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Burglary. Gwinnett Superior Court. Before Judge Stark.
Appellant was convicted of aggravated assault, thirteen counts of burglary, misdemeanor theft by receiving, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime, attempted burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Hockman appeals.
1. In his first two enumerations of error appellant contends the evidence was not sufficient to support his conviction in twelve of the thirteen burglaries, and thus, it was error to deny his motion for a directed verdict of acquittal as to those charges. Stated briefly, the evidence disclosed that during the period from August 5 to September 8, 1986, the homes of the victims in this case were burglarized. In each case the burglary occurred during the daytime while the occupants were absent, and entry was usually gained by breaking out a window, breaking out a window in a door, or breaking down the door itself. In each case the entire home was completely ransacked, and the items taken were similar, such as VCR's, stereos and jewelry. In every case the burglar took pillow cases, apparently used to carry the stolen goods.
We find the evidence sufficient to meet the standard of proof required by Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U. S. 307 (99 SC 2781, 61 LE2d 560). Accordingly, it was not error to deny appellant's motion for a directed verdict of acquittal. Eaton v. State, 184 Ga. App. 645, 647 (3) (362 SE2d 375) (1987).
2. Appellant alleges error in the trial court's charge that the jury could infer that the operator of a motor vehicle is in possession of all property in the motor vehicle. This allegation is without merit. The court did not charge the jury that it could infer that the operator of a motor vehicle was in possession of all the property in the vehicle. Rather, the court charged the jury that if it found that a person was the operator of a motor vehicle the jury would be permitted, but not required, to infer that such person was in possession of all the property in the motor vehicle. The court also charged that this was a rebuttable inference.
Because appellant was the driver of the van in which the stolen goods were found, an inference was authorized that he was in possession of the stolen goods. Robinson v. State, 175 Ga. App. 769, 772 (2) (334 SE2d 358) (1985); Howard v. State, 185 Ga. App. 215, 216 (2) (363 SE2d 621) (1987). Thus, the court's charge was a correct statement of the law under the evidence presented, and there was no error in the charge. Id.
Thomas C. Lawler III, District Attorney, Phil Wiley, Assistant District Attorney, for appellee.
Samuel H. Harrison, for appellant.
Thursday May 21 12:28 EDT

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