State v. Moultrie

Decision Date12 July 1973
Docket NumberNo. 19660,19660
Citation261 S.C. 14,198 S.E.2d 231
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Willie James MOULTRIE, Appellant.
CourtSouth Carolina Supreme Court

William B. Regan, Charleston, for appellant.

Sol. Robert B. Wallace, and Asst. Sol., A. A. Rosenblum, Charleston, for respondent.


Paul Jager, a retired employee of the Naval Shipyard, was brutally beaten and robbed in front of his home in the North Area of Charleston County on March 14, 1972, at about 8:15 P.M. Willie Moultrie was arrested about an hour later, and property belonging to Jager was removed from his person. This incriminating evidence was admitted over objection at his trial, on which he was convicted of robbery. He appeals upon the ground that the evidence found in his possession should have been excluded as the product of an unlawful search and seizure. The issue turns on whether at the time of appellant's arrest the officers had probable cause of believing that he had committed a crime. If so, the arrest and incident search were lawful. State v. Barrs, 257 S.C. 193, 184 S.E.2d 708 (1971). The trial judge concluded that the arrest was made upon probable cause; and we think that the evidence, which will be briefly stated, was sufficient to sustain this conclusion.

Jager was badly bloodied during the robbery, in which he sustained a broken nose, broken jaw and torn ear. He had little opportunity to view his assailant, with whom he grappled briefly after falling to the ground and being kicked about the face and head. He described the robber to the county police officer, who arrived promptly after the incident and took Jager to the hospital, as a colored male, 5 8 ' or 5 9 ', or maybe taller, and wearing light-colored coveralls. En route to the hospital, Jager described the incident, and the officer relayed the information to the dispatcher by radio.

County detectives Parsley and Zinkann, who were in a patrol car in the area, heard the transmission of this information and the dispatcher's broadcast of it. They also received reports of an attempted housebreaking and of a burglary, both of which occurred within a short distance of Jager's home and within a very short time of the robbery. According to the dispatches, both crimes were perpetrated by a tall colored male wearing light-colored coveralls. As the officers cruised the area looking for the suspect, they stopped in front of a restaurant about a block from Jager's house. At that moment, about 9:45...

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2 cases
  • State v. Merriman
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • 12 Noviembre 1984 evidence to support a finding of fact by the trial judge of a criminal case, his finding of fact is conclusive. State v. Moultrie, 261 S.C. 14, 198 S.E.2d 231 (1973); 24A C.J.S. Criminal Law, Section After receiving assurances from the trial judge, the fourth witness testified. There is ......
  • State v. Dixon
    • United States
    • South Carolina Court of Appeals
    • 23 Enero 1985 evidence to support a finding of fact by the trial judge in a criminal case, his finding of fact is conclusive. State v. Moultrie, 261 S.C. 14, 198 S.E.2d 231 (1973); 24A C.J.S. Criminal Law Section 1832. We find no merit to this exception and so II. Did the trial judge err in overruling......

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