State v. Smith, No. 23002

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtHARWELL; GREGORY, C.J., FINNEY and TOAL, JJ., and LITTLEJOHN
Citation379 S.E.2d 287,298 S.C. 205
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Perry Bush SMITH, Appellant. . Heard
Docket NumberNo. 23002
Decision Date09 February 1989

Page 287

379 S.E.2d 287
298 S.C. 205
The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Perry Bush SMITH, Appellant.
No. 23002.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard Feb. 9, 1989.
Decided April 24, 1989.

W. Gaston Fairey, of Fairey & Parise, P.A., and S.C. Office of Appellate Defense, Columbia, for appellant.

Atty. Gen. T. Travis Medlock, Asst. Attys. Gen. Harold M. Coombs, Jr. and Amie L. Clifford, Columbia; and Sol. Donald V. Myers, Lexington, for respondent.

HARWELL, Justice:

[298 S.C. 206] Appellant was convicted of murder and assault and battery with intent to kill. He appeals the trial court's denial of a directed verdict for acquittal by reason of insanity. We affirm.

FACTS

On the morning of Friday, August 19, 1983, Appellant Perry Bush ("P.B.") Smith entered the Johnston Post Office carrying a shotgun. In the fracas which followed, Smith shot four people. He killed Postmaster Charles McGee and injured postal employees Allen Thomas and Monroe Kneece, and police officer Robert Carroll.

Several witnesses testified as to the events of the shooting. The combined testimony of the witnesses established the following: Appellant entered the post office carrying a shotgun and told everyone inside not to move. Postal employee Jo Gibson ran from the post office, followed by appellant. After appellant left the building, Postmaster McGee locked the back door and told everyone to get out. McGee then followed appellant yelling "P.B., don't do it." Everyone left the post office except postal employee Monroe Kneece. Kneece went to check the door through which appellant had exited. As Kneece stood behind the door, appellant fired two shots through the door, injuring Kneece's face and right eye.

Meanwhile, Jo Gibson had stopped an off-duty police officer, Robert Carroll, who was driving through the adjacent Pantry Convenience Store parking lot. She told him what was happening; he got out of his car and told her to drive his car to the police station to get help.

Page 288

As Officer Carroll approached the side of the post office, he saw people running in all directions. He heard a shot; someone shouted that appellant was out front. As Officer Carroll walked back around the side of the building, he saw appellant shoot postal worker Allen Thomas, who was running from the post office.

Officer Carroll shouted for appellant to drop his weapon. As appellant continued to walk, Carroll attempted to fire at appellant; however, Carroll's gun misfired and appellant turned and shot him.

[298 S.C. 207] Appellant then entered the Pantry Convenience Store. Postmaster McGee and two Pantry employees were hiding in the storage area of the store. Appellant kicked down the door and told McGee "I told you you son-of-a-bitch I'd get even." He then shot McGee, who fell to the ground; he again told McGee that he was going to get even and shot him a second time.

Appellant then exited the Pantry, where he was approached by a wounded Officer Carroll. Appellant dropped his gun and was handcuffed; he apologized to Carroll for shooting him, telling him that he had not recognized that it was Carroll. As appellant sat handcuffed on the sidewalk, postal employee Albert Turner walked by, and appellant told him: "You better be glad Jo [Gibson] ran because you were next."

Appellant was then taken to the Johnston jail and from there he was transferred to another jail facility. Appellant was charged with three counts of assault and battery with intent to kill and one count of murder.

On October 2, 1983, the Circuit Court held a competency hearing and found that appellant was incompetent...

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10 practice notes
  • State v. Pittman, No. 26339.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 11, 2007
    ...a criminal defendant is presumed to have the requisite capacity to be held responsible for the commission of a crime. State v. Smith, 298 S.C. 205, 208, 379 S.E.2d 287, 288 (1989) (stating that a criminal defendant is presumed sane). However, "[w]here a person is between seven and four......
  • State v. Williams, No. 26770.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • February 8, 2010
    ...1080, 115 S.Ct. 730, 130 L.Ed.2d 634 (1995) (where the State relied on lay testimony to establish defendant's sanity); State v. Smith, 298 S.C. 205, 379 S.E.2d 287 (1989) (holding that where defendant presents expert testimony regarding his insanity, the State may introduce lay testimony in......
  • State v. Lewis, No. 24720
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 7, 1997
    ...cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1080, 115 S.Ct. 730, 130 L.Ed.2d 634 (1995) (State relied on lay testimony to establish sanity); State v. Smith, 298 S.C. 205, 379 S.E.2d 287 (1989) (where defendant presents expert testimony on his insanity, State is not required to present expert testimony on sanity......
  • State v. Wylie, 2012-MO-032
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 15, 2012
    ...v. Lewis, 328 S.C. 273, 278, 494 S.E.2d 115, 119 (1997) (holding a defendant may use lay testimony to prove insanity); State v. Smith, 298 S.C. 205, 208, 379 S.E.2d 287, 288 (1989) ("A criminal defendant is presumed to be sane . . . ."). 3. Confrontation Clause: State v. Holder, 3......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • State v. Pittman, No. 26339.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 11, 2007
    ...a criminal defendant is presumed to have the requisite capacity to be held responsible for the commission of a crime. State v. Smith, 298 S.C. 205, 208, 379 S.E.2d 287, 288 (1989) (stating that a criminal defendant is presumed sane). However, "[w]here a person is between seven and fourteen ......
  • State v. Williams, No. 26770.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • February 8, 2010
    ...1080, 115 S.Ct. 730, 130 L.Ed.2d 634 (1995) (where the State relied on lay testimony to establish defendant's sanity); State v. Smith, 298 S.C. 205, 379 S.E.2d 287 (1989) (holding that where defendant presents expert testimony regarding his insanity, the State may introduce lay testimony in......
  • State v. Lewis, No. 24720
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 7, 1997
    ...cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1080, 115 S.Ct. 730, 130 L.Ed.2d 634 (1995) (State relied on lay testimony to establish sanity); State v. Smith, 298 S.C. 205, 379 S.E.2d 287 (1989) (where defendant presents expert testimony on his insanity, State is not required to present expert testimony on sanity......
  • State v. Wylie, 2012-MO-032
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 15, 2012
    ...v. Lewis, 328 S.C. 273, 278, 494 S.E.2d 115, 119 (1997) (holding a defendant may use lay testimony to prove insanity); State v. Smith, 298 S.C. 205, 208, 379 S.E.2d 287, 288 (1989) ("A criminal defendant is presumed to be sane . . . ."). 3. Confrontation Clause: State v. Holder, 382 S.C. 27......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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