Cobb Superior Court found a defendant guilty of armed robbery and denied him his motion for a new trial. The defendant believed that the trial court mistakenly allowed the prosecution to use recorded phone calls he made while in jail against him and incorrectly sentenced him as a recidivist. The defendant also found fault with his trial counsel regarding the recidivist sentencing.
Georgia’s Court of Appeals examined the case, noting that the “probative value of the recorded telephone calls was substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.” The Court also demonstrated that the trial court sentenced him as a recidivist correctly because of a crime the defendant committed as a teenager while in Michigan. Because of this finding, the Court stated that if the defendant’s attorney had objected to the sentencing as the defendant claimed was necessary, then the objection would have been meritless.
The defendant claimed that his attorney also failed to subpoena eyewitnesses and bungled a detective’s questioning. The attorney explained to the Appeals Court that he assessed witness statements and found none that were useable in the defense of his client. The Court showed that the detective’s testimony did not “impermissibly bolster a witness’s credibility,” in spite of the defendant assertions otherwise. The defendant felt that his attorney did not question the detective sufficiently nor did the attorney object to or move to strike the detective’s testimony.
The Appeals Court upheld the trial court’s ruling and found the defense counsel adequate in his performance.