CURRY v. The STATE.
-- January 07, 2013
Following a bench trial, Labaron Curry appeals his convictions for two counts of felony murder and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, contending that the evidence was insufficient to support the verdict.1 For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.
In the light most favorable to the verdict, the record shows that, on June 2, 2007, a high school graduation party was held for Javier McIntosh at a rented clubhouse. Over the course of the evening, the crowd of partygoers swelled to approximately one hundred people. Near the end of the evening, a group of uninvited people arrived, and a fight started inside the clubhouse during which a number of people were cut with knives or razor blades. In reaction, the crowd began pushing out of the clubhouse into the parking lot. With his hair in dread locks and wearing a black shirt, Curry, whose right arm had been badly sliced, ran outside, took a position in front of the clubhouse, and began firing a .357 magnum revolver into the crowd. Yahshika Frye was shot in the neck and died at the scene. Molly Cohran was shot in the chest and later perished at the hospital. Several witnesses saw a black male with dreadlocks shooting, and some of them noticed that the shooter was bleeding from an open wound on his right hand. Curry later admitted to shooting into the crowd to frighten the group of men who had injured him. The murder weapon was recovered by police in a ditch with four spent shell casings inside its chamber.2 Projectiles recovered from Frye's body and from an area behind Cohran's body were determined to have been fired from the .357 revolver. In addition, Curry's blood was found on both the handle of the revolver and on the ground at a point where evidence indicated that the shooter had been standing.
In assessing this evidence, it must be remembered that
felony murder does not require proof of a criminal intent to murder. Flores v. State, 277 Ga. 780, 783(3), 596 S.E.2d 114 (2004). As to the aggravated assault, [Curry] was charged with assaulting [Frye and Cohran] with a deadly weapon, and the intent to injure is not an element of the charged offense[s]. Easley v. State, 266 Ga.App. 902, 905(4), 598 S.E.2d 554 (2004). The crime of aggravated assault, as alleged, is established by the reasonable apprehension of harm by the victim of an assault by a firearm rather than the assailant's intent to injure. Id. All that is required is that the assailant intend to commit the act which in fact places another in reasonable apprehension of injury, not a specific intent to cause such apprehension. Id.
Smith v. State, 280 Ga. 490, 491–492(1), 629 S.E.2d 816 (2006). The evidence in this case, including Curry's admission, was sufficient to enable a jury to determine that Curry was guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560 (1979).3
All the Justices concur.