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ROWER v. THE STATE.
S96A1068.
CARLEY, Justice.
Double jeopardy; constitutional question. Cobb Superior Court. Before Judge Kreeger.
After a jury trial, Curtis Alfonzo Rower was found guilty of kidnapping with bodily injury, armed robbery, and two counts of kidnapping. However, the jury was unable to agree on a verdict as to that count of the indictment which alternatively charged Rower with the malice or felony murder of Mrs. Sara Tokars. Upon Rower's motion, the trial court declared a mistrial as to that count. Subsequently, the State announced that it intended to seek a retrial of Rower on the murder count. Contending that the felony murder charge was predicated upon his commission of the kidnapping with bodily injury and the armed robbery, Rower filed a plea of former jeopardy. The trial court denied Rower's plea and he filed this direct appeal. See Patterson v. State, 248 Ga. 875 (287 SE2d 7) (1982).
The Supreme Court of the United States consistently has affirmed "the proposition that a trial court's declaration of a mistrial following a hung jury is not an event that terminates the original jeopardy to which [the defendant] was subjected." Richardson v. United States, 468 U. S. 317, 326 (104 SC 3081, 82 LE2d 242) (1984) (first trial ended in acquittal on one count and mistrial on two other counts). Likewise, this Court consistently has held that, under the double jeopardy provision in Georgia's constitution, "if a jury cannot agree upon a verdict in a criminal case, the trial judge may declare a mistrial, and the accused may then be tried a second time for the same offense." Cameron v. Caldwell, 232 Ga. 611, 612 (208 SE2d 441) (1974). Accordingly, where, as here, the State seeks to prosecute a defendant for two offenses in a single prosecution, "one of which is included in the other, and the defendant receives a mistrial on the greater offense, the remaining conviction of the lesser offense does not bar retrial of the greater offense." Bell v. State, 249 Ga. 644, 647 (3) (292 SE2d 402) (1982). See also State v. LeMay, 186 Ga. App. 146 (1) (367 SE2d 61) (1988).
The case law from around the country is completely in line with this principle that a retrial on a greater, inclusive offense, following a declaration of mistrial because of a hung jury, is not barred by double jeopardy principles notwithstanding the fact that a guilty verdict was accepted and a sentence imposed with respect to a lesser, included offense.
Mauk v. State, 605 A2d 157, 170-171 (Md. App. 1992). See, e.g., State v. Crago, 639 NE2d 801 (Ohio App. 1994); People v. Gonzalez, 496 NW2d 312 (Mich. App. 1992). Compare People v. Fields, 52 Cal. Rptr. 2d 282 (Cal. 1996) (decided wholly on state statutory, rather than federal constitutional, grounds). Under these circumstances, neither the bar against multiple convictions nor the bar against successive prosecutions is implicated. Keener v. State, 238 Ga. 7 (230 SE2d 846) (1976); Mauk v. State, supra.
Accordingly, the trial court did not err in denying Rower's plea of former jeopardy.
Thomas J. Charron, District Attorney, Debra H. Bernes, Nancy I. Jordan, Jack E. Mallard, Russell J. Parker, Assistant District Attorneys, Michael J. Bowers, Attorney General, for appellee.
Edwin Marger, Elizabeth A. Schoeff, David M. Simpson, Michael J. Puglise, for appellant.
DECIDED JULY 15, 1996.
Thursday May 21 06:14 EDT


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