Appeals / Reversals

State v. Kelly Marlow, Cherokee County, Indictment No. 14CR0321;

Marlow v. State,, Court of Appeals Case No. A16A0877
Mr. Steel argued on direct appeal that under the Rule of Lenity, Ms. Marlow could only be sentenced for misdemeanors. The Appellate Court agreed with his argument and all felony convictions were vacated.

State v. Sims, S14A1657 (February 2, 2015)
Mr. Steel was successful in persuading the Supreme Court that Mr. Sims’ trial and conviction for murder was unfair due to the improper comments on Mr. Sims’ silence by the state prosecutor. Mr. Sims’ conviction and life sentence were reversed.

Nejad v. McLaughlin, Case No. 1:12-cv-1502 (United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia) (January 13, 2015)
In a stunning Order issued by the federal court, Mr. Steel won a grant of a Writ of Habeas Corpus for his client whom he had been representing on appeal for 9 years. The Court agreed with Mr. Steel’s arguments and reversed the Supreme Court of Georgia which had affirmed Mr. Nejad’s conviction in 2010.

State v. Chambers, 321 Ga. App. 512; 739 S.E.2d 513 (2013)
Mr. Chambers’ conviction for voluntary manslaughter was reversed on the basis of juror misconduct after Mr. Steel properly framed and zealously presented the issue to the Court of Appeals.

State v. Osborne, 310 Ga. App. 856, 714 S.E.2d 406 (2011)
Mr. Steel successfully argued that Mr. Osborne’s convictions and sentences should be reversed because jury selection was improperly conducted outside of the courthouse over Mr. Osborne’s objection. The Court of Appeals of Georgia agreed and reversed Mr. Osborne’s convictions and sentences and ordered a new trial.

State v. Lampl, 325 Ga.App. 344, 750 S.E.2d 685 (2013)
Mr. Steel successfully persuaded the trial court and the Court of Appeals that Mr. Lampl’s statements before a special purpose grand jury should be suppressed because the special purpose grand jury did not have the authority to investigate or compel any evidence from Mr. Lampl.

State v. Roesser, 294 Ga. 295, 751 S.E.2d 297 (2013)
Gwinnett County Superior Court Case No. 07-02406-7
Mr. Steel was retained after Mr. Roesser had been convicted of Murder, Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime. Mr. Steel filed a Motion for New Trial and persuaded the trial court to grant a new trial. Mr. Steel was then hired to represent Mr. Roesser at retrial. At the retrial, Mr. Steel convinced a jury to acquit his client on all indicted offenses. However, the jury hung 11-1 in favor of acquittal on the unindicted (lesser-included) offense of voluntary manslaughter. Mr. Steel then persuaded the Supreme Court of Georgia that Mr. Roesser’s retrial on voluntary manslaughter would be barred under the theory of double jeopardy.

State v. Powers, 309 Ga. App. 262; 709 S.E.2d 821 (2011)
Mr. Steel succeeded by arguing on appeal that the State failed to prove venue beyond a reasonable doubt.  The Court of Appeals of Georgia reversed Mr. Powers’ conviction on child molestation.

State v. Kirt, 309 Ga. App. 227; 709 S.E.2d 840 (2011)
Mr.  Steel was able to reverse convictions and sentences on kidnapping and multiple counts of possession of weapon during the commission of a several crimes.

Cooke v. State, 300 Ga. App. 411; 685 S.E.2d 405 (2009)
Mr. Steel successfully persuaded the Supreme Court that the Court of Appeals’ had erred in its analysis. Thus, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and ordered the dismissal of indictments pending against Mr. Steel’s lawyer-client.

Presley v. Georgia, 130 S.Ct. 721, 175 L.Ed.2d 675 (2010)
Mr. Steel was the author of the Amicus Curiae Brief filed on behalf of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The United States Supreme Court reversed Presley’s conviction.

Waldrop v. State, 300 Ga. App. 281, 684 S.E.2d 417 (2009)
Steel won a reversal of his client’s burglary conviction by arguing that the trial court erred in failing to properly charge the jury on a lesser included offense.

