April 3, 2013 South Carolina Court of Appeals published opinions

State v Tynes

Tynes was convicted of burglary and other offenses arising out a home invasion robbery. He challenged a traffic stop and the admission of evidence. The panel rejected his arguments and affirmed. It rejected his suppression argument because the officers had probable cause to pull the car over based on the description of the car and observed gun clips in plain view thus creating exigent circumstances justifying a search. It rejected the claim that Tynes should have been allowed to admit a requirement that a state witness agreed to take a polygraph because the witness was not required to take a polygraph and allowing that evidence would have been improper vouching for the witness. Finally, the panel held the circuit court acted within its discretion to admit DNA evidence as it was relevant and Tyre had the opportunity to challenge the evidence on cross examination.

State v Bruce

Bruce moved to suppress evidence that his girlfriend’s body was found in the trunk of her car parked in front of his apartment. The circuit court admitted the evidence under the inevitable discovery doctrine. The panel remanded for fact finding holding that inevitable discovery did not appear to apply in this case and the circuit court needed to determine if Bruce had any expectation of privacy in his girlfriend’s car; if so, whether the search violated his rights; if so, should the evidence be suppressed; and was the admission of the evidence harmless error.

State v Dennis

Dennis was convicted of assault with intent to kill and sentenced to life without parole. On appeal, he challenged the admission of certain evidence, the failure to give a lesser included offense jury charge and his sentence. The panel affirmed. It held that the circuit court did not err in allowing testimony that Dennis attempted to sell a gun for money to buy drugs shortly before the shooting as the evidence provided part of the setting of the crime and answered the question why Dennis shot the victim. Additionally, the motive for the shooting was an important issue in the trail further supporting the admission of the evidence. The panel held the circuit court did not err in refusing to charge assault of a high and aggravated nature as eh evidence showed that Dennis aimed at the victim, fired five times and “panic” was not a mitigating circumstance. The panel summarily affirmed on the remaining arguments.

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