A Winder woman convicted of the May 2005 murder of her husband will remain in prison.
Diane Hogsed was found guilty in 2006 of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. She was sentenced to life in prison for shooting her unarmed husband during a dispute outside their Hancock Bridge Road home.
Hogsed appealed her sentence on the grounds that her personal journals, which were used against her during her trial, had been obtained outside the scope of a valid search warrant. Though the prosecution did not use the journals when presenting its case, the court allowed the state to introduce the documents during cross examination on matters raised by Hogsed during direct testimony.
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled June 1 that the trial court ruled appropriately in allowing the journals to be used during Hogsed’s trial.
Georgia law allows evidence not admissible in the State’s “case-in-chief” to be used for the limited purpose of impeaching a defendant.
During her testimony, Hogsed said “she loved the victim and that she was physically abused by him.”
The prosecution was subsequently allowed to use the journal to contradict this testimony. In the months before her husband’s murder, Hogsed wrote several journal entries referencing her desire to “kill Bill” (her husband). The prosecution questioned Hogsed regarding those entries as well as the lack of entries regarding the alleged abuse by her husband.
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that since the journals were used solely to impeach Hogsed’s testimony, the trial court did not err in admitting the evidence.