Dougherty Superior Court convicted a defendant of felony murder and the unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The defendant appealed, believing that the jury charge was erroneous and that the evidence was insufficient in determining his guilt.
Georgia’s Supreme Court reviewed the defendant’s claims and noted that the witness who testified against him regarding his guilt was also his accomplice; however, enough evidence remained that supported the witness’s testimony. As for the jury charge, the defendant pointed out that the trial court neglected to instruct the jury that the firearm had to be “within arm’s reach,” an element of the firearms possession charge. Although the trial court did not remind the jury of this point, it was included in the indictment, which was read to the jury and further explained by the court. The Supreme Court determined that the outcome would have remained the same, regardless of the omitted jury charge. The Court supported the trial court in the conviction of the defendant.