Williams v. State, 012121 GACA, A20A2092

Docket NºA20A2092
Opinion JudgeMERCIER, JUDGE.
AttorneyAppellant: Ms Cara Clark Appellee: Mr. Donald R. Donovan Appellee: Mr. Anthony Brett Williams
Judge PanelMILLER, P. J., MERCIER, J., and SENIOR APPELLATE JUDGE PHIPPS Miller, P. J., and Senior Appellate Judge Herbrt E. Phipps,, concur.
Case DateJanuary 21, 2021
CourtCourt of Appeals of Georgia




No. A20A2092

Court of Appeals of Georgia, Second Division

January 21, 2021

Superior Court Paulding County Case Number: 17CR000904 Hon. DEAN C. BUCCI, Judge Appealed Order: June 25, 2020

Appellant: Ms Cara Clark

Appellee: Mr. Donald R. Donovan

Appellee: Mr. Anthony Brett Williams



Following a jury trial, Barry Williams was convicted of two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and one count each of reckless driving, obstruction of an officer, driving without a license, speeding, operating an unregistered vehicle, failure to maintain lane, driving without proof of insurance, failure to stop at a stop sign, and a turn signal violation. Williams filed a motion for new trial, which the trial court denied. He appeals, claiming that the trial court plainly erred by allowing the arresting officer to testify about alleged hearsay and by denying his motion in limine regarding the State's unrebutted evidence at trial. Finding no reversible error, we affirm.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, the evidence presented at trial revealed the following. See Gates v. State, 298 Ga. 324, 325 (1) (781 S.E.2d 772) (2016). On April 19, 2017, a deputy with the Paulding County sheriff's office conducted zone patrolling for speeding vehicles in a marked police vehicle. The sheriff's office had received "several complaints in reference to speeding vehicles and speeding motorcycles" in the area. As the deputy was conducting a zone patrol, he heard a motorcycle approaching at a high rate of speed, and he observed that the motorcycle did not have a license plate, so he attempted to complete a traffic stop. A video recording of the deputy's encounter with the motorcyclist was played for the jury.

The motorcyclist sped past the deputy, turned into a neighborhood, performed an u-turn to face the deputy and slowed to a stop. While facing the deputy, the motorcyclist pushed up his helmet visor and "waived to [the deputy] like come on." The motorcyclist then drove away very quickly, and the deputy testified that he failed to use a turn signal, failed to maintain a lane, and failed to stop at a stop sign. Based on the deputy's training and experience, he estimated that the motorcyclist drove in excess of 110 miles per hour. After speeding away for approximately one minute, the motorcyclist slammed on his brakes, "slid[] off into [a] ditch[, ] . . . laid the [motorcycle] over and jumped off and began running" into the woods. The deputy did not give chase on foot because he believed it was not safe to follow the suspect into the woods by himself and he knew the identity of driver. As the motorcyclist ran away, the deputy yelled, "I know who you are! I got you!" He then radioed into the sheriffs's office dispatch and reported that the motorcyclist had escaped on foot and provided the direction where the suspect was traveling. The deputy described the motorcyclist's appearance to dispatch and said "I know who he is. . . name's Barry Williams." The deputy testified that he knew Williams because Williams "and [the deputy's] sister have children together."

Following the chase, the deputy learned that Williams did not have a motorcycle driver's license or a motorcycle driver's permit, that the motorcycle was not registered to Williams, and there was no valid insurance for the motorcycle.

This appeal follows the denial of Williams's motion for new trial.1

1. Williams claims that the trial court committed plain error when it allowed the deputy to testify that he had "previous intel" regarding the identity of the motorcyclist. Specifically, when the deputy was asked during the State's direct...

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