State v. Barnes, Appellate Case No. 2017-002140

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtGEATHERS, J.
Citation846 S.E.2d 389,431 S.C. 66
Decision Date22 July 2020
Docket NumberOpinion No. 5749,Appellate Case No. 2017-002140
Parties The STATE, Respondent, v. Steven Louis BARNES, Appellant.

431 S.C. 66
846 S.E.2d 389

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Steven Louis BARNES, Appellant.

Appellate Case No. 2017-002140
Opinion No. 5749

Court of Appeals of South Carolina.

Heard May 5, 2020
Filed July 22, 2020
Rehearing Denied August 13, 2020


Appellate Defender Kathrine Haggard Hudgins, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Mark Reynolds Farthing, both of Columbia; and Solicitor Samuel R. Hubbard, III, of Lexington, for Respondent.

GEATHERS, J.:

431 S.C. 73

This appeal is the latest in the eighteen-year narrative of Steven Louis Barnes. Barnes appeals his conviction of murder for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Barnes argues the circuit court erred in refusing to dismiss his indictment because (1) the State violated his state and federal rights to a speedy trial and (2) the State did not comply with the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act (the "IAD"), S.C. Code Ann. §§ 17-11-10 to -80 (2014).1 We affirm.

FACTS

In January 2002, Barnes was arrested following a multi-state investigation into a series of events that began in Georgia and ended with the execution-style killing of a sixteen-year-old

431 S.C. 74

young man in Edgefield, South Carolina.2 Following Barnes's arrest in Georgia, a South Carolina arrest warrant was issued on January 25, 2002, and the Governor of South Carolina requested Barnes's extradition on February 27, 2002. On April 17, 2002, a hearing was held in Georgia and Barnes waived extradition. A few days later, a formal order was issued authorizing Barnes's extradition to South Carolina, but he remained in Georgia to stand trial for unrelated charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary, terroristic threats, and pandering prostitution. In December of 2003, Barnes was convicted of his Georgia charges and sentenced to an aggregate term of life imprisonment. In January

846 S.E.2d 393

2004, Barnes was transferred to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Thereafter, the Edgefield County Solicitor received a document postmarked on February 12, 2005, requesting the final disposition of Barnes's pending charges pursuant to the IAD.3 The solicitor then arranged for Barnes to be brought to South Carolina, and Barnes was extradited on May 18, 2005. After Barnes's extradition, his case proceeded under the following timeline:

• May 25, 2005 – In response to his IAD filing, a hearing was held before the Honorable William P. Keesley; at the hearing, the State discussed its intent to seek the death penalty.

• May 27, 2005 – Judge Keesley issued an order acknowledging the case would likely be tried as a capital case and finding good cause to continue Barnes's trial beyond the deadlines established by the IAD.
431 S.C. 75
• June 6, 2005 – O. Lee Sturkey appointed to represent Barnes.

• August 10, 2005 – The Edgefield County Grand Jury formally indicted Barnes for kidnapping.

• September 1, 2005 – Robert Harte appointed as lead counsel for Barnes, replacing O. Lee Sturkey.

• September 8, 2005 – Barnes filed a motion to represent himself; Barnes also attempted to renew his IAD objection in a written pro se motion filed with the Edgefield County Clerk of Court and served on the State.

• September 14, 2005 – Barnes filed a letter with the Edgefield County Clerk of Court requesting that his attorney move for a speedy trial and dismissal pursuant to the IAD.

• October 31, 2005 – The South Carolina Supreme Court issued an order vesting the Honorable J. Cordell Maddox, Jr. with exclusive jurisdiction over the case.

• November 16, 2005 – Barnes filed a letter with the Edgefield County Clerk of Court requesting that his attorney oppose any continuance motions.

• December 6, 2005 – The Edgefield County Grand Jury formally indicted Barnes for murder.

• December 13, 2005 – Barnes served with the State's notice of intent to seek the death penalty.

• February 8, 2006 – David Tarr appointed as co-counsel for Barnes.

• May 16, 2006 – The circuit court held a hearing and scheduled Barnes's trial for January–February 2007.

• April 17, 2008 – The circuit court issued an order setting Barnes's capital trial for June 2008.

• May 13, 2008 – The circuit court issued an order continuing the case from the June 2008 term upon Barnes's request for a continuance.

• January 25, 2010 – The supreme court issued an order vesting the Honorable R. Knox McMahon with exclusive jurisdiction over the case.

