State v. Reddick, No. 3448.

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtANDERSON.
Citation560 S.E.2d 441,348 S.C. 631
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Corey L. REDDICK, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 3448.
Decision Date19 February 2002

348 S.C. 631
560 S.E.2d 441

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Corey L. REDDICK, Appellant

No. 3448.

Court of Appeals of South Carolina.

Heard January 10, 2001.

Decided February 19, 2002.

Rehearing Denied March 21, 2002.


348 S.C. 633
Chief Attorney Daniel T. Stacey, of the South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for appellant

Attorney General Charles M. Condon, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Robert E. Bogan, Assistant Attorney General Christie Newman Barrett; and Solicitor Warren B. Giese, all of Columbia, for respondent.

ANDERSON, Judge:

Corey Reddick, an inmate, was convicted of throwing bodily fluids on a correctional officer. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment, consecutive to the sentence he was already serving. He raises two issues on appeal. We affirm.

FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Reddick was convicted of five counts of kidnapping and five counts of armed robbery and sentenced to fifty years imprisonment. He was housed at the Broad River Correctional Institute at the time of the incident underlying this action.

In the cell block where Reddick was housed, prisoners ate meals in their respective cells. At the end of meal time, an officer would go from cell to cell collecting meal trays from the prisoners. The prisoners passed their tray to the officer through the food service flap located in the center of the cell door.

348 S.C. 634
On April 1, 1999, Officer Keith Haynes approached Reddick's cell to collect his dinner tray. When Officer Haynes requested Reddick pass him the food tray, Reddick refused and demanded to see Sergeant John Rivera. Officer Haynes called Sergeant Rivera and continued collecting trays. As Sergeant Rivera approached Reddick's cell, he pulled out his can of mace as a precautionary measure and attempted to ask Reddick what was wrong. Reddick tossed the liquid contents of a Styrofoam cup through the open food service flap at Sergeant Rivera, striking the officer directly in the face. Officer Haynes, who was standing next to Sergeant Rivera, was also hit with the liquid. The yellow liquid smelled of urine and both officers believed the substance to be urine. Sergeant Rivera removed his yellow-stained shirt, placed it in a plastic bag, and provided it to his supervisor

Reddick was indicted for throwing bodily fluids on Sergeant Rivera. The jury convicted Reddick. This appeal follows.

LAW/ANALYSIS

I. VALIDITY OF THE INDICTMENT

Reddick argues his indictment was invalid and the Circuit Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the matter. We disagree.

Reddick was charged with violating S.C.Code Ann. § 24-13-470. The statute states, in pertinent part:

An inmate who attempts to throw or throws bodily fluids including, but not limited to, urine, blood, feces, vomit, saliva, or semen on an employee of a state or local correctional facility is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than fifteen years.

The caption of the indictment returned by the Richland County Grand Jury stated "Throwing Bodily Fluids by Prisoner on Correctional Employee." The body of the indictment provided:

That COREY L. REDDICK did in Richland County on or about April 1, 1999, wilfully and knowingly threw [sic] or attempted to throw urine on Sergeant John Rivera an employee of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Broad River Correctional Institute.

348 S.C. 635
Reddick argues this was insufficient to confer jurisdiction on the Circuit Court. The defect asserted by Reddick is the failure of the indictment to specify Reddick's status as an "inmate."

An indictment passes legal muster if it "charges the crime substantially in the language of the ... statute prohibiting the crime or so plainly that the nature of the offense charged may be easily understood...." S.C.Code Ann. § 17-19-20 (1985). The indictment must state the offense with sufficient certainty and particularity to enable the court to know what judgment to pronounce, and the defendant to know what he is called upon to answer. Browning v. State, 320 S.C. 366, 465 S.E.2d 358 (1995); Garrett v. State, 320 S.C. 353, 465 S.E.2d 349 (1995); State v. Ervin, 333 S.C. 351, 510 S.E.2d 220 (Ct.App.1998). "The true test of the sufficiency of an indictment is not whether it could be made more definite and certain, but whether it contains the necessary elements of the offense intended to be charged and sufficiently apprises the defendant of what he must be prepared to meet." State v. Beam, 336 S.C. 45, 50, 518 S.E.2d 297, 300 (Ct.App.1999) (citation omitted).

