Randolph Superior Court convicted the defendant of murder, aggravated assault, third degree child cruelty, and related offenses when he shot his girlfriend to death as members of her family watched. The defendant felt that his counsel did not provide effective service during the trial, prompting Georgia’s Supreme Court to review the attorney’s performance.
The Supreme Court assessed the defendant’s claims and began dispelling them. The defendant stated that his counsel did not provide an expert witness to support an insanity defense, but the Court determined through the attorney’s testimony that the possibility was discussed with the defendant and his family. They ultimately decided against the expert because of the costs associated with one. The defendant argued that his counsel should have aggressively pursued an expert witness, but the defendant also was unable to offer any expert witness to the Court to support his claim further, which would have demonstrated that a witness’s claims would have impacted the outcome.
The defendant also believed that the trial court should have suppressed comments made while he was hospitalized after the incident, but the Supreme Court discovered that those comments were deemed acceptable because he waived his Miranda rights. The defendant’s attending nurse claimed that he was “fine” to converse with police although he had been given a mild sedative. The officer that spoke with him testified that he seemed coherent and voluntarily provided his statement.
The Supreme Court supported the trial court’s convictions and showed that the defendant’s counsel was not ineffective.