State v. Funchess, No. 19167

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtMOSS
Citation179 S.E.2d 25,255 S.C. 385
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Herbert Lee FUNCHESS, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 19167
Decision Date08 February 1971

Page 25

179 S.E.2d 25
255 S.C. 385
The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Herbert Lee FUNCHESS, Appellant.
No. 19167.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Feb. 8, 1971.

[255 S.C. 386] Lincoln C. Jenkins, Jr., Matthew J. Perry, Betty McBride Sloan, Richard M. Kennedy, Jr., and Robert G. Price, Columbia, for appellant.

Atty. Gen. Daniel R. McLeod and Asst. Atty. Gen. Joel Gottlieb, Columbia, and Solicitor Julian S. Wolfe, Orangeburg, for respondent.

MOSS, Chief Justice:

Herbert Lee Funchess, the appellant herein, was brought to trial at the 1969 Term of the Court of General Sessions for Calhoun County, before The Honorable Wade S. Weatherford, Jr., presiding judge, and a jury, upon an indictment charging him with the murder of A. Callie Geiger. The jury found the appellant guilty of murder with a recommendation to mercy, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The appellant prosecutes this appeal from his conviction and sentence.

[255 S.C. 387] A. Callie Geiger operated a small grocery store in the western section of Calhoun County. On June 1, 1968, at about 10:00 o'clock P.M. he was found wounded and lying behind a counter in his store. Relatives and police were summoned to the scene. Thereafter, he was removed to the Orangeburg Regional Hospital and was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that he had received two bullet wounds, one

Page 26

in the chest and one in the head, either of which could have, in the opinion of the physician, caused his death.

At the time that Callie Geiger was shot he was alone in his store. The officers immediately commenced an investigation into Geiger's death by interrogating persons residing in the community. The officers learned that the appellant and two other men had been in the general vicinity of the Geiger store several hours prior to his death. It appears from the record that, on June 14, 1968, the investigating officers received information from one Paul McMichael, a prisoner on the chain gang, which prompted them to search for the appellant and two other men. The appellant was later found on a street in the town of North, South Carolina, by Sheriff Elliott Rucker and Deputy Sheriff W. B. Connelly, at about 10:00 o'clock P.M. on June 14, 1968. These officers, upon finding the appellant, stopped their car and the appellant came over to them. The sheriff told the appellant that he wanted to talk to him and asked him to accompany them to the police station. The appellant then got into the back seat of the car and rode to the police station. Upon arrival at the police station, these two officers and the appellant went into the conference room and were there joined by two other officers who were introduced to the appellant. Upon being questioned the appellant confessed that he shot Callie Geiger on the night of June 1, 1968, during the course of an attempted robbery.

During the course of the trial, the State proposed to offer in evidence the confession made by the appellant, and upon objection thereto by him, the trial judge excused the jury and, in its absence, heard the evidence, both that of the [255 S.C. 388] State and that of the appellant, upon the question of the voluntariness and admissibility of the confession, which is the correct procedure as set forth in the cases of State v. Sanders, 227 S.C. 287, 87 S.E.2d 826, and State v. Gamble, 247 S.C. 214, 146 S.E.2d 709. In the absence of the jury, the sheriff testified in detail as to the warnings he gave the appellant. The warnings so given were in conformity with Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 10 A.L.R.3d 974. The sheriff also testified that he inquired of the appellant if he understood his rights under the warnings given, to which the appellant gave an affirmative answer and stated, 'I'll tell you what I know.' The sheriff further testified that the appellant was not threatened, abused, coerced or intimidated in any way and that, in his opinion, the appellant knowingly and intelligently waived his rights under the warnings given and freely and voluntarily made the aforesaid confession. The testimony of the sheriff was corroborated by the three other officers who were present. The appellant, testifying in his own behalf, admitted that he was not in any way mistreated by the officers but denied that he was given the Miranda warnings.

It is the contention of the...

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8 practice notes
  • State v. Plath, No. 21582
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 7, 1981
    ...illegal, the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine will not apply to a confession if it is freely and voluntarily given. State v. Funchess, 255 S.C. 385, 179 S.E.2d 25 (1971); cert. denied, 404 U.S. 915, 92 S.Ct. 236, 30 L.Ed.2d 189 While the arrest has been the tree and the confession the f......
  • State v. Gilbert, No. 21060
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 2, 1979
    ...twenty seven hours before being taken to a magistrate. We do not believe this delay amounted to coercion. As stated in State v. Funchess, 255 S.C. 385, 390, 179 S.E.2d 25, 27 "We have held that a confession made while the accused is in the custody of an officer before any warrant for his ar......
  • State v. Rogers, 2004-UP-427
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • July 7, 2004
    ...we find the note was not the fruit of the illegal arrest. Our decision is based on our supreme court's holding in State v. Funchess, 255 S.C. 385, 179 S.E.2d 25 (1971), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 915 (1971). In Funchess, the court directly confronted this issue, stating: We conclude and hold th......
  • State v. Fair, No. 55400
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • May 10, 1971
    ...under the totality of the circumstances shown in evidence during the hearing on the motion to suppress. In State v. Funchess, S.C., 179 S.E.2d 25, the South Carolina Supreme Court had a similar issue before it and reviewed the law with respect thereto, saying loc. cit. 27--28: 'The appellan......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • State v. Plath, No. 21582
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 7, 1981
    ...illegal, the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine will not apply to a confession if it is freely and voluntarily given. State v. Funchess, 255 S.C. 385, 179 S.E.2d 25 (1971); cert. denied, 404 U.S. 915, 92 S.Ct. 236, 30 L.Ed.2d 189 While the arrest has been the tree and the confession the f......
  • State v. Gilbert, No. 21060
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 2, 1979
    ...twenty seven hours before being taken to a magistrate. We do not believe this delay amounted to coercion. As stated in State v. Funchess, 255 S.C. 385, 390, 179 S.E.2d 25, 27 "We have held that a confession made while the accused is in the custody of an officer before any warrant for his ar......
  • State v. Rogers, 2004-UP-427
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • July 7, 2004
    ...we find the note was not the fruit of the illegal arrest. Our decision is based on our supreme court's holding in State v. Funchess, 255 S.C. 385, 179 S.E.2d 25 (1971), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 915 (1971). In Funchess, the court directly confronted this issue, stating: We conclude and hold th......
  • State v. Fair, No. 55400
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • May 10, 1971
    ...under the totality of the circumstances shown in evidence during the hearing on the motion to suppress. In State v. Funchess, S.C., 179 S.E.2d 25, the South Carolina Supreme Court had a similar issue before it and reviewed the law with respect thereto, saying loc. cit. 27--28: 'The appellan......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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