State v. Moore, No. 25786.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Citation357 S.C. 458,593 S.E.2d 608
Docket NumberNo. 25786.
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Richard Bernard MOORE, Appellant.
Decision Date01 March 2004

357 S.C. 458
593 S.E.2d 608

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Richard Bernard MOORE, Appellant

No. 25786.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Heard January 7, 2004.

Decided March 1, 2004.


357 S.C. 460
Deputy Chief Attorney Joseph L. Savitz, III, of Columbia, for appellant

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy, Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy, Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Senior Assistant, Attorney General William Edgar Salter, III, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Harold W. Gowdy, III, of Spartanburg, for respondents.

Justice WALLER:

Appellant, Richard Benjamin Moore, was convicted of murder, armed robbery, assault with intent to kill, and possession of a firearm during commission of a violent crime; he was respectively sentenced to death, thirty years, ten years and five years. This appeal combines his direct appeal with this Court's mandatory sentencing review pursuant to S.C.Code Ann. § 16-3-25 (1985). We affirm the convictions and sentences.

FACTS

The charges in this case stem from the September 16, 1999, armed robbery of Nikki's, a convenience store on Highway 221 in Spartanburg. According to Terry Hadden, an eyewitness, Moore walked into Nikki's at approximately 3:00a.m. and walked toward the cooler. Hadden was playing a video poker machine, which he did routinely after working his second shift job. Hadden heard Jamie Mahoney, the store clerk, yell, "What the hell do you think you're doing?" Hadden turned

357 S.C. 461
from the poker machine to see Moore holding both of Mahoney's hands with one of his hands. Moore turned towards Hadden, pointed a gun at him, and told him not to move. Moore shot at Hadden, and Hadden fell to the floor and pretended to be dead. After several more shots were fired, Hadden heard the doorbell to the store ring. He heard Moore's pickup truck and saw him drive off on Highway 221. Hadden got up and saw Mahoney lying face down, with a gun about two inches from his hand; he then called 911. Mahoney died within minutes from a gunshot wound through his heart. A money bag with $1408.00 was stolen from the store

Shortly after the incident, Deputy Bobby Rollins patrolled the vicinity looking for the perpetrator of the crime. Approximately one and one-half miles from the convenience store, Deputy Rollins took a right onto Hillside drive, where he heard a loud bang, the sound of Moore's truck backing into a telephone pole. He turned his lights and saw Moore sitting in the back of a pickup truck bleeding profusely from his left arm. As Deputy Rollins ordered him to the ground, Moore advised him, "I did it. I did it. I give up. I give up." A blood covered money bag was recovered from the front seat of Moore's pick-up truck. The murder weapon, a .45 caliber automatic pistol, was found on a nearby highway shortly before daylight.

Moore was tried for the crimes in October 2001. The jury convicted him of all counts. In a separate sentencing proceeding, the jury recommended a sentence of death.

ISSUES

1. Did the trial court err in limiting the scope of Moore's closing argument to the guilt phase jury?
2. Did the trial court err in limiting the scope of Moore's closing argument to the sentencing phase jury?

1. GUILT PHASE CLOSING

Moore contends he should have been permitted to argue, to the guilt phase jury, that he was on trial for his life, and that his life was in jeopardy. We disagree.

357 S.C. 462
Prior to the opening statements of counsel in this case, the trial court advised the jury that this was a death penalty trial which would be bifurcated into two parts. The jury was advised that a separate sentencing would be held if and only if the defendant were convicted of murder. The trial court went on to specifically advise the jury that "the purpose of my telling you this is to emphasize that you are not to consider punishment or sentence at this phase of the case. You are only to determine the innocence or guilt of the defendant based upon the evidence that will be introduced in the trial of the case."

Moore did not testify at the guilt phase of trial, but did elect to personally address the jury, pursuant to S.C.Code Ann. § 16-3-28 (1985 & Supp.2002).1 Moore advised the jury that he was nervous and didn't know what to say. He then stated, "All I know is my life is in jeopardy here a second time." The state's objection was sustained and Moore was advised to "limit yourself to the testimony and evidence ... they are to determine the guilt or innocence sir." Moore then proceeded, "The state is seeking the death penalty on me, which means my very life is at stake." The court once again admonished Moore that the jury was simply determining guilt or innocence at this point and to limit himself to that. The court took a brief recess to...

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18 practice notes
  • Moore v. Stirling, 28088
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 6, 2022
    ...The trial judge sentenced Moore to death. On direct appeal, this Court affirmed Moore's convictions and death sentence. State v. Moore, 357 S.C. 458, 593 S.E.2d 608 (2004). As part of the direct appeal, this Court performed the comparative proportionality review required by S.C. Code Ann. §......
  • Moore v. Stirling, Appellate Case No. 2020-001519
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 6, 2022
    ...The trial judge sentenced Moore to death.On direct appeal, this Court affirmed Moore's convictions and death sentence. State v. Moore , 357 S.C. 458, 593 S.E.2d 608 (2004). As part of the direct appeal, this Court performed the comparative proportionality review required by S.C. Code Ann. §......
  • State v. Jenkins, Appellate Case No. 2019-001280
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 6, 2022
    ...same aggravating circumstances and in which there were similar circumstances, we have affirmed the sentence of death. In State v. Moore , 357 S.C. 458, 593 S.E.2d 608 (2004), the Court upheld Moore's death sentence in connection with an armed robbery of a convenience store in which Moore ki......
  • State v. Jenkins, 28089
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 6, 2022
    ...same aggravating circumstances and in which there were similar circumstances, we have affirmed the sentence of death. In State v. Moore, 357 S.C. 458, 593 S.E.2d 608 (2004), the Court upheld Moore's death sentence in connection with an armed robbery of a convenience store in which Moore kil......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Moore v. Stirling, 28088
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 6, 2022
    ...The trial judge sentenced Moore to death. On direct appeal, this Court affirmed Moore's convictions and death sentence. State v. Moore, 357 S.C. 458, 593 S.E.2d 608 (2004). As part of the direct appeal, this Court performed the comparative proportionality review required by S.C. Code Ann. §......
  • Moore v. Stirling, Appellate Case No. 2020-001519
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 6, 2022
    ...The trial judge sentenced Moore to death.On direct appeal, this Court affirmed Moore's convictions and death sentence. State v. Moore , 357 S.C. 458, 593 S.E.2d 608 (2004). As part of the direct appeal, this Court performed the comparative proportionality review required by S.C. Code Ann. §......
  • State v. Jenkins, Appellate Case No. 2019-001280
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 6, 2022
    ...same aggravating circumstances and in which there were similar circumstances, we have affirmed the sentence of death. In State v. Moore , 357 S.C. 458, 593 S.E.2d 608 (2004), the Court upheld Moore's death sentence in connection with an armed robbery of a convenience store in which Moore ki......
  • State v. Jenkins, 28089
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • April 6, 2022
    ...same aggravating circumstances and in which there were similar circumstances, we have affirmed the sentence of death. In State v. Moore, 357 S.C. 458, 593 S.E.2d 608 (2004), the Court upheld Moore's death sentence in connection with an armed robbery of a convenience store in which Moore kil......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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