State v. Tindall, No. 4402.

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtShort
Citation665 S.E.2d 188,379 S.C. 304
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Terry T. TINDALL, Appellant.
Decision Date05 June 2008
Docket NumberNo. 4402.
665 S.E.2d 188
379 S.C. 304
The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Terry T. TINDALL, Appellant.
No. 4402.
Court of Appeals of South Carolina.
Heard March 4, 2008.
Decided June 5, 2008.
Rehearing Denied August 25, 2008.

[665 S.E.2d 190]

John S. Nichols, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, and Senior Assistant Attorney General Harold M. Coombs, Jr., all of Columbia; and Solicitor Christina T. Adams, of Anderson, for Respondent.

SHORT, J.


In this criminal action, Terry T. Tindall appeals the trial court's ruling that a search and seizure did not violate the Fourth Amendment. Tindall also appeals the trial court's failure to charge the jury on the issue of third-party guilt. We affirm.

FACTS

On the morning of April 15, 2004, Oconee County Sheriff's Deputy Sergeant Dale Colegrove was patrolling part of Interstate 85 in Oconee County. Colegrove stopped Tindall about 7 a.m. for speeding and following another vehicle too closely. Colegrove wrote Tindall a warning ticket but continued to talk to him. Approximately fifteen to twenty minutes into the stop, Tindall allegedly consented to a search of the vehicle. Sergeant Colegrove and other officers discovered three packages of cocaine under the rear bumper of the vehicle, weighing a total of 2,380 grams.

A grand jury indicted Tindall for trafficking in cocaine in excess of four hundred grams. At trial, Tindall moved to suppress the evidence discovered during the search. Colegrove and Tindall testified in camera during the suppression hearing.

Tindall testified that the morning of his arrest, he was traveling from his home in Hampton, Georgia to visit his brother in Durham, North Carolina. He testified he and his brother were going to Wilmington, North Carolina "to take care of some business" for their mother. The vehicle Tindall was driving at the time of his stop was rented to Lee Braggs. Tindall was named an authorized driver, as was another individual, Lewis Wilkerson. Tindall testified his car was not reliable enough to make the trip and because he did not have a credit card, Braggs had rented the vehicle for him.

After Colegrove pulled Tindall over, he informed Tindall he had been speeding, swerving, and following too closely. Tindall denied speeding or following too closely. Colegrove requested Tindall exit the vehicle and sit in the front seat of his patrol car. As Colegrove questioned Tindall, two other police cars arrived.

Colegrove asked Tindall how long he would be in North Carolina, and he replied he would only be there for the day.1 Tindall testified he informed Colegrove he intended to leave the rental car in Durham and his brother was going to drive him back to Hampton. Tindall explained that once the car was in Durham, Braggs, a restaurateur, needed the car to pick up seafood in North Carolina or Florida. Tindall testified Braggs knew Tindall did not have the means to get to Durham, so Braggs rented the car and let

665 S.E.2d 191

Tindall drive it to Durham. Tindall also said Braggs "needed to get to Durham quicker than driving there. He needed to get to Durham to take care of some business, and he needed the car once he got to Durham."

Colegrove returned Tindall's license and other documents, along with a warning ticket. Tindall testified he did not feel as though he could leave because Colegrove was still talking to him and the other officers were standing beside the door of the police car. He further testified Colegrove never informed him he could leave. Colegrove then asked Tindall if he could search the car and Tindall replied: "I don't care or ... I don't mind." Tindall testified he believed the stop lasted twenty minutes but was not surprised to learn the videotape from Colegrove's car revealed it was only twelve minutes.

Colegrove testified he observed Tindall traveling seventy-three miles per hour in a sixty-five-mile-per-hour zone. He also observed him following another car too closely and crossing the white line. Colegrove decided to stop Tindall and started the videotape equipment in his vehicle. Colegrove testified when Tindall exited the vehicle he did a "felony stretch," raising his hands as "kind of a stress relief action," which police officers are taught to look for in criminal patrol classes. He further testified Tindall continued to act very nervous even after learning he would only receive a warning ticket. He also testified normally once people learn they will not receive a ticket their nervousness subsides, but Tindall continued to have a rapid heartbeat. On cross-examination, Colegrove admitted he did not document Tindall's physical manifestations of nervousness in his report.

Additionally, Colegrove testified he found the circumstances of Tindall's trip suspicious because the car had to be returned to Atlanta that same day and Tindall was not the renter of record. Also, Colegrove testified the cities traveled to and from were considered "drug hubs." Based on his observations, Colegrove concluded Tindall was concealing something illegal inside the car.

Following the suppression hearing, the trial court denied Tindall's motion to suppress finding Colegrove had a reasonable suspicion that something illegal was occurring. Tindall also moved to suppress a statement he gave to officers at the scene of the arrest. The trial court denied the motion to suppress the statement.

