Uniform Superior Court Rule 31.3 (B)

In Williams v. State, 261 Ga. 640, 642 (2) (b) (409 SE2d 649) (1991), the Supreme Court held that before any evidence of independent offenses or acts may be admitted into evidence, a hearing must be held pursuant to Uniform Superior Court Rule 31.3 (B). At that hearing, the state must make three affirmative showings as to each independent offense or act it seeks to introduce. The first of these affirmative showings is that the state seeks to introduce evidence of the independent offense or act, not to raise an improper inference as to the accused's character, but for some appropriate purpose which has been deemed to be an exception to the general rule of inadmissibility. The second affirmative showing is that there is sufficient evidence to establish that the accused committed the independent offense or act. The third is that there is a sufficient connection or similarity between the independent offense or act and the crime charged so that proof of the former tends to prove the latter. After the 31.3 (B) hearing, and before any evidence concerning a particular independent offense or act may be introduced, the trial court must make a determination that each of these three showings has been satisfactorily made by the state as to that particular independent offense or act. Williams, 261 Ga. at 642 (2) (b). See Butler v. State, 294 Ga. App. 540, 542-543 (2) (669 SE2d 525) (2008); McKenzie v. State, 294 Ga. App. 376, 378-379 (3) (670 SE2d 158) (2008). Even if the trial court concludes that the state has made the requisite showings at the Rule 31.3 (B) hearing, it retains the discretion to exclude the similar transaction evidence on the ground that its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice. Clarke v. State, 241 Ga. App. 186, 188 (1) (a) (526 SE2d 395) (1999).