Fulton Superior Court convicted Steven Regent of one count each of aggravated assault and aggravated battery, during which the defendant straddled his girlfriend and cut her throat with a knife while she fought against him, prompting him to slash her throat again. The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court’s decision.
The Supreme Court of Georgia, however, explained that the two criminal acts committed against the girlfriend should be merged into one charge under O.C.G.A. § 16-1-6 (2). While both slashes were done by the same knife wielded by the same person in a relatively short time frame, the slashes resulted in differing wounds, one of which was to a lesser degree than the other. The less harmful one should be construed as aggravated assault while the more harmful strike should be considered aggravated battery, the more severe offense. The Court stated that the assault charge should have been merged into the battery charge and remanded the case so that it could proceed in accordance with the Court’s ruling.