Pursuant to a multi-count indictment, defendant was charged with selling cocaine, in violation of OCGA 16-13-30
(b), on four occasions. Although defendant had not been convicted previously of violating OCGA 16-13-30
(b), the State gave defendant pre-trial notice that it would seek a life sentence pursuant to OCGA 16-13-30
(d) "in the event of a conviction on a second count of Sale of Cocaine. . . ." Defendant was convicted upon all four counts of the indictment and the trial court imposed life sentences upon the second, third and fourth counts. Defendant appeals, contending the trial court erred in imposing life sentences pursuant to OCGA 16-13-30
(d) in the absence of a prior conviction for a violation of OCGA 16-13-30
This case is controlled by State v. Sears, 202 Ga. App. 352
, 354 (8) (414 SE2d 494
), in which this Court held that in order for the imposition of a life sentence to be mandatory pursuant to OCGA 16-13-30
(d), a defendant must have been convicted of violating OCGA 16-13-30
(b) prior to his instant trial for violating OCGA 16-13-30
(b). It follows that the trial court erred in imposing life sentences upon counts two, three and four of the indictment and defendant must be resentenced.
Michael C. Eubanks, District Attorney, J. Wade Padgett, Richard E. Thomas, Assistant District Attorneys, for appellee.