Willie Blackmon was on trial in Fulton Superior Court for two counts each of rape, aggravated child molestation, and aggravated child molestation against a minor child. During the trial, Mr. Blackmon’s counsel allowed witnesses to testify against him, discussing claims that the defendant allegedly made out of court. His counsel also permitted the victim’s mother to reflect on Mr. Blackmon’s veracity in her testimony. The attorney then let the trial court instruct the jury to reflect on prior consistent statements, including those listed previously. Mr. Blackmon felt that his counsel was ineffective during his trial and motioned for a new one; however, Fulton Superior Court denied him that motion.
The Court of Appeals agreed with Willie Blackmon upon reviewing his case. The Court determined that the attorney should have objected to the witnesses’ testimonies as hearsay and the mother’s opinions presented as facts. It also felt that the attorney should have objected to the trial court’s charge to the jury because what was presented as consistent statements was predominantly hearsay. The Court showed that Mr. Blackmon’s counsel was not only ineffective but prejudiced his case. In spite of his claims, the Court did not find Mr. Blackmon’s counsel lacking when she allowed testimony from the director of forensic services.
Although the Court of Appeals demonstrated that Mr. Blackmon’s counsel was lacking during his trial and subsequently reversed his convictions, it also found that he may be retried based upon the evidence.