Bibb Superior Court. Before Judge Simms.
Brandon D. Morrall, pro se .
David Cooke, Jr., District Attorney, Sandra G. Matson,
Dorothy V. Hull, Assistant District Attorneys; Christopher M.
Carr, Attorney General, Patricia B. Attaway Burton, Deputy
Attorney General, Paula K. Smith, Senior Assistant Attorney
General, Matthew M. Youn, Assistant Attorney General, for
Judges: BOGGS, Justice. All the Justices
Appellant Brandon Dewayne Morrall challenges his 2013
convictions for malice murder and a firearm offense in
connection with the shooting death of Stephen
"Tucker" Jackson. Appellant chose to represent
himself on appeal, and his sole enumeration of error is that
he was denied the effective assistance of counsel due to[307
Ga. 445] his trial counsel's failure to file a motion to
prevent an eyewitness from identifying him at trial as the
shooter. We affirm.
Viewed in the light most favorable to the verdicts, the
evidence at trial showed the following. In June 2011, two
AK-47 rifles, a pump-action Mossberg shotgun, and a
two-shooter derringer were stolen from Michael Warren's
house in Macon. Warren reported them stolen to the police.
Jackson told Warren that Appellant had one of the stolen
AK-47s and took Warren to an apartment in the Bowden Homes
housing project where Appellant was living with his
girlfriend and young children. Warren pretended to be
interested in buying the AK-47, and after examining the
markings and serial numbers, Warren told Appellant that the
AK-47 was his gun and had been stolen. Appellant tried to
take the AK-47 from Warren, but Warren had brought a
.45-caliber handgun with him, which he produced. Appellant
grabbed the handgun, and in the ensuing struggle, both
Appellant and Warren were shot; Warren was hit in the foot,
and Appellant was hit in the hand. Jackson and Warren then
left the apartment, taking Warren's .45 and the AK-47
with them. Jackson told his aunt about the confrontation, and
in the following months, he told her on three different
occasions that he had run into Appellant and that Appellant
had threatened to kill him.
night of October 6, 2011, Appellant, his brother Devin
Freeman, and Demonquez Bell were drinking at Frank
Nauer's house, where Freeman lived. Appellant was still
angry at Jackson for[307 Ga. 446] bringing Warren to retrieve
the stolen AK-47, and Appellant was rapping about wanting to
kill Jackson, whom Bell had known his whole life. Bell tried
to calm the situation down, telling Appellant that he needed
to let go of his anger at Jackson, and Appellant started
talking about fighting Jackson that night instead of shooting
him. When Appellant, Freeman, and Bell got ready to leave
Nauer's house, Bell saw that Freeman was carrying a
Hi-Point .45-caliber pistol. Bell was upset and asked why
they were bringing a gun if Appellant only wanted to fight
Jackson. Bell decided to follow Appellant and Freeman to make
sure that they did not shoot Jackson.
went with Appellant and Freeman across the street to Bowden
Homes, where Appellant and Freeman looked for Jackson but did
not find him. Appellant got a phone call, after which Bell
noticed that Appellant and Freeman were smiling and Appellant
was “ amped up.” Appellant and Freeman walked to
a “ bootleg house,” where a crowd had gathered
outside. Bell followed and saw Jackson
before Appellant and Freeman did. Jackson was standing at the
driver's side window of an SUV parked under a
streetlight, leaning into the SUV and talking to the
occupants, Linda Willis and Travis Brown. Bell walked over to
Jackson and tried to convince Jackson to go with Bell inside
the bootleg house for a drink, but Jackson declined. Bell
went to the bootleg house, and Jackson continued talking to
Willis and Brown.
Appellant then came up behind Jackson and shot him once in
the head and three times in the back with the Hi-Point .45,
killing him. Willis and Brown scrambled out of the passenger
side door of the SUV and ran. As the crowd ...