Dunn v. State
Court of Appeals of Georgia
March 3, 2014, Decided
[*888] [**18] McFadden, Judge.
After a nonjury trial, Charles Dunn was convicted of battery under the Family Violence Act, and the trial court imposed a sentence of 12 months probation. Dunn appeals, enumerating that the trial court was biased against him, improperly curtailed his right to cross-examine witnesses, and erroneously questioned witnesses. However, Dunn failed to preserve any of these issues for appellate review, and even if he had, he has failed to show reversible error. Accordingly, we affirm.
1. Judicial bias.
GA(1)(1) Dunn claims that the trial judge was not impartial based on two comments he made before the trial, one a reference to a prior case in which the judge had found Dunn guilty of an offense and the other a statement that during a bench trial the judge would “hear the evidence and give it my best shot.” However, Dunn never objected to the comments or moved for recusal, and by failing to do so he “waived any objection to the judge's presiding in his case. [Cit.]” Parker v. State, 226 Ga. App. 462, 466 (8) (b) (486 SE2d 687) (1997). See Lacy v. Lacy, 320 Ga. App. 739, 744 (4) (740 SE2d 695) (2013) (issues [***2] regarding trial court's alleged bias not preserved for appellate review where there was no motion for recusal or mistrial on those grounds). Moreover, even if Dunn had timely raised the issue of bias, it provides no grounds for reversal. It is clear from a review of the transcript that after Dunn had indicated a desire to proceed pro se with a bench trial, the trial court's comments were merely part of its attempt to ensure that he understood his rights and the risks of proceeding in a bench trial without an attorney. Thus, “we find no merit to [Dunn's] contention of unfairness or lack of impartiality based on the trial court's comments.” Brunson v. State, 293 Ga. 226, 228 (3) (744 SE2d 695) (2013).
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325 Ga. App. 888 *; 756 S.E.2d 17 **; 2014 Ga. App. LEXIS 97 ***; 2014 Fulton County D. Rep. 485; 2014 WL 804060
DUNN v. THE STATE.
Prior History: Battery. Bibb State Court. Before Judge Adams.
Disposition: [***1] Judgment affirmed.
witnesses, trial court, questioning, bench trial, cross-examine, acquiesced, waived, bias, trial court's comment, appellate review, interrogating, enumerating, curtailed, impartial, comments, objected, grounds, recusal