MELTON, CHIEF JUSTICE.
a jury trial, Paul Joseph Mattei was found guilty of malice
murder, aggravated assault, and various other offenses in
connection with the shooting death of Angela
Williams. On appeal, Mattei contends that the
evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his
convictions and that the trial court erred by admitting at
trial character evidence in violation of OCGA § 24-4-404
(b). For the reasons below, we affirm.
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdicts, the
evidence shows that, on the evening of June 30, 2011, Mattei
shot Angela Williams twice in the chest and once in the arm,
while Williams sat in her car in an isolated parking lot in
Fairburn. Mattei then left the scene in his yellow truck, and
Williams managed to drive herself a little over one half of a
mile to a gas station, where police found her barely
conscious. Despite being rushed to the hospital, she was
pronounced dead upon arrival. The Fulton County medical
examiner concluded that Williams's death was caused by a
gunshot wound to the chest.
months prior to the murder, Williams and Mattei had entered
into a "marriage of convenience." The two did not
move in together and kept their marriage largely a secret.
Williams told a family member that the purpose of the
marriage was for her to assist Mattei with a drug trafficking
scheme involving a trip to the Bahamas. The same day that
they married, Mattei added Williams as his spouse to his
insurance policy. Under the terms of Mattei's
family-rider policy, Mattei would collect $150, 000 upon his
spouse's accidental death.
before the Bahamas trip, Mattei told Williams the plan had
changed, and they would be going to Florida instead of the
Bahamas. On the night of her murder, Williams was scheduled
to meet with Mattei to discuss their travel plans. Video
surveillance recordings from surrounding businesses showed
Williams's vehicle following Mattei's truck in the
direction of the parking lot where she was shot, just ten
minutes before the shooting. The recordings also showed his
truck driving away from the scene shortly before rescue
discovered that searches for how to obtain a death
certificate had been made on Mattei's computer hours
after Williams's shooting. The police also discovered
that Mattei had made three inquiries between June 18, 2011
and July 4, 2011, checking on his life insurance policy. In a
search of Mattei's vehicle after his arrest, police found
paperwork that could be used to file a life insurance claim
along with information on how to obtain a death certificate.
On August 12, 2011, after obtaining the death certificate
from Williams's daughter, Mattei notified the insurance
company of Williams's death.
trial, Crystal Bridges, Mattei's former roommate,
testified that shortly after she moved in with Mattei in
December of 2009, he approached her about an insurance fraud
scheme involving him running her over with his truck so they
could file an insurance claim. A jailhouse informant, Marlon
Avila, testified that in July of 2013, he and Mattei were
housed in the same unit. During that time, Mattei told Avila
that he had shot his wife three times with a .380 handgun. An
analysis of the shell casings recovered from Williams's
car showed she had been shot by a .380 handgun.
attacks Avila's testimony regarding his confession as
"uncorroborated and unreliable." But, issues of
witness credibility are for the jury to decide. See Hayes
v. State, 292 Ga. 506, 506 (739 S.E.2d 313) (2013).
Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the evidence was
sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to conclude
beyond a reasonable doubt that Mattei was guilty of the
crimes for 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).
Next, Mattei contends that the trial court erred by admitting
into evidence Bridges's testimony about Mattei's 2009
conversation with her regarding a proposed insurance scheme.
According to Mattei, this conversation was extrinsic evidence
that had no logical relation or relevance to the charged
murders. We disagree.
Mattei's trial occurred after January 1, 2013, the
admissibility of the extrinsic evidence in question in this
case is governed by OCGA § 24-4-404 (b) ("Rule 404
(b)"). See Booth v. State, 301 Ga. 678 (3) (804
S.E.2d 104) (2017). And, a trial court's decision
regarding the admissibility of such evidence is reviewed for
abuse of discretion. See Smith v. State, 302 Ga. 717
(4) (808 S.E.2d 661) (2017). Rule 404 (b) provides in
Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts shall not be
admissible to prove the character of a person in order to
show action in conformity therewith. It may, however, be
admissible for other purposes, including, but not limited to,
proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan,
knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.
evidence is admissible where:
(1) the evidence is relevant to an issue in the case other
than the defendant's character, (2) the probative value
is not substantially outweighed by undue prejudice, and (3)
there is sufficient proof for a jury to find by a