v. State, 263 Ga. 703, 705 (438 S.E.2d 68)
(1994), but evidence was presented in Koritta that
"the victim was killed by an act of the
defendant committed while the defendant was engaged in
an intentional attempt to protect himself." Id.
(Emphasis supplied). See also Byrd v. State, 277 Ga.
554, 559 (4) (592 S.E.2d 421) (2004) ("Significantly, in
Koritta, we specifically held that an inference that
the victim was intentionally killed in an act of
self-defense was available from the evidence
presented.") (Emphasis supplied). Here, Guerrero's
defense (and evidence) was that Cray shot herself, not that
she was killed by his hand (intentionally or otherwise).
Conversely, the State presented evidence that Guerrero
intentionally shot Cray with her own gun from several feet
away, and it did not argue that Guerrero did anything
unlawful related to a struggle for the gun.
whether the trial court should have charged the jury on
justification, it is highly probable that the jury would have
reached the same verdict even had the trial court given the
charge. In order to find that Guerrero killed Cray but was
justified in doing so, the jury would have had to
independently concoct a theory of Cray's death that was
inconsistent with the State's theory of the case,
inconsistent with Guerrero's own account of the events,
and instead based upon a combination of inferences from a
variety of evidentiary sources, which no witness or lawyer at
the trial ever suggested. As a result, any error in the trial
court's failure to charge on justification was harmless.
See McClure, Ga. (Nahmias, P.J., concurring).
affirmed. All the Justices concur.
 Cray was killed on May 5, 2016. A
Toombs County grand jury indicted Guerrero in August 2016 and
charged him with murder with malice aforethought, murder in
the commission of a felony, aggravated assault, theft by
taking, three counts of the unlawful possession of a firearm
during the commission of a felony, and two counts of cruelty
to children in the first degree. Guerrero was tried in June
2018, and the jury found him not guilty of malice murder and
one of the firearm possession counts but guilty of the other
charges. In July 2018, the trial court sentenced Guerrero to
imprisonment for life without parole for felony murder, a
consecutive term of imprisonment for five years for the
unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a
felony, two consecutive terms of imprisonment for twenty
years for cruelty to children, and a concurrent term of
imprisonment for five years for theft. The aggravated assault
and remaining firearm possession count merged with the felony
murder. Guerrero timely filed a motion for new trial, which
he amended in January 2019. The trial court denied the motion
in February 2019. Guerrero timely filed a notice of appeal in
March 2019. The case was docketed in this Court for the
August 2019 term and submitted for decision on the
 Guerrero also requested charges on
voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter, but he
does not contend that the trial court erred when it ...