Notable Cases (page 2)

State v. A.M. (Floyd County Superior Court, 1999)

The Defendant was indicted for rape, two counts of aggravated sodomy, and kidnapping. He was convicted of one count of anal sodomy as to a minor and was sentenced to 10 years without parole. The Defendant later retained Dwight L. Thomas, P.C. and a motion for new trial was filed, argued and granted. Thereafter, the Defendant’s conviction for aggravated sodomy was vacated and he was allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery, given time served, and released from custody in court. The Defendant was represented by Dwight L. Thomas.

State v. H. Brunson, (Dekalb County Superior Court, 1992)

The Defendant was charged with trafficking cocaine, trafficking heroin, gun charges and marijuana charges. The Defendant and his ex-girlfriend got into a domestic argument. The girlfriend left the home and took out a simple battery warrant two days later. She never returned to the home. Four months later, the police knocked on the door to serve the simple battery warrant and discovered a trafficking amount of cocaine in plain view, bagged up in 164 bags for sale. The police also found scales, several thousand dollars, weapons and drug paraphernalia. The Defendant was fifty-five years old and had served time for Federal and State drug trafficking convictions. The Defendant was on parole for heroin trafficking. For the charged offenses the Defendant faced a mandatory life sentence if convicted as charged. The State introduced evidence of the Defendant’s prior drug convictions. The Defendant did not testify at trial. The Defendant said he wanted to see a real jury trial because all of his prior convictions were guilty pleas. The police found two hits of heroin in the Defendant’s pocket. The defense argued that the other drugs could have belonged to the roommate who also lived there but was not home on the day of the arrest. The jury acquitted the Defendant of the trafficking charges and only found him guilty of possession of the heroin in his pockets (Now that was a win to the Defendant). The Defendant was represented by Dwight L. Thomas.

State v. C.S. (Dekalb Superior, 2002)

The defendant, a white male, was accused in 2001 of molesting the four – year – old foster child of two (2) prominent African-American Dekalb County Attorneys. The molestation was alleged to have occurred while the defendant was at a cookout at the Stone Mountain home of the attorneys as the child alleged the defendant took her for a walk to a vacant house next door. Several witnesses saw the defendant walk away with the child but testified the child seemed okay when she returned with the defendant. The child, upon her return, went inside the house and told the foster father (a criminal defense attorney) that the defendant had put his hands inside her panties and hurt her vagina. While out on bond the defendant was re-arrested and charged with six counts of child molestation in May 2002, for allegedly exposing his penis to three (3) African-American middle school girls in Dekalb County. The girls wrote down his tag number but gave conflicting descriptions. The defendant discharged his attorney of one and half years and handsomely retained Dwight L. Thomas, P.C. in December, 2002 knowing that he had a jury trial scheduled for December 9, 2002. Judge Becker refused to grant a continuance knowing the defendant had two (2) indictments. The State presented evidence of the “flashing” case as proof of intent in the 2001 molestation case. Dwight L. Thomas, P.C. prepared the case for trial in four (4) days and began the jury trial on December 9, 2002. The The jury comprised of mostly African-Americans came back with a not guilty verdict on all counts in less than thirty minutes. All of the jurors, both white and black, were impressed by the cross examination and closing argument of Attorney Thomas. Of course, they all wanted a business card for future reference, if needed. The defendant was represented by Attorneys Dwight L. Thomas and Dana Harrell.

State v. C. Fleming, Jr. (Henry County Superior Court, 1999)

Clarence Fleming, Jr. was arrested on March 19, 1999 and charged with murder and felony murder of his wife, Tracy Fleming. The Defendant reported her missing on March 12, 1999 and her body was discovered in a van in the back of a Stockbridge, Georgia hotel on March 15, 1999. She had been shot twice in the head with a .38 handgun. The evidence at trial showed that the Defendant was the last person with the victim on March 11, 1999. The evidence also showed that the Defendant and the victim had a troubled marriage with frequent arguments over financial matters. The Defendant’s ex-girlfriend (one of thirty state witnesses), who became pregnant by the Defendant and gave birth to the child while the Defendant was married to the victim, testified that the Defendant told her on many occasions how he was planning the perfect murder by killing his wife by strangulation or the use of a .38 handgun. The Defendant’s cellmate also testified that the Defendant confessed to him that he had killed his wife. A Henry County jury, composed of eight women and four men deliberated 10 hours and acquitted the Defendant of all charges. The Defendant was represented by Dwight L. Thomas and Dana Harrell

