MCFADDEN, C. J., MCMILLIAN, P. J., and SENIOR APPELLATE JUDGE
Phipps, Senior Appellate Judge.
granted this discretionary appeal to consider whether the
trial court had evidence to support its revocation of Malcolm
Reeves's probation on the ground that he possessed the
marijuana found in the truck he was driving. Having reviewed
the record and the relevant law, we affirm.
§ 42-8-34.1 (b) provides that a trial court "may
not revoke any part of any probated or suspended sentence
unless the defendant admits the violation as alleged or
unless the evidence produced at the revocation hearing
establishes by a preponderance of the evidence the violation
or violations alleged." "If some of the allegations
regarding revocation are supported by admissible evidence, a
trial court's decision to revoke probation will be
affirmed as within the court's discretion."
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) Hilley v. State,
344 Ga.App. 58, 64 (4) (806 S.E.2d 280) (2017).
viewed in favor of the judgment, the record shows that in
October 2018, Reeves pled guilty to theft by receiving stolen
property and was sentenced to five years probation, with a
general condition that he not violate any criminal law. At
that time, Reeves also executed a written waiver of his
Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and
afternoon of December 14, 2018, police saw a green pickup
truck suspected of stealing gas make an improper turn. When
the police cruiser activated its blue lights, the truck made
a left turn and pulled to the side of the road it had
entered. As the officer called in the truck's location
and tag number, the truck "eased back out on the roadway
and started traveling at a low rate of speed" toward
some houses. As the truck did so, the officer could see that
"[t]he driver, the middle passenger, and the right
passenger" in the truck, which had bench seating,
"were moving around and twisting in the seats."
the truck stopped near a house, the officer approached, asked
for a driver's license and proof of insurance, and
recognized the driver as Malcolm Reeves and the two
passengers as Cameron Taylor (in the middle seat) and
Reeves's brother Tony (in the passenger seat). Both
Reeves brothers were on felony probation. As Taylor was
arrested for the gas-stealing incident, he indicated that
Malcolm had been with him, at which time the officer asked
Malcolm if there was any contraband in the vehicle. When
Malcolm responded that he was not the owner of the vehicle,
the officer explained that as the driver, only Malcolm could
give consent to search, which Malcolm did. The officer then
found a quart-sized pickle jar on the floor under the
passenger seat containing what was later determined to be
nearly three ounces of marijuana. All three men disclaimed
ownership of the marijuana. In light of the circumstances,
including their movements during the traffic stop, the
officer arrested all three men for marijuana possession with
intent to distribute. As they were handcuffed, Tony claimed
ownership of the drug, with Malcolm "repeatedly"
expressing regret that he (Malcolm) was "going to serve
a long time."
January 2019, the State filed the instant petition to revoke
Malcolm Reeves's probation on the ground that he had been
arrested for marijuana possession with intent to distribute.
After a hearing, which Reeves attended, the trial court
revoked his probation on the ground that he had committed a
"[n]ew felony offense." We granted Reeves's
application for discretionary review to determine whether the
evidence was sufficient to sustain the trial court's
true that "a probationer's mere presence in the area
where the prohibited item is found will not justify a
probation revocation based on possession of the prohibited
item, even under the more relaxed preponderance of the
evidence standard." (Citation omitted.) Beavers v.
State, 346 Ga.App. 373, 375 (1) (816 S.E.2d 384) (2018).
But a driver, "in the absence of any circumstances to
the contrary, is presumed to have possession and control of
contraband found in [his] automobile," although
"this presumption is rebuttable by evidence of equal
access." (Punctuation and footnote omitted.) Johnson
v. State, 268 Ga.App. 808, 810 (602 S.E.2d 840) (2004).
The question of whether the presumption of contraband
possession raised by "mere ownership, use or possession
of the vehicle" has been rebutted by "additional
evidence" is for the factfinder to decide. (Footnote
omitted.) Townsend v. State, 253 Ga.App. 316, 317
(558 S.E.2d 849) (2002).
the evidence supporting a finding of possession included not
only Reeves's status as the driver of the car, but also
the men's suspicious movements, their driving away at low
speed after being pulled over and before the officer's
approach to the truck, their unanimous disclaimer of
ownership (contradicted after arrest), and Reeves's
statements immediately after his arrest that he was
"going to serve a long time." See Depree v.
State, 276 Ga.App. 499, 500-501 (1) (623 S.E.2d 701)
(2005) (evidence including defendant's bending over to
put something under a car seat, along with a third man's
declaration that the marijuana was not his, amounted to
"abundant" evidence sufficient to sustain a
conviction for marijuana possession beyond a reasonable
doubt); Leger v. State, 291 Ga. 584, 591-592 (4)
(732 S.E.2d 53) (2012) (because "any statement or
conduct . . . indicating a consciousness of guilt" is
admissible at trial, a photograph of a tattoo reading
"God Forgive Me" was properly admitted). Under
these circumstances, the trial court did not abuse its
discretion when it concluded that Reeves had not rebutted the
presumption of ownership, found by a preponderance of the
evidence that he had committed the crime of possession of
marijuana with intent to distribute, and revoked his
probation. See Depree, 276 Ga.App. at 501 (1).
Compare Smith v. State, 306 Ga.App. 54, 57 (1) (701
S.E.2d 490) (2010) (reversing revocation of probation when
evidence of "mere spatial proximity" was
insufficient to show that a passenger had constructive
possession of marijuana found in a vehicle's center
console); Gray v. State, 313 Ga.App. 470, 470-472
(1) (722 S.E.2d 98) (2011) (reversing revocation of probation
when evidence was insufficient to connect defendant sitting
in front of a trailer that he did not own or rent to a bag
containing contraband and found in a bedroom closet).
McFadden, C J, and McMillian, P J, concur