Chatham Superior Court convicted a defendant of malice murder and other offenses after he beat his wife to death. The defendant appealed, claiming that the trial court made several mistakes.
Georgia’s Supreme Court examined his case and showed that the trial court permitted the testimony of the defendant’s prior acts of domestic violence committed against his wife. The New Evidence code applied in his case, so the trial court did not err in allowing the testimony. The trial court also allowed evidence under the new residual hearsay provision, which the Supreme Court concluded that any error in its admission did not “seriously affect the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings.” The trial court, according to the defendant, erred in explaining to potential jurors that he was charged with the murder of his wife. His marital status was in dispute and an element that prosecution had to prove. The Court determined that the judge was describing the situation and sorting through prospects to decide possible bias created by media coverage.
The Supreme Court determined that the evidence supported the defendant’s convictions and agreed with the trial court.