State v. Adams

Decision Date05 May 2003
Docket NumberNo. 3640.,3640.
Citation580 S.E.2d 785,354 S.C. 361
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. William ADAMS, Appellant.
CourtSouth Carolina Court of Appeals

Assistant Appellate Defender Tara S. Taggart, of the SC Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Charles H. Richardson, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Harold W. Gowdy, III, of Spartanburg, for Respondent.

ANDERSON, J.:

William Adams was convicted of third degree burglary and grand larceny. He was sentenced to consecutive terms of imprisonment of five years for third degree burglary and five years, suspended upon the service of four years plus five years probation, for grand larceny. These sentences were consecutive to the federal sentence Adams was serving at the time. Adams appeals, arguing that (1) the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act (IAD); and (2) the trial court erred in failing to declare a mistrial after prejudicial testimony was admitted. We affirm.

FACTS/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Brian Freeman and his father, both of Red Oak Builders, developed some property for a subdivision called Abner Creek Station in Spartanburg County. Freeman lived adjacent to the subdivision. On the evening of January 21, 1998, Freeman returned to his home after work and noticed the garage door of the model home in the subdivision was open. He contacted the police, noted that two cabinets were missing from the home, and filed a police report. After securing the home, Freeman returned to his house across the street.

In the early morning hours of January 22, 1998, Freeman awoke and discovered that the garage door to the model home was open again. Freeman called the police. He observed that furniture was missing from the home, including two leather wingback chairs and a cherry wood dining table and chair set.

The police questioned Adams regarding the burglary. Adams gave a statement admitting his participation in the crime. Adams declared he took "some leather chairs and some odds and ends furniture." He showed the police the house in Abner Creek that he burglarized. Adams executed a permission to search form. Police officers recovered the cherry wood dining table and chairs. The leather chairs were never recovered.

In July 1998, Adams was indicted by the Spartanburg County grand jury for second degree burglary and grand larceny in indictments 98-GS-42-3973 (3973) and 98-GS-42-3974 (3974), respectively, in connection with the burglary of the furniture. Adams was not tried, however, because he was incarcerated in federal prison in North Carolina sometime thereafter.

On October 14, 1999, Adams wrote to the solicitor for Spartanburg County requesting a list of charges pending against him. On October 27, 1999, the solicitor's office wrote to Adams, informing him that two charges of second degree burglary and two charges of petit larceny, indictments 98-G42-3952 through 3955, were pending against him. No mention was made of indictments 3973 or 3974.

On December 28, 1999, the Federal Bureau of Prisons sent the solicitor a notice indicating that a detainer had been filed against Adams in the State's favor and that Adams was tentatively scheduled for release on July 23, 2001. Adams was given a Notice of Untried Indictments from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, dated February 23, 2000, which listed his Spartanburg untried indictments as indictments 3952, 3953, 3954, 3955, and 3982. It did not list indictments 3973 or 3974.

On May 12, 2000, the solicitor sent the Inmate Systems Manager for the Federal Bureau of Prisons a letter regarding outstanding indictments against Adams. The letter included "certified copies of Indictment # 98-GS-42-3952 through 3955 and # 98-GS-42-3967 through 3982 as detainers" against Adams and requested the prison to advise the State "as to his intentions concerning disposition of these charges through IAD." Adams was served with copies of the detainers.

On September 11, 2000, Adams sent the solicitor a letter with the subject line "IAD-Notice of Untried Indictments." Adams advised the solicitor that he received the detainers filed against him, waived extradition, and expected his case to be brought to trial within 180 days or else he would seek a dismissal of the charges. A Waiver of Extradition, dated September 6, 2000, and signed by Adams was included with the letter. The waiver stated that Adams was waiving extradition on case numbers 98-GS-42-3952 through 3955 and 98-GS-42-3967 through 3982. Adams included a motion for a fast and speedy trial on indictments numbered 98-GS-42-3952 through 3955 and 98-GS-42-3967 through 3982.

