July 24, 2013 South Carolina Court of Appeals published opinions

State v Williams 

William was convicted of criminal sexual conduct involving a minor and unlawful conduct toward a child. He challenged the admission of his pre-Miranda statements, his unlawful conduct conviction and the admission of certain photos and diagrams. The panel affirmed. It held that under the totality of the circumstances, which included Williams coming to the police station voluntarily, his  desire to clear things up as he was leaving the next day, the lack of anger and the lack of overbearing police tactics, supported the trail court’s conclusion that Williams was not in custody and thus his statements were properly admitted. The panel affirmed his unlawful conduct conviction as there was evidence he had assumed the role of parent including staying at victim’s home, verbally correcting her, changing diapers and telling victim’s mother that he wanted to be victim’s stepfather. The panel finally held that Williams argument as to the photos was not preserved and the diagrams assisted a witness in describing victim’ injuries and were thus properly admitted.

Town of Kingstree v Chapman 

Town sought to close a road. A special referee granted the motion and two landowners appealed. The panel reversed. It held that neither deed relied upon by Town dedicated the road to public use and the record did not demonstrate that the dirt area with trees and other obstacles was ever actually used by the public as a road. In any event, the landowners had express easements and the road could not be closed. Additionally, the panel held that there was no evidence that anyone at the meeting where a compromised was negotiated believed that a state senator was there representing the landowners. Thus, the landowners were not estopped from objecting to the road closure.

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