State v. Blanden, No. 14075.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtCARTER, Justice
Citation180 S.E. 681
PartiesSTATE. v. BLANDEN.
Decision Date30 May 1935
Docket NumberNo. 14075.

180 S.E. 681

STATE.
v.
BLANDEN.

No. 14075.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

May 30, 1935.


Rehearing Denied July 23, 1935.

Appeal from General Sessions Circuit Court of Spartanburg County; G. B. Greene, Judge.

D. M. Blanden was convicted of murder, and he appeals.

Affirmed.

[180 S.E. 682]

Samuel T. Lanham, John D. Hamer, and Claude A. Taylor, all of Spartanburg, for appellant.

Samuel R. Watt, Circuit Sol, and J. Allen Lambright, Co. Sol, both of Spartanburg, for the State.

CARTER, Justice.

The defendant, D. M. Blanden, having been indicted, tried, and convicted in the court of general sessions in Spartanburg county, this state, for the murder of one, Ben Sims, from the rulings, verdict, judgment, and sentence of death by electrocution and from the court's refusal to grant a new trial, has appealed to this court, imputing error to the trial judge in the particulars hereinafter mentioned.

* As shown by the record in the case, Ben Sims, a resident of the city of Spartanburg, was killed about midnight on the 2d or 3d of July, 1934, the killing having occurred on Spring street in said city and county of Spartanburg. About one week later the defendant, Blanden, a negro nineteen years old, was arrested in the city of Greenville, S. C, charged with the said killing, and was brought to trial three weeks after the killing, resulting in his conviction as above stated.

On the call of the case for trial, the defendant not having secured counsel to aid him in his defense, the presiding judge, Hon. G. B. Greene, appointed S. T. Lanham, Esquire, Claude A. Taylor, Esquire, and John D. Hamer, Esquire, able, experienced, and learned attorneys of the Spartanburg Bar, as counsel for the defendant in the case to aid and assist him in conducting his defense. In this connection we desire to state that these attorneys patriotically and cheerfully accepted the appointment and performed and discharged the duties connected therewith ably and fearlessly, not only on the trial of the case in the lower court, but also in presentation of the appeal before this court.

On the 25th day of July, 1934, counsel for the state and counsel for the defendant having announced ready for trial, the court proceeded with the trial of the case. Each juror was sworn on his voir dire and being examined no exceptions were taken. The jury being selected and sworn, the trial judge proceeded with the trial. A number of witnesses were called by the state to testify and several witnesses were examined on behalf of the defendant, including the defendant himself.

The proof shows that Mr. Sims, a young white man, on the night that he was killed, had called upon a young lady friend, and had remained at her home from a few minutes after 8 o'clock in the evening until a short time before 12 o'clock of the evening, when he left to return to his home. While walking on Spring street on his way home, he was shot. Several persons heard the shot that was fired and heard his cries from the street where he was shot and rushed to the scene. After being shot, his body was found on the porch of one of the homes nearby, evidently in his agony having rushed from the sidewalk to this home hoping to get help, but died before help could arrive. His body was taken to a hospital and from there to a mortuary in the said city.. One of the physicians who examined the body for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of death described the wounds and from this testimony it clearly appears that Mr. Sims was shot with a pistol and the bullet passed through the large vessels leading from the heart, slightly above the heart. This physician further testified in this connection that this wound was sufficient to produce the death of Mr. Sims and in his opinion did cause his death. The proof offered by the state further shows that a negro boy or man was seen running off from the scene where the shooting occurred and one of the witnesses was close enough to observe him as he passed under a street light and noticed his dress. This witness testified that she observed that he wore dark trousers and a brown shirt. There was further testimony offered by the state to the effect that within a short distance from where this shooting occurred and just a few minutes before the shooting occurred a robbery was committed by a negro man or boy and that this negro who committed this robbery, by thrusting a pistol against the body of the man robbed and demanding his money, was seen running in the direction of. the place where the shooting of Mr. Sims occurred. There was also testimony to the effect that immediately before the shooting of Mr. Sims at the place mentioned, some one was heard running on the sidewalk and some one coming in the opposite direction. This witness, it seems, was not positive whether both parties were running or not, but he heard some one running and he was under the impression that when the two got close together the shooting occurred. While some of the witnesses offered by the state were not close

[180 S.E. 683]

enough to the negro as he ran away to determine his dress, all of them were positive that he was a negro. All of the witnesses of the state who went to the scene and saw the body testified that Mr. Sims had no weapon and was not armed in any way.