In State v. Crenshaw, 274 S.C. 475, 266 S.E.2d 61 (1980), appellants Crenshaw and Ligon were police officers tried for bribery, blackmail, and criminal conspiracy for extorting $5,000 from a doctor in exchange for promises to drop criminal charges against his son. The jury found appellants innocent of all charges except bribery. On appeal, the appellants asserted the indictment failed to charge the crime of bribery substantially in the language of the statute. They further contended the indictment did not set forth with sufficient certainty and particularity how appellants could have exercised their judgment as police officers in order that the criminal charges against the son be dropped or dismissed. The Court commenced its review with the following annunciation:

An indictment is adequate if the offense is stated with sufficient certainty and particularity to enable the court to know what judgment to pronounce, the defendant to know
348 S.C. 636
what he is called upon to answer, and acquittal or conviction to be placed in bar to any subsequent conviction.

Id. at 477, 266 S.E.2d at 62 (citation omitted).

To determine if the appellants were on notice and apprised of the charges against them, the Court examined the indictment "on its face," and considered the events at trial:

As the indictment bears the specific code section on its face and there was lengthy discussion concerning that code section throughout the trial, appellants obviously knew for what crime they were being prosecuted. Further, an indictment charging a statutory crime need not use the precise language of the statute in describing the offense, if the words used are equivalent to those employed by the statute, Livingston v. Commonwealth, 184 Va. 830, 36 S.E.2d 561 (1946), as was the case in this instance.

Id.

In State v. Adams, 277 S.C. 115, 283 S.E.2d 582 (1981), overruled on other grounds by State v. Torrence, 305 S.C. 45, 406 S.E.2d 315 (1991), the Supreme Court employed the phrase "practical eye" to define its comprehensive analysis of indictments for legal sufficiency:

The indictment sufficiency tests noted above must be viewed with a practical eye....

Id. at 125, 283 S.E.2d at 588.

Like Crenshaw, the Adams Court examined the totality of the circumstances to determine if the appellant was cognizant of the crimes for which he was charged:

[A]ll the surrounding circumstances must be weighed before an accurate determination of whether a defendant was or was not prejudiced can be reached. State v. Hiott, supra; State v. Shoemaker[216 S.C. 86, 275 S.E.2d 878 (1981)] supra; State v. Evans, 216 S.C. 328, 57 S.E.2d 756 (1950).
In this case the statement signed by Adams itself described his mens rea. He was indicted for the crimes accompanying the housebreaking-kidnapping and murder. In addition, he was accorded a preliminary hearing. Under all the circumstances, the contention that the indictment failed to fulfill its purposes is not supported. There is no
348 S.C. 637
indication that the appellant was unfairly prejudiced since he obviously knew the crimes for which he was being tried.

Id. at 125-26, 283 S.E.2d at 588.

Numerous cases have adopted the "practical eye" or common sense standard articulated within Crenshaw and Adams. See, e.g., State v. Gunn, 313 S.C. 124, 437 S.E.2d 75 (1993); State v. Wade, 306 S.C. 79, 409 S.E.2d 780 (1991); State v. Hamilton, 344 S.C. 344, 543 S.E.2d 586 (Ct.App.2001); State v. Beam, 336 S.C. 45, 518 S.E.2d 297 (Ct.App.1999).

