State v. Smith, No. 23218

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtCHANDLER; GREGORY
Citation301 S.C. 371,392 S.E.2d 182
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Reginald J. SMITH, Appellant. . Heard
Docket NumberNo. 23218
Decision Date03 April 1990

Page 182

392 S.E.2d 182
301 S.C. 371
The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Reginald J. SMITH, Appellant.
No. 23218.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard April 3, 1990.
Decided May 29, 1990.

Page 183

[301 S.C. 372] Asst. Appellate Defender Daniel T. Stacey, of South Carolina Office of Appellate Defense, Columbia, for appellant.

Atty. Gen. T. Travis Medlock and Asst. Atty. Gen. Harold M. Coombs, Jr., Columbia, and Sol. Charles M. Condon, Charleston, for respondent.

CHANDLER, Justice:

Appellant Reginald Smith was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to twenty-one years imprisonment.

We remand.

FACTS/DISCUSSION

Smith was indicted for the armed robbery of a Master Host Inn in Charleston, South Carolina. Prior to trial, Smith moved to suppress from evidence a knife, allegedly used in the robbery, which was seized from his motel room pursuant to a search warrant. The affidavit supporting the warrant states:

That on May 12th at approximately 11:45 p.m. Reginald Jerome Smith went into the Master Inn located at 1468 Savannah Hwy., Charleston, S.C. and he then robbed the manager at knife point. Smith has been staying at The Host of America Room 216 since Jan. 1, 1988 and there is every reason to believe the weapon and clothes used in the robbery will be located in the room. This information was confirmed in person by Sgt. Sherman on 05/13/88.

[301 S.C. 373] This affidavit is defective on its face. An affidavit must contain sufficient underlying facts and information upon which a magistrate may make a determination of probable cause. State v. Viard, 276 S.C. 147, 276 S.E.2d 531 (1981). Mere conclusory statements which give the magistrate no basis to make a judgment regarding probable cause are insufficient. "[H]is action cannot be a mere ratification of the bare conclusions of others." Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 239, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 2333, 76 L.Ed.2d 527, 549 (1983).

Here, the affidavit sets forth no facts as to why police believed Smith robbed the Master Host Inn. Although the record reveals that police relied upon information from an informant, there is no indication that this fact was made known to the magistrate, or that the magistrate made any determination of the informant's reliability.

Accordingly, the case is remanded to the trial court for a hearing. If it be determined that sufficient oral testimony was presented to the Magistrate, 1 the judgment is affirmed; if not, Smith is entitled to a new trial and suppression of the illegally...

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16 practice notes
  • State v. Jenkins, No. 4958.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 20, 2012
    ...set forth facts as to why the police believe the suspect whose DNA is sought is the person who committed the crime. See State v. Smith, 301 S.C. 371, 373, 392 S.E.2d 182, 183 (1990) (finding an affidavit defective because it “sets forth no facts as to why police believed Smith” committed th......
  • Carter v. Bryant, Appellate Case No. 2016-002556
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • January 15, 2020
    ...affidavit contained only conclusory statements and did not give the magistrate enough facts to find probable cause. See State v. Smith , 301 S.C. 371, 373, 392 S.E.2d 182, 183 (1990). As we have noted, whether an arrest warrant was supported by probable cause is a different question than wh......
  • State v. Moore, Opinion No. 5512.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 30, 2017
    ...namely, because police discovered his phone in Victim's vehicle at the scene of 421 S.C. 180the shooting. Contra State v. Smith , 301 S.C. 371, 373, 392 S.E.2d 182, 183 (1990) (finding an affidavit defective on its face when it set forth no facts as to why police believed a defendant commit......
  • State v. Baccus, No. 26094.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 9, 2006
    ...make an independent evaluation of the matter. Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 98 S.Ct. 2674, 57 L.Ed.2d 667 (1978). In State v. Smith, 301 S.C. 371, 392 S.E.2d 182 (1990), Smith moved to suppress a knife, allegedly used in a robbery, which was seized from his motel room pursuant to a sear......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • State v. Jenkins, No. 4958.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 20, 2012
    ...set forth facts as to why the police believe the suspect whose DNA is sought is the person who committed the crime. See State v. Smith, 301 S.C. 371, 373, 392 S.E.2d 182, 183 (1990) (finding an affidavit defective because it “sets forth no facts as to why police believed Smith” committed th......
  • Carter v. Bryant, Appellate Case No. 2016-002556
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • January 15, 2020
    ...affidavit contained only conclusory statements and did not give the magistrate enough facts to find probable cause. See State v. Smith , 301 S.C. 371, 373, 392 S.E.2d 182, 183 (1990). As we have noted, whether an arrest warrant was supported by probable cause is a different question than wh......
  • State v. Moore, Opinion No. 5512.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 30, 2017
    ...namely, because police discovered his phone in Victim's vehicle at the scene of 421 S.C. 180the shooting. Contra State v. Smith , 301 S.C. 371, 373, 392 S.E.2d 182, 183 (1990) (finding an affidavit defective on its face when it set forth no facts as to why police believed a defendant commit......
  • State v. Baccus, No. 26094.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • January 9, 2006
    ...make an independent evaluation of the matter. Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 98 S.Ct. 2674, 57 L.Ed.2d 667 (1978). In State v. Smith, 301 S.C. 371, 392 S.E.2d 182 (1990), Smith moved to suppress a knife, allegedly used in a robbery, which was seized from his motel room pursuant to a sear......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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