Garza v. State, 284 Ga. 696, 702 (1) (670 SE2d 73) (2008) adopted a test first articulated in Govt. of Virgin Islands v. Berry, Govt. of Virgin Islands v. Berry, 604 F2d 221, 227 (IV), 16 V.I. 614 (3rd Cir. 1979) which set forth four factors to be considered in determining whether the movement at issue constituted the asportation needed for kidnapping:
"(1) the duration of the movement;
(2) whether the movement occurred during the commission of a separate offense;
(3) whether such movement was an inherent part of that separate offense;
(4) whether the movement itself presented a significant danger to the victim independent of the danger posed by the separate offense." Garza, supra, 284 Ga. at 702 (1).
Garza emphasized that assessment of these factors will assist Georgia prosecutors and courts alike in determining whether the movement in question is in the nature of the evil the kidnapping statute was originally intended to address -- i.e., movement serving to substantially isolate the victim from protection or rescue -- or merely a "criminologically insignificant circumstance" attendant to some other crime. Id.
Our courts have applied Garza on a case-by-case basis to determine whether moving a person from room to room constitutes sufficient asportation to affirm a kidnapping conviction.
In Henderson v. State, 285 Ga. 240 (675 SE2d 28) (2009), the Supreme Court of Georgia held that moving the victims from one room to another within a duplex was sufficient asportation because, although of minimal duration, it was not an inherent part of the armed robbery and created an additional danger to the victims by enhancing the gunmen's control over them.
See also Epps v. State, 297 Ga. App. 66 (676 S.E.2d 791) (2009) affirming a kidnapping charge when the victim was driven around for a substantial amount of time before and after being robbed.
Conversely, in Rayshad v. State, 295 Ga. App. 29, 33-34 (1) (b) (670 SE2d 849) (2008), the Court reversed two kidnapping convictions, reasoning that moving one victim from a standing position to the floor and another from room to room were of short duration, were incidental to other crimes, and did not significantly increase the danger to either victim.
See also Grimes v. State, 297 Ga. App. 720 (678 S.E.2d 167) (2009); Crawford v. State, 297 Ga. App. 187 (676 S.E.2d 843); In the Interest of A.B., 296 Ga. App. 350 (674 S.E.2d 401) (2009)