Reynolds v. State, 300 Ga. App. 353, 685 S.E. 2d 346 (2009)
After changing the law in the Supreme Court and winning a remand to the Court of Appeals, Steel won a reversal of Reynolds’ conviction in the Court of Appeals.

Reynolds v. State, 285 Ga. 70, 673 S.E.2d 854 (2009)
The Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the Georgia Court of Appeals and held that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the a comment in the prosecutor’s closing argument on Mr. Reynolds’ pre-arrest silence. Steel persuaded the High Court that a case decided in 2001 was done so in error, and the Court agreed, reversing Reynolds’ aggravated battery conviction. The case was then remanded to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings.

Bass v. State, 285 Ga. 89, 674 S.E.2d 55 (2009)
After the Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions of Bass, Steel took the case to the Supreme Court of Georgia where Bass’ arson and robbery convictions were reversed. The issue which prevailed in the High Court was the prejudice to Bass when the testifying sheriff took over as bailiff to the jury.

Shelnutt v. State, 289 Ga. App. 528, 657 S.E.2d 611 (2008)
Shelnutt’s conviction for Arson in the first degree was reversed after Steel persuasively argued in the Georgia Court of Appeals that the Bill of Indictment charged the crime erroneously.

State v. Langlands, 280 Ga. 799, 633 S.E.2d 537 (2006)
Mr. Steel reversed the convictions for malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault by bringing to the trial court witnesses who were beaten by the alleged victim and Mr. Langlands’ defense at trial was self-defense. Mr. Steel then prevailed on appeal in reversing Mr. Langlands’ remaining firearms convictions.

Goldstein v. State, 283 Ga. App. 1, 640 S.E.2d 599 (2006)
Mr. Steel prevailed in reversing Mr. Goldstein’s convictions of child molestation and aggravated sexual battery based upon ineffective assistance of counsel as Mr. Goldstein’s trial counsel failed to properly investigate prior false allegations of the alleged victim and failed to present expert medical and psychological testimony to challenge the position of the State’s expert witness.

Hardeman v. State, 280 Ga. App. 168, 633 S.E.2d 595 (2006)
Mr. Steel won a reversal of the trial court’s denial of a motion to dismiss the indictment for violating his client’s constitutional right to a speedy trial.

Sammons v. State, 279 Ga. 386, 612 S.E.2d 785 (2005)
Mr. Steel reversed Malice Murder and other felony charges against his client based on the trial court’s dismissal of a petit juror without Ms. Sammons’ presence.

Edwards v. State, 272 Ga. App. 540, 612 S.E.2d 868 (2005)
Mr. Steel successfully reversed the conviction of involuntary manslaughter as the prosecution failed to prove that Ms. Edwards had any significant contact with the infant victim.

Tompkins v. State, 278 Ga. 857, 607 S.E.2d 891 (2005)
Mr. Steel successfully persuaded the Georgia Supreme Court to reverse part of the Court of Appeals of Georgia decision, concerning the burden of proof at a bench trial.

Tompkins v. State, 265 Ga. App. 760, 595 S.E.2d 599 (2004)
The Court of Appeals reversed Tompkins’ child molestation convictions and by agreeing with Mr. Steel’s argument that the trial court erred in determining the applicable Statute of Limitations.

State v. LeJeune, 276 Ga. 179, 576 S.E.2d 888 (2003)
In one of the country’s only cases to rope in the automobile exception to the warrant requirement, Mr. Steel suppressed all physical evidence in prosecution’s possession in a death penalty case.

Carlisle v. State, 277 Ga. 99, 586 S.E.2d 240 (2003)
The Supreme Court in Georgia held for the first time that when criminal charges are nolle prossed, and the term of court had expired, the trial court had no jurisdiction to try Ms. Carlisle on previously nolle prossed counts of the Bill of Indictment.

Dill v. State, 277 Ga. 150, 587 S.E.2d 56 (2003)
Reversing Dill’s convictions for two (2) murders, and five (5) other serious felony counts, the Supreme Court of Georgia found that the trial court had failed to properly re-charge the jury.