On October 12, 2000, the Inmate Systems Manager for the Federal Bureau of Prisons sent the solicitor a letter informing him that Adams had requested disposition of pending charges against him. In the letter, the Inmate Systems Manager requested that the State take action under the IAD in order to dispose of the pending charges. The letter indicated that the outstanding charges included indictments 3952, 3953, 3954, 3955, and 3982. A certificate of inmate status was sent on the same date. The certificate listed the same indictments. Neither the certificate of inmate status nor the letter listed indictments 3973 or 3974.

Adams was extradited to Spartanburg County. He was tried on indictments 3973 and 3974 in April 2001. Adams complained prior to the start of trial and during the trial that the State should not be allowed to try Adams on indictments 3973 and 3974 because they were not listed in the initial notification of outstanding indictments sent to Adams and because the State did not correct the Federal Bureau of Prisons when it sent the October 12, 2000, certificate of inmate status which failed to list 3973 and 3974. The trial court denied the motion and allowed the State to proceed on the indictments. The State later admitted that it did not have a copy of the detainer.

After the State presented its case, Adams moved for a directed verdict arguing, in part, that the State was not entitled to proceed on indictments 3973 and 3974 under the IAD. The court denied the motion. The jury acquitted Adams of the second degree burglary charge, but found Adams guilty of the lesser included offense of third degree burglary. Additionally, Adams was convicted of grand larceny.

ISSUES
I. Did the trial court have subject matter jurisdiction to try Adams under the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act?
II. Did the trial court err in failing to declare a mistrial after testimony regarding a prior bad act was admitted?

LAW/ANALYSIS

I. INTERSTATE AGREEMENT ON DETAINERS ACT (IAD)

Adams contends the trial court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the burglary and grand larceny charges because the State failed to follow the requirements of the IAD. We disagree.

A. Requirements of the IAD

We initially address the requirements of the IAD. The purpose of the IAD is to allow participating states to uniformly and expeditiously treat requests by prisoners for disposition of outstanding charges. S.C.Code Ann. § 17-11-10, Art. I (2003); State v. Patterson, 273 S.C. 361, 256 S.E.2d 417 (1979); see also State v. Finley, 277 S.C. 548, 551, 290 S.E.2d 808, 809 (1982) ("The purpose of I.A.D. is to foster the expeditious disposition of charges outstanding against prisoners so as to eliminate uncertainties which accompany the filing of detainers."). Article III of the IAD provides in pertinent part:

(a) Whenever a person has entered upon a term of imprisonment in a penal or correctional institution of a party state, and whenever during the continuance of the term of imprisonment there is pending in any other party state any untried indictment, information or complaint on the basis of which a detainer has been lodged against the prisoner, he shall be brought to trial within one hundred eighty days after he shall have caused to be delivered to the prosecuting officer and the appropriate court of the prosecuting officer's jurisdiction written notice of the place of his imprisonment and his request for a final disposition to be made of the indictment, information or complaint; provided, that for good cause shown in open court, the prisoner or his counsel being present, the court having jurisdiction of the matter may grant any necessary or reasonable continuance. The request of the prisoner shall be accompanied by a certificate of the appropriate official having custody of the prisoner, stating the term of commitment under which the prisoner is being held, the time already served, the time remaining to be served on the sentence, the amount of good time earned, the time of parole eligibility of the prisoner, and any decisions of the state parole agency relating to the prisoner.
(b) The written notice and request for final disposition referred to in paragraph (a) hereof shall be given or sent by the prisoner to the warden, commissioner of corrections or other official having custody of him, who shall promptly forward it together with the certificate to the appropriate prosecuting official and court by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested.
....
(d) Any request for final disposition made by a prisoner pursuant to paragraph (a) hereof shall operate as a request for final disposition of all untried indictments, informations or complaints on the basis of which detainers have been lodged against the prisoner from the state to whose prosecuting official the request for final disposition is specifically directed. The warden, commissioner of corrections or other official having custody of the prisoner shall forthwith notify all appropriate prosecuting officers and courts in the several jurisdictions within the state to which the prisoner's request for final disposition is being sent of the
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