Barnes's trial was conducted on November 8–13, 2010. Following the trial, Barnes was convicted of murder and

431 S.C. 76

kidnapping and sentenced to death. Barnes appealed, and our supreme court reversed the convictions on October 16, 2013. On January 15, 2014, the supreme court withdrew its opinion and issued a substituted opinion reversing Barnes's convictions solely on the ground that he was improperly denied the right to self-representation. See Barnes I , 407 S.C. at 37, 753 S.E.2d at 550. Additionally, the supreme court expressly addressed Barnes's IAD claim, holding Barnes waived his rights under the Act. See Barnes I , 407 S.C. at 37, 753 S.E.2d at 551. Barnes's case was remitted to the circuit court on January 31, 2014.

On June 9, 2014, the Honorable Diane S. Goodstein was vested with exclusive jurisdiction of the case for retrial. Thereafter, the circuit court appointed Jeffrey P. Bloom and William S. McGuire to represent Barnes, and

846 S.E.2d 394

the State moved to have Barnes's convictions reinstated, arguing Barnes conceded that his convictions were constitutionally obtained by requesting counsel. When the motion was denied, the State filed a common law petition for writ of certiorari in the supreme court's original jurisdiction.4 On July 1, 2015, the supreme court issued an opinion affirming the denial of the State's motion to reinstate Barnes's convictions. See State v. Barnes , 413 S.C. 1, 774 S.E.2d 454 (2015) (hereinafter Barnes II ). The State filed a petition for rehearing on July 14, 2015, and the supreme court denied the petition on August 6, 2015. The case was remitted to the circuit court on August 10, 2015.

431 S.C. 77

During the pendency of the State's petition for rehearing, the supreme court placed one of Barnes's attorneys, William McGuire, under an order of protection from July 2015 until December 2016 due to his involvement in a high profile criminal trial. On July 7, 2017, the circuit court held a status conference in which the State withdrew its notice of intent to seek the death penalty and served Barnes with its intention to seek life without the possibility of parole. Additionally, the court set the trial date for October 9, 2017. Thereafter, on August 14, 2017, Barnes filed motions to dismiss, alleging violations of his speedy trial rights under the IAD and the state and federal constitutions.

On October 4, 2017, the Edgefield County Grand Jury reindicted Barnes for murder. Barnes's second trial was conducted on October 9–13, 2017. Prior to the start of trial, the circuit court ruled on several pre-trial motions, including Barnes's motions to dismiss for violations of his speedy trial rights under the IAD5 and the state and federal constitutions.

First, the circuit court addressed Barnes's IAD claim. Barnes conceded that the supreme court disposed of this issue in Barnes I but argued that the circuit court should rule on the issue because all of the documents relevant to Barnes's claim were not included in the record on appeal presented to the supreme court. The State argued the circuit court was precluded from ruling on Barnes's IAD motion because the supreme court had already disposed of the issue, thus making its ruling the law of the case. Ultimately, the circuit court denied Barnes's motion to dismiss the indictment under the IAD, finding the supreme court fully disposed of the issue in Barnes I . Additionally, the circuit court noted that no new IAD detainer action had been commenced following Barnes I .

Turning to the speedy trial claim, the circuit court was presented with the question of whether the period of delay for its speedy trial analysis began at the time Barnes's first arrest warrant was issued in 2002 or at the time the supreme court remitted the case to the circuit court in 2014 following Barnes I . In analyzing this question, the circuit court noted "that the

431 S.C. 78

assertion of speedy trial rights after a conviction has been entered and then overturned on appeal is a novel legal issue in South Carolina." Barnes argued that the applicable period of delay began upon the issuance of his arrest warrant in 2002 because despite failing to formally invoke his speedy trial rights, his IAD motion and pro se filings in his original trial constituted invocations of his speedy trial rights. Based on the fifteen-year time period between

846 S.E.2d 395

the issuance of the warrant and his...

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1 practice notes
  • Alukonis v. Smith, Appellate Case No. 2017-001441
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • July 22, 2020
    ...set forth its specific findings of fact as to each of the E.D.M. factors in considering an award of attorney's fees, if any, to Father.6 431 S.C. 66 CONCLUSIONWe hold, under our de novo review, Grandfather met the significantly higher burden required to show primary custody of Child should ......
1 cases
  • Alukonis v. Smith, Appellate Case No. 2017-001441
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • July 22, 2020
    ...set forth its specific findings of fact as to each of the E.D.M. factors in considering an award of attorney's fees, if any, to Father.6 431 S.C. 66 CONCLUSIONWe hold, under our de novo review, Grandfather met the significantly higher burden required to show primary custody of Child should ......

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