On the question of whether or not the defendant, D. M. Blanden, committed the crime charged against him and for which he was convicted we call attention to the testimony of a colored man by the name of Will Dill as to his actions following the killing of Mr. Sims, and we quote therefrom the following testimony given on direct examination:

' "Q. Uncle, what is your name? A. William Dill.

"Q. Where do you live? A. Five fifty-five Young Street.

"Q. Here in the city? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. How long have you lived there? A. I been staying there about fourteen years.

"Q. Born and raised in this county? A. No, sir, I am from Anderson County.

"Q. A good county.

"Mr. Lanham: We will admit that Anderson County is a good county.

"Q. Do you know D. M. Blanden? A. Oh, yes, I know him.

"Q. The man sitting over there by Mr. Taylor? A. Yes, sir, I know him.

"Q. How long have you known him? A. I married his father's sister; • when I knowed him was just before the war, when he was a baby.

"Q. On Monday before the Fourth of July of this year, did you see him? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. Where did you see him? A. He was at my house.

"Q. What time did he come to your house? A. He had been around there about a week before that, but he come there Monday about dusk, and set around there and said he believed he would go up to the Church.

"Q. Who else was at your house? A. Lewis Porter.

"Q. Anyone else? A. My wife.

"Q. What time did Blanden leave your house? A. About four or five o'clock.

"Q. Did you see him any more that night? A. No, sir, I didn't see him any more until next morning, but he come back there about one-thirty or two o'clock, but I was asleep.

"Q. Well you can't tell that unless you saw him. When did you next see Blanden? A. About six o'clock, about sun-up.

"Q. What, if anything, did he say to you? A. He asked me what I wanted for breakfast, and I told him, 'I haven't got no money;' He said, 'I know you aint; I got money, ' and he went and got sausage and weiners for breakfast.

"Q. He came back with sausage and weiners? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. Then did you all eat breakfast? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. Then what happened? A. He asked Lewis to cut his hair.

"Q. Where did they go to cut his hair? A. Went to Dock Blandens.

"Q. What kin is Dock to him? A. His uncle.

"Q. How long were they up at Dock's? A. Not so long before the officers came.

"Q. Where were they while over at Dock's? A. They was in the basement.

"Q. Did D. M. Blanden come back to your house? A. Yes, sir, he come back to my house and put on his coat.

"Mr. Lanham: We object to his statement about the officers coming unless he saw them.

"Q. Did you see them? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. What did D. M. Blanden do when he came back to your house? A. Come back down there and put a gun in his pocket.

"Q. What kind of gun? A. Big thirty-eight, I reckon; that is what they said.

"Mr. Lanham: We object to what he reckons.

"Q. What did he do with the gun? A. Put it in his coat and went out. I said 'Boy, you oughtn't to carry a thing like that, ' and he said 'I know what I am doing', and he left and went towards the corn field and I ain't seen him until today.

"Q. He left and went towards the corn field? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. You haven't seen him until today? A. Yes, sir; that's all I know about it.

"Q. Did he show you any money before he went to the store? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. What did he say? A. I told him he ought to give his old uncle a dollar and he said he would after a while, but he got stirred up and I didn't get it."

[180 S.E. 684]

On the cross-examination this witness, Will Dill, did not make any material changes in his testimony from that given above.

