a jury trial, Devontae Carter was convicted of the malice
murder of Dexter Lampkin, and of the aggravated assault of
Gregory Lampkin, by shooting them with a
handgun. He appeals, challenging the sufficiency of
the evidence. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.
in the light most favorable to the jury's verdicts, the
evidence showed the following. On Thanksgiving night,
November 26, 2015, there was a large party at the residence
of Larry Hicks, Jr., in Tift County. Carter, who was known as
"Debo," was at the party with his brother, William,
and his uncle, Ralph Garmon. Brothers Dexter and Jermaine
Lampkin, together with their cousin, Gregory Lampkin, arrived
at the party sometime between 10:00 p.m. and midnight. Dexter
and Carter had been friends in the past. Dexter and
Jermaine's sister, Labrenda Lewis, was also at the party.
Lewis testified that she saw Carter with a black pistol at
the party that night.
point during the party, the Lampkins noticed that Garmon was
staring at them in a hostile manner. Around 1:00 a.m., after
Garmon's staring had continued for a while, the Lampkins
walked up to Garmon, who was standing by his pickup truck. At
the time, Carter was sitting in the truck bed. Dexter asked
Garmon why he had been staring at him. After denying that he
had been staring, Garmon hit Dexter, knocking him backward.
Gregory pinned Garmon against the truck. Carter jumped down
from Garmon's truck. Multiple gunshots were fired, and
Dexter and Gregory were both hit. The medical examiner later
determined that Dexter was struck in the right upper chest
and that the bullet traveled in a sharply downward angle,
suggesting that the gun was fired from above. Gregory was
struck in the lower back and collapsed to the ground.
was able to run away, and his brother Jermaine drove him to
the hospital. While on the way to the hospital, Dexter stated
to Jermaine at least twice: "I can't believe Debo
shot me." He also told Jermaine that he was going to
die. Meanwhile, Hicks helped Gregory into Lewis's car,
and she took him to the hospital. Gregory survived, but
Dexter died as a result of the gunshot wound.
trial, Jermaine testified that he was standing beside Dexter
and he saw Carter jumping down from Garmon's truck at the
same time he heard gunshots. Although Jermaine did not see
Carter shoot the victims, he believed that Carter was the
shooter because the gunshots sounded like they were coming
from Carter's direction as he jumped down from the truck.
Gregory did not see who shot him in the back.
son, Kevionta ("Tae") Hicks, who was fifteen years
old at the time of the shooting, testified that he did not
see the shooting. The prosecutor then questioned Tae about a
recorded statement he gave four days after the shooting, in
which he told a GBI agent that he saw the fight and saw
Carter shoot Dexter and Gregory. When confronted at trial
with his prior statement, Tae admitted that he told the agent
that he had seen Carter shoot Dexter and Gregory but
testified that he had only been repeating what he had heard
one of Dexter's "home boys," whose name he did
not know, say to Hicks at their home a few hours after the
shooting, specifically before daylight. To cast doubt on
Tae's inconsistent trial testimony, the State presented
evidence that the Hickses were not in their home a few hours
after the shooting, because they were excluded from the home
for processing of the crime scene until at least 9:30 a.m.
the sufficiency of the evidence is challenged on direct
appeal, the standard of review is the test established in
Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307 (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61
L.Ed.2d 560) (1979), which requires that the evidence, viewed
in the light most favorable to the jury's verdicts, must
be sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find
the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Dupree v.
State, 303 Ga. 885, 886 (1) (815 S.E.2d 899) (2018);
Dorsey v. State, 303 Ga. 597, 600 (1) (814 S.E.2d
378) (2018). "Under this review, we must put aside any
questions about conflicting evidence, the credibility of
witnesses, or the weight of the evidence, leaving the
resolution of such things to the discretion of the trier of
fact." Dorsey, 303 Ga. at 600 (1) (citation and
punctuation omitted). Here, evidence supporting a finding
that Carter was the person who shot Dexter and Gregory
included: Jermaine's perception that the gunshots were
fired from Carter's direction as he jumped down from the
truck, which was consistent with other testimony that Carter
was in the truck bed just prior to the shooting and with the
medical examiner's opinion that the gun was above
Dexter's upper chest when it was fired; Dexter's
dying declaration; and Tae's pretrial statement to the
GBI agent. Although Tae contradicted his pretrial statement
in his trial testimony, the jury was authorized to believe
and rely on his pretrial statement. Terrell v.
State, 300 Ga. 81, 85 (1) (793 S.E.2d 411) (2016). The
evidence was sufficient to enable a rational trier of fact to
find Carter guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes of
which he was convicted. See Jackson v.
State, __ Ga. __ (1) (832 S.E.2d 809) (2019); Sloans
v. State, 304 Ga. 363, 364-365 (1) (818 S.E.2d 596)
 The shooting incident occurred on
November 27, 2015. A Tift County grand jury returned an
indictment on January 13, 2016, charging Carter with malice
murder (of Dexter Lampkin), felony murder (predicated on
aggravated assault of Dexter Lampkin), aggravated assault (of
Dexter Lampkin), and aggravated assault (of Gregory Lampkin).
Following a September 26-27, 2017 jury trial, Carter was
found guilty on all counts. On October 11, 2017, the trial
court sentenced Carter to serve life in prison for the murder
of Dexter Lampkin, and 12 years for the aggravated assault of
Gregory Lampkin, to be served consecutively. The court
determined that felony murder merged with malice murder,
although the felony murder verdict was actually vacated by
operation of law, and that the aggravated assault of Dexter
Lampkin merged with murder. Atkinson v. State, 301
Ga. 518, 520-521 (2) (801 S.E.2d 833) (2017); Stewart v.
State, 299 Ga. 622, 627-628 (3) (791 S.E.2d 61) (2016).
Carter filed a motion for new trial on November 2, 2017,
represented by new post-conviction counsel. ...