Two defendants appeared before Cherokee Superior Court, charged with making false statements to the police. Both claimed that the Cherokee County Schools superintendent “sped by them in an aggressive manner and came very close to them, leaving them feeling threatened.” They asserted this claim to the police, but a detective retrieved a surveillance video from a nearby business establishment. The defendants’ allegations were not consistent with the video’s content and as a result, the court convicted them for the felony offense of making false statements.
Georgia’s Court of Appeals examined the case and found that the evidence supported the jury’s decision. The defendants also contended that the trial court failed to give the jury a charge that they felt the jury needed, and they also held that the judge should have recused herself.
The Court agreed with the trial court in eliminating a that charge and determined that the trial judge had no reason to recuse herself. The Court did, however, return the case to the trial court for resentencing. Because the statutes were ambiguous, the Appeals Court explained that the ruling should favor the defendants, which could potentially result in a misdemeanor charge.