State v. Hall

Citation133 S.E. 24
Decision Date06 May 1926
Docket Number(No. 11975.)
PartiesSTATE . v. HALL.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina

133 S.E. 24


(No. 11975.)

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

May 6, 1926.

[133 S.E. 25]

Appeal from General Sessions Circuit Court of Spartanburg County; M. L. Bon-ham, Judge.

Fred Hall was convicted of manslaughter, and he appeals. Affirmed.

Nicholls, Wyche & Byrnes, of Spartanburg, for appellant.

I. C. Blackwood, of Spartanburg, for the


COTHRAN, J. The defendant was tried for the murder of one T. D. Curtis in July, 1921; he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. A previous trial had resulted in a similar verdict, the judgment upon which was reversed by this court in 127 S. C. 256, 120 S. E. 849, for error in the admission of an alleged dying declaration made a few days before his death. Upon the trial under review the state offered the testimony of the widow of Curtis tending to establish a dying declaration made by the deceased on the morning after the alleged attack was made. The introduction of this declaration is the gravamen of the appeal.

The facts as gathered from the "case" appear to have been as follows: The defendant was riding along the highway near the town of Landrum, in a buckboard buggy drawn by two horses; his wife accompanied him. At a point in the road near Landrum they overtook the deceased, Curtis, and one Lewis Reno, whose automobile had become disabled in the ditch near the roadside. The deceased and Reno accepted the invitation of the defendant, Hall, and got up behind in the buck-board buggy, to ride to Landrum. After going a short distance an altercation arose between Hall and the other two men, Curtis and Reno, and a fight took place between the three on the roadside. Curtis was knocked down by Hall, and Reno ran away. Hall and his wife went on into Landrum. The fight occurred between 8 and 9 o'clock at night, and Curtis was found early the next morning in a cornfield several hundred yards from the scene of the fight, helpless, badly beaten up, and bleeding from a wound in his head, besides with bruises on his body and a broken rib. He was carried by those who had found him to his home and put to bed. Within a short time he developed pneumonia, from which he apparently recovered sufficiently to sit up around the house, being, as his wife expressed it, "up and down." Later he had a severe relapse, and after lingering several days died on August 4th, about 33 days after the attack.

The alleged dying declaration which was admitted, and the admission of which is the mainstay of the appeal, was alleged to have been made in the presence of and to the wife and daughter of Curtis the morning after the fight, soon after he was brought to his home. It was to the effect that he, Curtis, had been out collecting, and on returning the car got out of condition; that he and Reno were together; that they left the car on the roadside and started walking into Landrum; that Fred Hall, the defendant, came along and invited them to ride; that they got into the buggy driven by Hall; that they had ridden but a short distance...

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