State v. Frank Williams (Georgia Supreme Court, 2002)

The Appellant was charged with trafficking cocaine in Fulton County Superior Court. The Appellant filed a direct appeal from an order overruling a plea in bar based on the alleged violation of the constitutional right to a speedy trial. The appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court granted certiorari. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and remanded the case to the Court of Appeals to hear the merits of the case. The Supreme Court reasoned that there is no difference between a constitutional speedy trial demand and a statutory one. Therefore, a defendant may directly appeal from the pre-trial denial of either a constitutional or statutory speedy trial claim. The Appellant was represented by Dwight L. Thomas and oral argument before the Georgia Supreme Court was conducted by Caprice R. Jenerson.

State v. Gwen Primrose, (Dekalb County Superior Court, 2000)

A Dekalb County vice detective (six months on the job) picked up a magazine titled “Excitement” while he was frequenting some strip clubs as part of his police status. The officer saw an ad for a Dekalb County lingerie shop known as Pillow Talk that advertised the sale of lingerie, adult novelties and adult video- tapes. The officer took county funds and made a purchase of a videotape entitled “My Baby Got Back,” Volume 12 from Pillow Talk and subsequently arrested the store owner and her sales clerk. The sales clerk pled guilty to Distribution of Obscene Material and the storeowner went to trial. The jury viewed the entire videotape for 2 hours, however, the videotape played for the jury was not the same tape as that bought by the officer and named in the warrant. The videotape played at trial was “My Baby Got Back,” Volume 17. The original tape was apparently lost (or adversely possessed) in the Solicitor’s Office between the suppression hearing and the date of the trial. The mistake was not brought to the attention of the Court until the entire videotape had been attentively viewed. A motion for directed verdict was made and granted. All jurors told the attorneys that such a prosecution was a waste of time and resources and a not guilty verdict was forthcoming. The defense did not have the opportunity to draw a distinction between the obscenity of television violence and sex between consenting adults; the latter whether seen or done, is absolutely pleasurable, constitutional, and legal. The Defendant was represented by Dwight L. Thomas and Jo Ann Fields.

State v. W. Hardy, (Dekalb County Superior Court, 2000)

The Defendant was charged with two (2) counts of aggravated assault, two (2) counts of false imprisonment, and one (1) count of burglary arising from a home invasion. The victims testified that three men forced their way into their home at gunpoint and pistol- whipped and robbed them. The victims testified that two men wore masks and the third man did not and that the third man was the Defendant. The victims testified to knowing the Defendant and his family and having gone to the Defendant’s home on many occasions and that the Defendant had been to their house in the past. The Defense argued that in the “hood” when a home invasion goes down all perpetrators have on masks and witnesses may be left alive, but if someone does not have on a mask then there are no witnesses left alive. In other words, the Defense suggested to the jury that the victims merely thought it was the Defendant but did not know for sure. The Defendant was acquitted for all counts. The Defendant was represented by Dwight L. Thomas and Cynthia Roseberry.

State v. J. H. (Dekalb Superior Court, 2002)

The defendant and his co-defendant were charged with rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation, and child molestation. The State alleged that a fourteen – year – old female victim had an allergic reaction to her medication and stumbled and fell in front of the defendant’s The victim’s girlfriend testified that when the victim fell down the co-defendant picked the victim up and took her into the defendant’s house. The victim testified that the defendant and co-defendant both had forcible and non-consensual intercourse with her (since she was fourteen she could not consent to sex). The DNA test result was positive for the co-defendant as to sexual activity and negative as to the defendant. The defendant put the victim outside his house semi-naked and called the police as he thought the victim was high on some bad drugs. After two (2) days of trial and total destruction of the credibility and believability of the State’s witnesses, the State moved to allow the defendant to plead to misdemeanor simple assault and twelve (12) months probation under the First Offender Act. The co-defendant, represented by the Public Defender, one (1) day later pled guilty to rape and was sentenced to the mandatory minimum ten (10) years without parole.

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