James A. Parkerson was convicted of malice murder by the stabbing of Ira Morris and of theft by taking. 1
He appeals, and we affirm.
The main issue in this appeal is whether in a case where a defendant and co-indictee agree to the facts leading up to and following a crime, but identify the other as the actual perpetrator, the defendant's testimony serves as sufficient corroboration to satisfy OCGA 24-4-8
(requiring corroboration of an accomplice's testimony to sustain a felony conviction). We hold that under these circumstances the defendant's testimony provides sufficient corroboration of his identification and participation in the crime and meets the requirements of the statute. Accordingly, and because we find no merit to Parkerson's remaining enumerations of error, we affirm.
1. After reviewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the jury's determination of guilt, we conclude that a rational trier of fact could have found the defendant guilty of the crimes charged. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U. S. 307 (99 SC 2781, 61 LE2d 560) (1979).
2. Parkerson contends his conviction was based on the uncorroborated testimony of his co-indictee, Earl Thorpe 2
and therefore cannot stand under OCGA 24-4-8
. That Code section provides that the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice is insufficient to support a felony conviction. 3
Parkerson and Thorpe each testified at trial and their testimony regarding the events leading up to and following the murder was substantially the same. However, each accused the other of stabbing the victim to death.
Although Parkerson concedes that his own testimony and other evidence corroborate Thorpe's testimony in most details, he argues the state presented no evidence corroborating Thorpe's identification of Parkerson as the actual perpetrator. We have noted that the corroboration rule of OCGA 24-4-8
is made more stringent by the requirement, not contained in the statute, that the state must provide corroboration of an accomplice's testimony regarding the identification and participation of the defendant. 4
Contrary to Parkerson's argument, the State presented ample corroboration satisfying that requirement. The testimony of one accomplice can corroborate that of another. 5
Further, slight evidence of corroboration connecting the defendant with the crime satisfies the requirements of OCGA 24-4-8
and that evidence may be entirely circumstantial. 6
Also, evidence of the defendant's conduct before and after the crime may give rise to an inference that he participated in the crime. 7
Parkerson's own testimony -- placing himself at the scene and as a participant in disposing of some of the evidence, including the murder weapon in itself -- provides ample corroboration for Thorpe's testimony to support a conviction against Parkerson either as a party to the crimes or as an actual perpetrator in the murder. 8
3. Parkerson's remaining enumerations of error are without merit. 9
J. Brown Moseley, District Attorney, Michael J. Bowers, Attorney General, for appellee.