State v. Smith

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Citation338 S.C. 66,525 S.E.2d 263
Decision Date06 December 1999
Docket NumberNo. 3087.,3087.
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Kevin SMITH, Appellant. (95-GS-40-03704, 40-03706, 40-03707, 40-03708, 40-04282 and 40-11556). The State, Respondent, v. Sheldon Crawford, Appellant. (95-GS-40-3717, 40-3719, 40-3720, 40-3721 and 40-4975).

338 S.C. 66
525 S.E.2d 263

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Kevin SMITH, Appellant. (95-GS-40-03704, 40-03706, 40-03707, 40-03708, 40--11556).
The State, Respondent,
v.
Sheldon Crawford, Appellant. (95-GS-40-3717, 40-3719, 40-3720, 40--4975)

No. 3087.

Court of Appeals of South Carolina.

Heard October 7, 1999.

Decided December 6, 1999.

Rehearing Denied January 29, 2000.


338 S.C. 67
Chief Attorney Daniel T. Stacey, Assistant Appellate Defender Melody Brown, both of SC Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for appellant Kevin Smith

Assistant Appellate Defenders Robert M. Dudek, Melody Brown, both of SC Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for appellant Sheldon Crawford.

Attorney General Charles M. Condon, Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott and Solicitor Warren B. Giese, all of Columbia, for respondent.

CONNOR, Judge:

A jury convicted Kevin Smith and Sheldon Crawford of numerous offenses stemming from a riot at the Broad River Correctional Institution. Both appeal, arguing the trial court erred in refusing to replace a juror who appeared to be sleeping during their trial. We affirm.

FACTS/PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On the morning of April 17, 1995, Willie Leggins, a yard officer at the Broad River Correctional Institution, received a radio report of an escapee from the Monticello deadlock unit. Seeing an inmate run from the unit to the cafeteria, Leggins called for help and pursued. While Leggins waited for backup, Crawford charged and "stuck [him] a little bit in the side" with a knife. He and the inmate struggled, and Leggins was knocked unconscious. Leggins later identified the inmate as

338 S.C. 68
Sheldon Crawford, whom he had seen in the yard on other occasions and with whom he had conversed

Lester Shaw, a corrections officer also assigned to the yard, was standing outside the cafeteria window with Sergeant James Cooper when Leggins radioed for assistance. Looking up, Shaw observed an inmate he could not immediately identify lunge at Leggins. He ran to the front door of the cafeteria where he saw Crawford chasing Officer Evadney Sprull with a knife. Shaw intervened and Crawford stabbed him in the left thigh, the lower right leg, and the left chest area, which punctured his lung. As Crawford attacked, Shaw saw Kevin Smith hit Cooper with a baseball bat. Sergeant Cooper, who had accompanied Shaw to the cafeteria, also saw Sprull being chased by Crawford with a knife. As Cooper reached for his tear gas canister, Crawford struck at his chest with the knife. Cooper blocked the blow, but was stabbed in the right forearm. Other inmates then joined in the attack. Smith subsequently hit Cooper approximately twenty-five to thirty times with a baseball bat. When he finally reached his gas canister, Cooper sprayed everyone around him and escaped.

Officer Michael Green witnessed Smith's attack on Cooper. When Green ran over to assist, Smith hit him on the side, hand and head. Some other inmates then cornered Green, but he managed to escape through a side door. Roosevelt Fields, a maintenance gate employee, also observed the attack. When Fields attempted to aid Cooper, Smith hit him with the bat, catching him in the forearm and knocking him down. As Fields went down, Smith hit him again, this time in the back of the neck and head. Fields managed to escape.

When the disturbance began, Mary Mathis, a food services trainee on her first day of work, was touring the kitchen area with Tommy Haselden, the Director of Food Services. As the cafeteria erupted in chaos, Haselden pulled Mathis into the food services office and locked the door. Smith, however, used the baseball bat to break the office windows, and he and Crawford entered along with several other inmates wielding knives. Crawford handcuffed Haselden and the inmates took Haselden, Mathis, and Sprull hostage, holding them in a dry storage area. At various times during the ensuing negotiations, Crawford, armed with a knife, took each hostage to the

338 S.C. 69
front of the cafeteria. Smith also had a knife but did not openly threaten or harm the hostages. The inmates released Sprull after a few hours, but held Haselden and Mathis several hours longer. Afterward, Smith was charged and indicted on two counts of assault and battery with intent to kill (ABWIK), two counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature (ABHAN), and three counts of hostage-taking. The grand jury also indicted Crawford on three counts of ABWIK, three counts of hostage-taking, and one count of ABHAN

Smith and Crawford were tried jointly in May 1996. During a break, Smith's lawyer called the court's attention to an apparently sleeping juror:

Your honor, there is a matter that I want to put on the record. It's something that was called to my attention earlier, and in fact, I noticed it myself. One of the jurors appears to have a nodding-off problem. I think one juror keeps falling asleep, and I believe it's the same one. And if it is, not that all the testimony we've heard today is the most exciting, but if this is a pattern, and I believe as an officer of the court that it has been, I would ask to excuse her.