In State v. Hamilton, 344 S.C. 344, 543 S.E.2d 586 (Ct.App. 2001), an inmate stabbed a correctional officer with a homemade knife and was indicted for the crime of the unlawful possession of "contraband" by a prisoner in violation of § 24-3-950. Section 24-3-950 specifies that "contraband" includes items pre-determined to be contraband by the Director of the Department of Corrections and published by the Director in a public place. The indictment in Hamilton did not specify that the defendant's knife had been declared contraband by the Director. The defendant argued the indictment failed to sufficiently state the offense and the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to try the case. This Court found the following:

Viewing the indictment "with a practical eye," we find it stated the charge with sufficient certainty to enable both the trial court and Hamilton to know what crime it alleged. The indictment specifically identified the contraband involved, incorporated
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14 practice notes
  • State v. Dudley, No. 3641.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 14 Mayo 2003
    ...of the statute prohibiting the crime or so plainly that the nature of the offense charged may be easily understood. State v. Reddick, 348 S.C. 631, 560 S.E.2d 441 To convey jurisdiction, an indictment must apprise the defendant of the elements of the offense intended to be 354 S.C. 541 char......
  • State v. Adams, No. 3640.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 5 Mayo 2003
    ...sufficiently apprises the defendant of what he must be prepared to meet. Browning, 320 S.C. at 368, 465 S.E.2d at 359; State v. Reddick, 348 S.C. 631, 560 S.E.2d 441 In South Carolina, an indictment "shall be deemed and judged sufficient and good in law which, in addition to allegations as ......
  • Marsh v. Stevenson, C/A No. 5:15-04633-JMC-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 22 Febrero 2017
    ...of the statute prohibiting the crime or so plainly that the nature of the offense charged may be easily understood." Reddick v. State, 560 S.E.2d 441 (S.C. Ct. App. 2002) (internal citations omitted). In the present case, Petitioner's Richland County indictment was true-billed by the Richla......
  • State v. Tumbleston, No. 4312.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 27 Noviembre 2007
    ...S.C. 103, 108, 572 S.E.2d 309, 312 (Ct.App. 2002) (citing State v. Adams, 277 S.C. 115, 126, 283 S.E.2d 582, 588 (1981); State v. Reddick, 348 S.C. 631, 637, 560 S.E.2d 441, 444 (Ct.App.2002)); see also Evans, 363 S.C. at 507-09, 611 S.E.2d at 516-17 (noting all the surrounding circumstance......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
15 cases
  • State v. Dudley, No. 3641.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 14 Mayo 2003
    ...of the statute prohibiting the crime or so plainly that the nature of the offense charged may be easily understood. State v. Reddick, 348 S.C. 631, 560 S.E.2d 441 To convey jurisdiction, an indictment must apprise the defendant of the elements of the offense intended to be 354 S.C. 541 char......
  • State v. Adams, No. 3640.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 5 Mayo 2003
    ...sufficiently apprises the defendant of what he must be prepared to meet. Browning, 320 S.C. at 368, 465 S.E.2d at 359; State v. Reddick, 348 S.C. 631, 560 S.E.2d 441 In South Carolina, an indictment "shall be deemed and judged sufficient and good in law which, in addition to allegations as ......
  • Marsh v. Stevenson, C/A No. 5:15-04633-JMC-KDW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 22 Febrero 2017
    ...of the statute prohibiting the crime or so plainly that the nature of the offense charged may be easily understood." Reddick v. State, 560 S.E.2d 441 (S.C. Ct. App. 2002) (internal citations omitted). In the present case, Petitioner's Richland County indictment was true-billed by the Richla......
  • State v. Tumbleston, No. 4312.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 27 Noviembre 2007
    ...S.C. 103, 108, 572 S.E.2d 309, 312 (Ct.App. 2002) (citing State v. Adams, 277 S.C. 115, 126, 283 S.E.2d 582, 588 (1981); State v. Reddick, 348 S.C. 631, 637, 560 S.E.2d 441, 444 (Ct.App.2002)); see also Evans, 363 S.C. at 507-09, 611 S.E.2d at 516-17 (noting all the surrounding circumstance......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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