The witness Lewis Porter (colored) introduced by the state, in addition to corroborating some of the testimony of the witness Dill, testified also as to other acts on the part of the defendant the night of the killing and the following morning, and because of its direct bearing on the questions involved, we quote in part his testimony from the record, as follows:

"Q. Were you at Will Dill's house on Monday night, July 2nd, I believe it was, this year? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. Who else was there? A. Four people in the house--I don't remember who they was--playing cards, five up.

"Q. Do you know D. M. Blanden? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. Was he there? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. What time did he come to Dill's house? A. He was there all day.

"Q. Was he there that night? A. Yes, sir.

"Q. What time did he leave? A. I don't know, sir; I wasn't there.

"Q. What time did you go to bed that night? A. About eleven-thirty.

"Q. Was Blanden there then? A. No, sir.

"Q. What time did he come in? A. About three-thirty or four o'clock.

"Q. Where were you? A. In bed.

"Q. What did Blanden do when he came in? A. Pulled off his shoes and lay...

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6 practice notes
  • State v. Pittman, No. 26339.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 11, 2007
    ...capable of committing a crime, although he was between the age of seven and fourteen years." State v. Blanden, 177 S.C. 1, 21, 180 S.E. 681, 689-90 (1935) (citing the trial court's jury charge on presumption of incapacity with Although this Court has not previously addressed whether ex......
  • State v. Smith, No. 23748
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 9, 1992
    ...female on the occasion of the alleged rape of the prosecutrix was admissible as part of the res gestae); State v. Blanden, 177 S.C. 1, 180 S.E. 681 (1935) (evidence that just prior to murder defendant had robbed another person was admissible as part of the res gestae); see also State v. Mil......
  • State v. Blackwell, No. 16562
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 14, 1951
    ...S.E. 859; State v. Davis, 88 S.C. 204, 70 S.E. 417; State v. Richey, 88 Page 691 S.C. 239, 70 S.E. 729; and State v. Blanden, 177 S.C. 1, 180 S.E. 681; 20 Am.Jur. 296, Evidence, Sec. 314. There is no conflict between our conclusion hereabout and the leading case of State v. Gregory, 191 S.C......
  • State v. Quillien, No. 19878
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 13, 1974
    ...have. Appellant makes much of the fact that two hours passed before the gun was found. In Pruitt, and in State v. Blanden, 177 S.C. 1, 180 S.E. 681, a much longer period had elapsed. The rule in this area is that the lapse of time goes to the weight to the evidence, not its admissibility. C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • State v. Pittman, No. 26339.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 11, 2007
    ...capable of committing a crime, although he was between the age of seven and fourteen years." State v. Blanden, 177 S.C. 1, 21, 180 S.E. 681, 689-90 (1935) (citing the trial court's jury charge on presumption of incapacity with Although this Court has not previously addressed whether ex......
  • State v. Smith, No. 23748
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • March 9, 1992
    ...female on the occasion of the alleged rape of the prosecutrix was admissible as part of the res gestae); State v. Blanden, 177 S.C. 1, 180 S.E. 681 (1935) (evidence that just prior to murder defendant had robbed another person was admissible as part of the res gestae); see also State v. Mil......
  • State v. Blackwell, No. 16562
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • November 14, 1951
    ...S.E. 859; State v. Davis, 88 S.C. 204, 70 S.E. 417; State v. Richey, 88 Page 691 S.C. 239, 70 S.E. 729; and State v. Blanden, 177 S.C. 1, 180 S.E. 681; 20 Am.Jur. 296, Evidence, Sec. 314. There is no conflict between our conclusion hereabout and the leading case of State v. Gregory, 191 S.C......
  • State v. Quillien, No. 19878
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 13, 1974
    ...have. Appellant makes much of the fact that two hours passed before the gun was found. In Pruitt, and in State v. Blanden, 177 S.C. 1, 180 S.E. 681, a much longer period had elapsed. The rule in this area is that the lapse of time goes to the weight to the evidence, not its admissibility. C......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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