The trial court agreed that the juror, a young white woman, "at least this morning had the appearance of sleeping." But the court went on to state:

However, I did not [sic] that she, during testimony, would pick up her pad and write something. So at this point, I'm not going to excuse her, but will continue to watch her. Had she not done that, and I noted it on several occasions because I was hoping to try to get her attention to let her know that I was watching her what I thought sleep. But she surprised me in the sense that she reached down and picked up her pad on two occasions and wrote something down.
So given that, she may be a person that is just simply closing her eyes and listening. I don't know. I don't know whether she is or isn't, but I will continue to watch that.

The trial judge then reiterated that he would continue watching the juror and "possibly make some statement about it without singling her out." He added that he would entertain

338 S.C. 70
the motion again at the conclusion of the case. Defense counsel made no further objection and the trial proceeded.

At the close of all the evidence, the defense attorney renewed his motion to remove the juror, stating that from his vantage point she was "sleeping through at least portions of the trial if not the complete trial." The trial court responded as follows:

All right, I appreciate that. And I have really made a point to watch this morning.... But I have noted that she has been very attentive today throughout this proceeding.
I also, again, would note, because I, too, noted it and watched it closely because, number one, to be perfectly honest with you all, it irritated me that a juror was what appeared to be dozing. So it truly shocked me when I watched her on several occasions reach down and pick up her pad and write something. Now, I don't know what she wrote.... I must presume, however, though, it was something pertinent to this proceeding and it would show to me that [she], at least during those periods where her eyes were closed, she was, nonetheless, listening to the testimony.
Given that fact and given her appearance here today, I would deny the motion to excuse her at this point.

Defense counsel replied "thank you" and the matter was not discussed further during the remainder of the trial.

At the close of the State's case, the trial court directed a verdict for Smith on one count of ABHAN. The jury convicted Smith on the remaining ABHAN count, the three hostage-taking counts, and on one count of ABWIK. On the remaining ABWIK count, the jury found Smith guilty only of ABHAN. The jury convicted Crawford on the three hostage-taking counts in addition to finding him...

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13 practice notes
  • State v. Zeigler, 3967.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 21, 2005
    ...is whether there in fact was misconduct and, if so, whether any harm resulted to the defendant as a consequence. State v. Smith, 338 S.C. 66, 525 S.E.2d 263 (Ct.App.1999). Where a defendant seeks a new trial on the basis of juror misconduct, he is required to prove both the alleged miscondu......
  • State v. Zeigler, 2005-UP-188
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 14, 2005
    ...is whether there in fact was misconduct and, if so, whether any harm resulted to the defendant as a consequence. State v. Smith, 338 S.C. 66, 525 S.E.2d 263 (Ct. App. 1999). Where a defendant seeks a new trial on the basis of juror misconduct, he is required to prove both the alleged miscon......
  • State v. Benning, 3081.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 6, 1999
    ...he had seen Benning touch his sister on her "privates" in his mama's bedroom. Moreover, two different doctors related evidence of sexual 338 S.C. 66 conduct. I concur that the improper pitting was harmless under these Accordingly, I would affirm Benning's conviction. -------- Notes: 1. Burg......
  • State v. Bell, 4251.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 4, 2007
    ...the sound discretion of the trial court, and such decision will not be reversed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion. State v. Smith, 338 S.C. 66, 71, 525 S.E.2d 263, 265 (Ct.App.1999). More specifically, "[i]t is within the discretion of the trial court to determine whether bias results......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • State v. Zeigler
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 21, 2005
    ...is whether there in fact was misconduct and, if so, whether any harm resulted to the defendant as a consequence. State v. Smith, 338 S.C. 66, 525 S.E.2d 263 (Ct.App.1999). Where a defendant seeks a new trial on the basis of juror misconduct, he is required to prove both the alleged miscondu......
  • State v. Zeigler
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 14, 2005
    ...... 397 S.E.2d 90 (1990) (charge is sufficient if, when. considered as a whole, it covers law applicable to case). The. substance of the law is what must be charged to the jury, not. any particular verbiage. Burkhart , 350 S.C. at 261,. 565 S.E.2d at 303; State v. Smith , 315 S.C. 547, 446. S.E.2d 411 (1994); Adkins , 353 S.C. at 318-19, 577. S.E.2d at 464. . . A jury. charge which is substantially correct and covers the law does. not require reversal. State v. Foust , 325 S.C. 12,. 479 S.E.2d 50 (1996); ......
  • State v. Benning, 3081.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 6, 1999
    ...he had seen Benning touch his sister on her "privates" in his mama's bedroom. Moreover, two different doctors related evidence of sexual 338 S.C. 66 conduct. I concur that the improper pitting was harmless under these Accordingly, I would affirm Benning's conviction. -------- Notes: 1. Burg......
  • State v. Bell, 4251.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 4, 2007
    ...the sound discretion of the trial court, and such decision will not be reversed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion. State v. Smith, 338 S.C. 66, 71, 525 S.E.2d 263, 265 (Ct.App.1999). More specifically, "[i]t is within the discretion of the trial court to determine whether bias results......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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