The jury convicted Tindall of trafficking in cocaine. The trial court sentenced Tindall to twenty-five years imprisonment and assessed a $250,000 fine. This appeal followed.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The South Carolina Supreme Court has articulated the standard of review to apply to Fourth Amendment search and seizure cases. State v. Brockman, 339 S.C. 57, 528 S.E.2d 661 (2000). A trial court's factual rulings are reviewed under the "clear error" standard, like any other factual finding. Id. at 66, 528 S.E.2d at 666. The appellate court will affirm if any evidence supports the ruling and reverse only if there is clear error. Id. Under the "clear error" standard, an appellate court will not reverse a trial court's finding of fact simply because it would have decided the case differently. State v. Pichardo, 367 S.C. 84, 95-96, 623 S.E.2d 840, 846 (Ct.App.2005).

LAW/ANALYSIS

I. Fourth Amendment Violation

Tindall contends the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress the cocaine because the traffic stop and subsequent encounter violated his Fourth Amendment rights. We disagree.

The Fourth Amendment guarantees a person the right to be secure from unreasonable searches and seizures. U.S. Const. amend. IV; State v. Butler, 343 S.C. 198, 201, 539 S.E.2d 414, 416 (Ct.App.2000). "[T]he Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, including seizures that involve only a brief detention." State v. Pichardo 367 S.C. 84, 97, 623 S.E.2d 840, 847 (Ct.App.2005). A temporary detention during an automobile stop, even if only for...

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8 practice notes
  •  Edwards v. State Law Enforcement Div., No. 27082.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 28 Diciembre 2011
    ...court convicted Wiesart of indecent exposure, and in 1995 he pled guilty in Horry County to a controlled substance offense. Id. at 302, 665 S.E.2d at 188. Wiesart received probation, and his probation agent informed him that he would have to register as a sex offender because of his prior i......
  • State v. Rivera, No. 4598.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 22 Julio 2009
    ...S.C. 1, 5-6, 545 S.E.2d 827, 829 (2001)). 6. Id. 7. State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 111, 603 S.E.2d 594, 596 (2004). 8. State v. Tindall, 379 S.C. 304, 309, 665 S.E.2d 188, 191 9. Whren v. U.S., 517 U.S. 806, 810, 116 S.Ct. 1769, 135 L.Ed.2d 89 (1996). 10. Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 1......
  • The State v. Tindall, No. 26861.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 16 Agosto 2010
    ...Appeals rulings affirming the trial court's denial of his motions to suppress the cocaine and his statement to police. State v. Tindall, 379 S.C. 304, 665 S.E.2d 188 (Ct.App.2008). We reverse.FACTS One morning in 2004, an officer stopped Tindall's vehicle for speeding, following another veh......
  • State v. Barno, 2010-UP-500
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 10 Noviembre 2010
    ...defendant's knowledge and possession may be inferred if the substance was found on premises under his control); see also State v. Tindall, 379 S.C. 304, 313-14, 665 S.E.2d 188, 193-94 (Ct. App. 2008), rev'd on other grounds, 388 S.C. 518, 698 S.E.2d 203 (2010) (quoting with approval a charg......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  •  Edwards v. State Law Enforcement Div., No. 27082.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 28 Diciembre 2011
    ...court convicted Wiesart of indecent exposure, and in 1995 he pled guilty in Horry County to a controlled substance offense. Id. at 302, 665 S.E.2d at 188. Wiesart received probation, and his probation agent informed him that he would have to register as a sex offender because of his prior i......
  • State v. Rivera, No. 4598.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 22 Julio 2009
    ...S.C. 1, 5-6, 545 S.E.2d 827, 829 (2001)). 6. Id. 7. State v. Missouri, 361 S.C. 107, 111, 603 S.E.2d 594, 596 (2004). 8. State v. Tindall, 379 S.C. 304, 309, 665 S.E.2d 188, 191 9. Whren v. U.S., 517 U.S. 806, 810, 116 S.Ct. 1769, 135 L.Ed.2d 89 (1996). 10. Pennsylvania v. Mimms, 434 U.S. 1......
  • The State v. Tindall, No. 26861.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 16 Agosto 2010
    ...Appeals rulings affirming the trial court's denial of his motions to suppress the cocaine and his statement to police. State v. Tindall, 379 S.C. 304, 665 S.E.2d 188 (Ct.App.2008). We reverse.FACTS One morning in 2004, an officer stopped Tindall's vehicle for speeding, following another veh......
  • State v. Barno, 2010-UP-500
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • 10 Noviembre 2010
    ...defendant's knowledge and possession may be inferred if the substance was found on premises under his control); see also State v. Tindall, 379 S.C. 304, 313-14, 665 S.E.2d 188, 193-94 (Ct. App. 2008), rev'd on other grounds, 388 S.C. 518, 698 S.E.2d 203 (2010) (quoting with approval a charg......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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