Helton v. State, A94A2326

Citation216 Ga.App. 748,455 S.E.2d 848
Decision Date17 March 1995
Docket NumberNo. A94A2326,A94A2326
PartiesHELTON v. The STATE.
CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)

David L. Whitman, Lawrenceville, for appellant.

Daniel J. Porter, Dist. Atty., and Nancy J. Dupree, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee.

RUFFIN, Judge.

In two trials Timothy Helton was convicted by a jury of five counts of reckless conduct and one count of simple battery. He appeals from the trial court's denial of his consolidated motion for new trial.

Prior to being charged with the offenses in this case, Helton was incarcerated at the Jackson County Correctional Institute. While on a work detail, Helton escaped in a prison pickup truck. Shortly thereafter, a Jackson County sheriff's deputy spotted Helton driving south on Interstate 85, turned on his blue lights and siren, and began pursuing the truck. The sheriff testified that Helton was driving at approximately 90 mph and was passing traffic by driving in the median strip and emergency lane. Other officers joined the pursuit and before Helton stopped several miles later, he hit three patrol cars, and four civilian cars.

Although Helton does not dispute the facts above, he asserted as his sole defense in both trials that the collisions were accidents and on appeal contends that the trial court erred in failing to charge the jury on this defense. OCGA § 16-2-2 provides that "[a] person shall not be found guilty of any crime committed by misfortune or accident where it satisfactorily appears there was no criminal scheme or undertaking, intention, or criminal negligence." (Emphasis supplied.) " 'Criminal negligence as used in the statutes of this State means not merely such negligence as might be the foundation of a damage suit, but reckless and wanton negligence and of such a character as to show an utter disregard for the safety of others who might reasonably be expected to be injured thereby.' [Cit.]" Keye v. State, 136 Ga.App. 707, 708(1), 222 S.E.2d 172 (1975).

Helton's "own testimony belies his argument that failure to charge on accident is error in this case." Gaston v. State, 209 Ga.App. 477(1), 433 S.E.2d 306 (1993). During the second trial, Helton testified that he "was speeding down the highway, and ... dodging traffic. [He] was not trying to hit anybody intentionally, but there was a lot of traffic on the highway." He further testified that he "cared about people getting hit, but some people's going to get hit when you're speeding down the highway and they're so many people around you." Even by Helton's...

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10 cases
  • Lauderback v. State
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • March 21, 2013
    ...occurs as the defendant is driving recklessly. Black v. State, 222 Ga.App. 80, 81–82(2), 473 S.E.2d 186 (1996); Helton v. State, 216 Ga.App. 748, 748–749, 455 S.E.2d 848 (1995) (defendant who was driving recklessly to evade police was not entitled to a charge on accident).Dryden v. State, 3......
  • Chapman v. State
    • United States
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • February 5, 1996
    ...an utter disregard for the safety of others who might reasonably be expected to be injured thereby.' [Cit.]" [Cit.] Helton v. State, 216 Ga.App. 748, 455 S.E.2d 848 (1995). 6. We have carefully reviewed Chapman's remaining enumerations of error and find them to be without merit. Judgment af......
  • Lister v. Scriver
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • March 17, 1995
    ... ... See State Farm Fire, etc., Co. v. Fordham, 148 Ga.App. 48, 50(1), 51, 250 S.E.2d 843 ...         (b) ... verdict for either party, this first grant of a new trial will not be disturbed on appeal.' Helton v. Zellmer, 238 Ga. 735, 736 (235 SE2d 35) (1977)." Hicks v. American Interstate Ins. Co. of Ga., ... ...
  • Brown v. State
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • November 8, 2013
    ...832, 837(2), 608 S.E.2d 300 (2004).9 Burden v. State, 187 Ga.App. 778, 779(1), 371 S.E.2d 410 (1988).10 See Helton v. State, 216 Ga.App. 748, 749, 455 S.E.2d 848 (1995) (upholding conviction of defendant who claimed accident when he hit various cars while attempting to evade police). "Every......
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