Attorney: Facebooking from court could influence trial outcome - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Attorney: Facebooking from court could influence trial outcome

"I'm gone y'all keep ur heads up..." he said, "I gotta wait and c how much time the judge gonna give he might let me go." (Source: Facebook) "I'm gone y'all keep ur heads up..." he said, "I gotta wait and c how much time the judge gonna give he might let me go." (Source: Facebook)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A District Attorney said he's concerned by the courthouse behavior of a defendant who shared updates to social media during his trial in Superior Court.

From the defense table, Cody Kalawaia posted a running commentary to Facebook while on trial for aggravated battery and obstruction of an officer.

As the final day of Cody Kalawaia's trial began Wednesday, he posted "Game Time" on his Facebook page.

He apparently had access to a cell phone or computer at his defense table, next to his two public defenders.

Later he posted, "Tired and Feeling Shaky."

"Well, his narrative of how things were going, I guess was interesting," said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.

But he said he also has concerns that social media in the courtroom could be used to influence a trial's outcome, including intimidating or briefing sequestered witnesses.

"In other words we don't want them to text what they should be saying just before they get into the courtroom," said Edwards.

During jury deliberations Kalawaia posted, "I'm ready to go home. I can't wait. We'll know soon."

He even answered several questions from followers.

But when the jury found him guilty, he posted, "Well, I'm going to jail."

He then shared a selfie while in handcuffs.

Noted defense attorney Pete Donaldson said this is the first time he's heard of a defendant posting on Facebook during a trial.

"That party is pretty high on the stupid scale for doing it," said Donaldson.

Edwards, who is the Georgia D.A. Association President, said he will bring up this subject at their next meeting.

"Perhaps offer some suggestions for legislation to help deal with these issues," said Edwards.

"I think the court has the power it needs to keep someone from doing social media in the courtroom," Donaldson said.

Kalawaia's last post was a forced-smile selfie that said, "One for the road. Stay strong and fight for wat you believe in."

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