Kirkland v. State, 274 Ga. 778, 560 S.E.2d 6 (2002)
The Supreme Court of Georgia reversed Kirkland’s convictions and sentences after Mr. Steel successfully argued that the inclusion of jurors on Kirkland’s jury who were stockholders of The Home Depot, Inc. was error since Kirkland was alleged to have committed burglary against The Home Depot store. This holding has revitalized Georgia law which originated in the 1800's and has not been cited since.

Summage v. State, 248 Ga. App. 559, 546 S.E.2d 910 (2001)
Mr. Steel reversed Summage’s child molestation conviction because trial court allowed the petit jury to replay the seven (7) year old victim’s videotaped interview in the jury room during deliberations.

State v. Dorsey, 251 Ga. App. 788, 555 S.E.2d 141 (2001)
Mr. Steel successfully argued to the trial court to quash Dorsey’s first, second and third indictments for the offense of vehicular homicide. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s order to quash, thus barring the State from prosecuting Dorsey for this offense pursuant to O.C.G.A. §17-7-53.1.

Jones v. State, 272 Ga. 900, 537 S.E.2d 80 (2000)
The Georgia Supreme Court reversed its long standing rule that slight evidence of venue satisfied the State’s burden of proof. In reversing Jones’ double murder convictions, the Supreme Court established the new rule that venue must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Buice v. State, 272 Ga. 323, 528 S.E.2d 788 (2000)
New law was created by Georgia’s Supreme Court concerning once an Order of nolle prosse entered, it could only be vacated in same term of court if prosecution demonstrates a meritorious reason and no prejudice to the accused.

Pennie v. State, 271 Ga 419, 520 SE 2d 448 (1999)
The Georgia Supreme Court reversed Ms. Pennie’s murder conviction because her constitutional rights were violated when certain communications with a juror took place outside Ms. Pennie’s presence and in the absence of a waiver.

Calbreath v. State, 235 Ga App 638, 510 S.E.2d 145 (1998)
The Georgia Court of Appeals accepted Mr. Steel’s position and changed the law, holding that all offenses of possession of less than one ounce of marijuana are to be sentenced and treated as misdemeanors.

Dinning v. State, 266 Ga. 694, 470 S.E.2d 431 (1996)
Mr. Steel successfully persuaded the Georgia Supreme Court to overturn a 1993 double murder conviction and grant Jack Dinning a new trial based on illegally suppressed deals with cooperating witnesses.

Pearson v. State, 216 Ga. App. 333, 454 S.E.2d 205 (1995)
Mr. Steel successfully argued that Mr. Pearson’s conviction for Armed Robbery must be reversed because the trial counsel failed to request a jury instruction on the lesser included offense.

Marion v. State, 206 Ga. App. 159, 424 S.E.2d 838 (1992)
Mr. Steel reversed the child molestation convictions when he successfully argued that the trial court erred when it excluded evidence of prior molestation of the alleged victim by someone else.



The following cases were won by Mr. Steel after he filed and argued the Motion for New Trial:

State v. Pamela Ballin, Dekalb County Superior Court, Indictment No. 13-CR-3752-09 (2016)
Mr. Steel was hired after Ms. Ballin had been convicted of Murder of her husband. Mr. Steel scrutinized the transcript in anticipation of the filing of a Motion for New Trial. Mr. Steel presented several meritorious arguments at the Motion for New Trial hearing which convinced Judge Flake to grant the Motion for New Trial, thus reversing Ms. Ballin’s convictions and sentences.

State v. Ryan Watkins, Rockdale County Superior Court, Indictment No. 2014 CR-1158 (2016)
After being convicted of multiple child sex offenses and sentenced to serve 20 years in prison, Mr. Watkins hired Mr. Steel as his appellate attorney. Mr. Steel identified and argued several issues to the trial court and prevailed at Mr. Watkins’ Motion for New Trial hearing. Mr. Steel was then hired to represent Mr. Watkins at re-trial and vigorously prepared from Mr. Watkins’ retrial, but was successful in getting a plea offer of 20 to serve 5 years in prison, credit for time served, which Mr. Watkins accepted, saving him 15 years in prison from his prior sentence.

