Court Opinions

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Recent opinions released by Georgia's Appellate courts
Bharadia v. State, S14G1149
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/2/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Extraordinary Motion for New Trial, Burglary, Aggravated Sodomy, Aggravated Sexual Battery
The trial court properly denied the defendant's extraordinary motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence, since he failed to show the essential requirement that the delay in obtaining the DNA identification evidence from gloves used during the crimes was not caused by a lack of due diligence.
Dailey v. State, S15A0587
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/2/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Jury Charges
The trial judge's comments to defense counsel in the jury's presence, although unnecessary, in no way constituted the type of direct comment on the substance or weight of the evidence that runs afoul of O.C.G.A. § 17-8-57.
Pena v. State, S15A0430
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/2/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Statement, Self-Defense, Jury Charges, Battered Person Syndrome, Jury Selection, Effective Assistance of Counsel
The evidence supported the defendant's convictions for malice murder and related crimes, as the jury was entitled to reject his self-defense claim.
Fleming v. State, S14G1811
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/2/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Drug Program, Plea Bargain, Sentencing
The defendant was not entitled to sentence credit for time she spent in a drug court program before she was terminated from the program for failure to comply with its terms, conditions and rules.
Eshleman v. Key, S14G1173
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/29/2015, 7/2/2015)
TORTS: Dog Bite, Negligence, Immunity
The defendant police officer/canine handler was entitled to official immunity in the plaintiff's negligence action after the officer's assigned canine escaped from a kennel at her home and attacked a child.
Morris v. State, S15A0488
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/1/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery, Firearms Offense, Recidivist
The trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow trial counsel to stipulate to the defendant's status as a convicted felon, since the defendant's prior convictions for aggravated assault and interference with government property were not of a "nature likely to inflame the passions of the jury," and the only evidence presented about the prior convictions was certified copies of the final dispositions.
Johnson v. Rogers, S15A0395
Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/29/2015, 7/1/2015)
TRUSTS AND ESTATES: Virtual Adoption
The doctrine of "virtual adoption" did not apply with regard to the decedent's grandniece, whom the decedent raised, because the decedent disposed of her entire estate by will and the intestacy of the adoptive parent is one of the elements required to prove virtual adoption.
Sims v. State, S15A0182
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/1/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Effective Assistance of Counsel, Statement
The evidence supported the defendant's convictions in connection with the death of his girlfriend's nearly 3-year-old son.
O'Connell v. State, S15A0344
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/1/2015)
CRIMINAL PRACTICE: Murder, Aggravated Assault, Jury Charges, Involuntary Manslaughter
The evidence supported the defendant's convictions for malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault after she and her adoptive sister strangled their adoptive mother to death.
Whatley v. State, S15A0032
Supreme Court of Georgia, Criminal Case (6/29/2015, 7/1/2015)
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Vagueness
The trial court properly denied the defendant's general demurrer, since she challenged O.C.G.A. § 16-13-43 subsection (a) (6) on its face and a facial challenge was not warranted.
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