Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Brewer v. The State, S17A0895
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/15/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for murder and related crimes after he fatally shot his cousin when the cousin confronted him about a $100 debt. 
Edwards v. The State, S17A0929
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/15/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
Although the evidence supported defendant's convictions for malice murder and other crimes in connection with the death of his 13-month old child, the Court partially vacated his sentence and remanded for resentencing, as the trial court made two merger errors.
Williams v. The State, S17A0954
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/15/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for malice murder and related offenses arising out of the beating death of his on-again, off-again girlfriend but the trial court erred in utilizing first offender pleas to sentence defendant as a recidivist under O.C.G.A. § 17-10-7 subsection (c), because first offender pleas are not a "conviction" as understood in the criminal code and, therefore, cannot be used as a conviction for recidivist sentencing purposes.
McCarthy v. the State, S17A0693
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/15/2017)
APPEALS:
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's request for an out-of-time appeal following his convictions for malice murder, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime, concealing the death of another and tampering with evidence, because he had asserted the same claims in earlier pleadings and those assertions were resolved adversely to his position.
Hourin v. The State, S17A0962
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/14/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to suppress based on its erroneous conclusion that officers announcing their presence while simultaneously entering defendant's medical clinic was sufficient to satisfy Georgia's knock-and-announce statute, O.C.G.A. § 17-5-27.
Keener v. The State, S17A0974
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/14/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence supported defendant's convictions for felony murder and two counts of aggravated battery and defendant failed to prove his ineffective assistance of counsel claim based on trial counsel's failure to impeach a witness with prior inconsistent statements. 
Tanner v. The State, S17A1024
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (8/28/2017, 9/14/2017)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE:
The evidence, including the victim's statement to his mother when he briefly awoke from a medically-induced coma, supported defendant's convictions for felony murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and attempt to purchase marijuana but the Court partially vacated his sentence based on a merger error. 
In The Matter of Fincourt Braxton Shelton, S17Y1780
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (8/28/2017, 9/14/2017)
LEGAL PROFESSION:
The Supreme Court suspended an attorney from the practice of law for four years, with conditions for reinstatement, as substantially similar reciprocal discipline following his suspension in Pennsylvania. 
In The Matter of Lakeisha Tennille Gantt., S17Y1811
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (8/28/2017, 9/13/2017)
LEGAL PROFESSION:
The Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for voluntary discipline and ordered that she receive a public reprimand for her admitted violation of Rules 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4 of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.
In The Matter of Cassandre M. Galette., S17Y1852
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (8/28/2017, 9/13/2017)
LEGAL PROFESSION:
The Supreme Court accepted an attorney's petition for voluntary surrender of her license to practice law based on her admitted violation of Rule 8.1 (a) of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct based on her providing false information to the Office of General Counsel during its investigation of a grievance that alleged charges against her.
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