State v. Martin Griffin, Appling County Superior Court, Indictment No. C08-5-46 (2014)
Mr. Steel was retained to represent Mr. Griffin after his conviction on Rape and sentence of twenty- five (25) years to serve in prison. At the Amended Motion for New Trial hearing, the prosecution conceded that the trial Judge committed reversible error by excusing a petit juror outside of the client’s presence. Thus, the Motion for New Trial was granted.

State v. Watwood, Fulton County Indictment 13SC118506 (2015)
Mr. Steel was retained to represent Mr. Watwood after he had proceeded to trial with different counsel and had been convicted of aggravated battery and sentenced to prison. Mr. Steel analyzed the record of the case and filed a Motion for New Trial. After the hearing on February 6, 2015, the Trial Court granted the Motion for New Trial, and Mr. Watwood was released from prison.

State v. Sims, Stephens County Indictment 2012-SUCR-072CC (2014)
Mr. Steel was retained to represent Mr. Sims after he had been convicted of murder and related offenses and sentenced to life in prison. Mr. Steel filed a Motion for New Trial, and after the hearing on the Motion, the Trial Court granted the Motion for New Trial on May 16, 2014.

State v. Roesser, Gwinnett County Indictment No. 07B-02406-7 (2010)
After filing a Motion for New Trial and arguing the issues in court, Mr. Steel persuaded the trial court that its jury instructions were erroneous and Mr. Roesser’s convictions and sentences were reversed and he was granted a new trial.

State v. Allen-Brown, Dekalb County Indictment No.08CR327706 (2010)
Following his murder conviction, Mr. Steel was hired to pursue all appellate rights. After the Motion for New Trial was argued, the Court recognized that error had been committed by limiting cross-examination

State v. Williams, Paulding County Indictment No. 06CR277 (2008)
Mr. Williams stood convicted of 2 counts of aggravated sodomy, 2 counts of child molestation and 1 count of aggravated child molestation and was in prison when he hired Mr. Steel to pursue his appellate remedies. Mr. Steel filed a Motion for New Trial which was granted, reversing all convictions and sentences on June 22, 2007. Thereafter, Mr. Steel secured a dismissal of all charges.

State v. Buggs, Fulton County Indictment No. 04SC21706 (2008)
Mr. Steel was retained to represent Mr. Buggs after he had been convicted of armed robbery and sentenced as a recidivist to life in prison. Mr. Steel filed a Motion for New Trial, and after the hearing on the Motion, the Court reversed the convictions and sentence, on February 6, 2008.

State v. Spencer, Fulton County Superior Court Case No. 04SC15324 (2004)
Mr. Steel reversed Mr. Spencer’s murder conviction by arguing that the trial court failed to give the petit jury an oath.

State v. Riley, Baldwin County Superior Court Case No. 02SC10042 (2002)
Mr. Steel reversed the convictions for more than twenty (20) counts of Armed Robbery and Kidnapping in the trial court.

Additionally, Colette Resnik Steel has prevailed in the following appeals:

Singleton v. State, 317 Ga. App. 637, 732 S.E.2d 312 (2012)
Mrs. Steel was successful in convincing the Court of Appeals that the trial court had improperly evaluated Mr. Singleton’s claims that he had been denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial. The Court of Appeals vacated the trial court’s order and sent the case back to the trial court.

State v. Virgil, 227 Ga. App. 96; 488 S.E.2d 694 (1997)
Mrs. Steel persuaded the Court of Appeals that her client’s conviction was illegal because the trial court filed to give the proper jury instruction.

State v. Washington, 226 Ga. App. 807; 487 S.E.2d 663 (1997)
Mrs. Steel successfully appealed the denial of her client’s motion for out of time appeal. Ultimately she prevailed, convincing the Court that the trial court had no jurisdiction to handle the charges against her client.