78 S.E. 704 (S.C. 1913), State v. Ellison

Citation:78 S.E. 704, 95 S.C. 127
Opinion Judge:WATTS, J.
Party Name:STATE v. ELLISON.
Attorney:Bonham, Watkins & Allen and T. F. Watkins, all of Anderson, and J. P. Carey, of Pickens, for appellant. P. A. Bonham, Sol., and A. H. Dean, both of Greenville, for the State.
Case Date:June 28, 1913
Court:Supreme Court of South Carolina
 
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Page 704

78 S.E. 704 (S.C. 1913)

95 S.C. 127

STATE

v.

ELLISON.

Supreme Court of South Carolina

June 28, 1913

Appeal from General Sessions Circuit Court of Anderson County; Geo. E. Prince, Judge.

John C. Ellison was convicted of manslaughter, and he appeals. Affirmed.

Bonham, Watkins & Allen and T. F. Watkins, all of Anderson, and J. P. Carey, of Pickens, for appellant. P. A. Bonham, Sol., and A. H. Dean, both of Greenville, for the State.

WATTS, J.

The defendant was tried at the May term of court of general sessions for Anderson county, 1912, before Judge Prince, on an indictment, which charged him with the murder of R. A. Hunt, and was convicted of manslaughter. A motion for a new trial was made and refused, and defendant was sentenced, and from this conviction and sentence he now appeals and assigns error on the part of trial judge in four exceptions.

The first alleges it was error for the judge to say: "Now Mr. foreman and gentlemen of the jury, when you go into your room first determine whether or not the defendant, in this case, has established his plea of self-defense by the greater weight of testimony." The error is that the first duty of the jury was to determine whether the state had made out its case beyond reasonable doubt, whether the deceased had been killed by the defendant, before the defendant was called upon to prove his plea of self-defense by the preponderance of the evidence. We have examined the entire charge of the circuit judge, and we are pleased to say that he exercised the greatest care in defining each grade of homicide, pointing out distinctly the characteristics of each grade, warning the jury, repeatedly and at intervals, of its being the duty of the state to prove the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, and also of their duty to acquit the defendant, if the state failed to prove [95 S.C. 129] defendant's guilt of either the crime of murder, or that of manslaughter, beyond a reasonable doubt in each instance, and the extract from the charge embodied in this ground of appeal is based upon sound law, especially in view of the wholesome definitions

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of the crime of murder and manslaughter contained in the general charge of the jury, wherein he was careful to point out what proof was required, and the jury could not have been misled, and this ground is overruled.

The second exception charges error on the part of...

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