Cherokee Superior Court convicted a man of child molestation and enticing a child for indecent purposes. The defendant requested a new trial, asserting that the state failed to reveal exculpatory information regarding an exchange between police and a confidential informant. He also felt that his counsel failed to object to his interview with the police in which he agreed to a polygraph test and was falsely labeled a felon from a prior charge. The trial court denied his motion, prompting the defendant to appeal.
Georgia’s Court of Appeals reviewed the case, noting that both of the defendant’s claims were valid. The cumulative evidence, however, supported his convictions, regardless of the missteps made. The informant did receive a sentence reduction, but some of the jurors questioned his credibility, so his testimony had little impact. The defendant also successfully proved that he had not been convicted of a previous felony, so the officer’s description was unjustified. The Court determined that “the cumulative effect of any such deficiencies did not create a reasonable likelihood that the outcome of the trial would have been different but for any deficient performance.”
Because the defendant was unable to show that his claims would have altered the convictions, the Appeals Court agreed with the trial court’s judgment.