565 S.E.2d 810 (Ga. 2002), S02A0054, Scott v. State

Docket Nº:S02A0054.
Citation:565 S.E.2d 810, 275 Ga. 305
Opinion Judge:HINES, Justice
Party Name:SCOTT v. The STATE.
Attorney:Dennis J. Scott, pro se., J. Tom Morgan, Dist. Atty., Barbara B. Conroy, Robert M. Coker, Gregory K. Schwarz, Asst. Dist. Attys., Thurbert E. Baker, Atty. Gen., Tammie J. Philbrick, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee. Dennis J. Scott, pro se. J. Tom Morgan, District Attorney, Barbara B. Conroy, Robe...
Case Date:July 03, 2002
Court:Supreme Court of Georgia
 
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Page 810

565 S.E.2d 810 (Ga. 2002)

275 Ga. 305

SCOTT

v.

The STATE.

No. S02A0054.

Supreme Court of Georgia

July 3, 2002.

Page 811

Dennis J. Scott, pro se.

J. Tom Morgan, Dist. Atty., Barbara B. Conroy, Robert M. Coker, Gregory K. Schwarz, Asst. Dist. Attys., Thurbert E. [275 Ga. 309] Baker, Atty. Gen., Tammie J. Philbrick, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee.

HINES, Justice.

Dennis James Scott appeals from his convictions for malice murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm by a convicted

Page 812

felon, all in connection with the killing of Mildred Smith and the non-fatal shooting of Errol Peynado. 1 For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

Construed to support the verdicts, the evidence showed that at [275 Ga. 306] approximately 7:30 a.m. on July 20, 1998, Priester, a neighbor of Scott's, heard four gunshots, and told his wife to telephone the police. Priester emerged from his apartment when he realized that the man who was moaning in the breezeway was Peynado, another neighbor. Priester went to Peynado and found him bleeding from the head. Priester asked Peynado who had shot him, and Peynado said "he did," indicating Scott, who was standing nearby and holding a pistol. Scott admitted the shooting, stating that Peynado had threatened him and was "jigging at" Scott's girlfriend. Peynado denied this. Peynado testified that when he emerged from his apartment to go to work, Scott simultaneously emerged from his apartment directly across the breezeway. When Peynado turned to say good morning, Scott pointed a pistol at his head. Peynado heard a "pow," but remembers nothing else until Priester came to him. He testified that he had had virtually no contact with Scott previously, and none with Smith. Peynado was shot in the head, arm, and neck. Scott again told Priester that he had shot Peynado and that he "messed up."

When police officers arrived, Scott declared that he had shot Peynado and that there was another person's body inside his apartment. The police retrieved a fully-loaded pistol from the kitchen counter in Scott's apartment. Smith's body was on the bed in Scott's bedroom. She had been shot once with the barrel of the pistol pressed against her cheek, twice more in the head at close range, and once in the shoulder. Her death occurred the morning, afternoon, or early evening of the previous day. She had been lying on her back, with her head on the pillow, when shot. Bullets taken from Smith's body matched the pistol taken from Scott's kitchen.

Scott testified that: he had an alcohol problem; he and Smith had been drinking; he argued with Smith about her infidelity with Peynado; he began playing cards with Smith; and he remembered nothing else until he woke up on the couch in the living room, and found Smith dead on his bed. Scott was convinced that Peynado had killed Smith...

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