Articles Posted in Georgia Supreme Court

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Defendant was indicted in superior court for armed robbery and other offenses even though he was 16 years old at the time of the alleged crimes. Defendant moved to transfer the case to juvenile court. Although the superior court found that no money was actually physically removed from the cash register, the trial court denied the motion to transfer, concluding that a taking and thus an armed robbery had occurred. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The court held that the Court of Appeals correctly affirmed the superior court's denial of the motion to transfer where the single act of pulling a cash drawer out from the register constituted the requisite change of location. View "Gutierrez, et al. v. Holder, Jr." on Justia Law

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Appellant, a 15-year-old, was convicted of murdering her mother and sentenced to life imprisonment plus a consecutive five-year term for firearm possession. At issue was whether the trial court committed reversible error by allowing the State to introduce, over defense counsel's objections, various items of evidence seized from appellant's bedroom during the police investigation, including photographs of her with dyed black hair and dark make-up; a document bearing the words of a "curse;" and seven different inscriptions of song lyrics and quotations attributed to various singers and other artists bearing themes of anguish, enslavement, atheism, and violence. The court held that the evidence was improper prejudicial character evidence where the nature of the evidence was highly inflammatory and evidence of appellant's guilt was entirely circumstantial and not overwhelming. Accordingly, the court could not say that it was highly probable that the error did not contribute to the jury's verdict and therefore, reversed appellant's conviction.