State v. Watson, No. 25463.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Docket NumberNo. 25463.
Decision Date06 May 2002
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Charles Edward WATSON, II, Appellant.

349 S.C. 372
563 S.E.2d 336

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Charles Edward WATSON, II, Appellant

No. 25463.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Heard April 4, 2002.

Decided May 6, 2002.


349 S.C. 374
Senior Assistant Appellate Defender Wanda H. Haile, of 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 Donald J. Zelenka, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey A. Jacobs, of Columbia, and Solicitor Druanne White, of Anderson, for respondent.

Justice PLEICONES.

Appellant Charles Watson ("Watson") appeals his conviction for murder, contending the trial court erred in not instructing the jury on the lesser included offense of reckless homicide. We affirm.

FACTS

A police officer observed Watson driving a stolen automobile. The officer followed the vehicle, and turned on his blue light and siren to signal Watson to stop. Watson sped away and the officer pursued. During the three mile chase that ensued, Watson disregarded a number of traffic signals, and reached a maximum speed of about seventy miles per hour ("mph"). He failed to stop at a stop sign and struck another vehicle. According to the officer, Watson was traveling between sixty and sixty-five mph when the collision occurred. One of the five passengers in the vehicle, ten year-old Tiffany Addis, died as a result of injuries sustained in the wreck. Three of the other passengers received serious but non-fatal injuries.

349 S.C. 375
Watson was indicted and tried on two counts of failure to stop when signaled causing great bodily injury, and one count each of failure to stop when signaled causing death, murder, possession of a stolen vehicle, and driving without a license. At trial, he requested the court charge the jury on the crime of reckless homicide 1 as a lesser included offense of murder. The trial court denied this request, but did charge the jury on the lesser included offense of involuntary manslaughter.2 The jury found Watson guilty on all counts, including murder. The court sentenced Watson to thirtyseven years imprisonment for the murder conviction. All other sentences were concurrent

ISSUE

Did the trial court err in refusing Watson's request to instruct the jury on the crime of reckless homicide as a lesser included offense of murder?

ANALYSIS

The trial judge is to charge the jury on a lesser included offense if there is any evidence from which the jury could infer that the lesser, rather than the greater, offense was committed. State v. Gourdine, 322 S.C. 396, 472 S.E.2d 241 (1996). The primary test for determining if a particular offense is a lesser included of the offense charged is the elements test. State v. Elliott, 346 S.C. 603, 552 S.E.2d 727 (2001). The elements test inquires whether the greater of the two offenses includes all the elements of the lesser offense. State v. McFadden, 342 S.C. 629, 632, 539 S.E.2d 387, 389 (2000). In a criminal case the trial court's subject matter jurisdiction is limited to those crimes charged in the indictment and all lesser included offenses. See State v....

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28 practice notes
  • Brown v. State, No. 4297.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 5, 2007
    ...silence by implicitly assuring a defendant his silence will not be used against him.") (overruled on other grounds by State v. Watson, 349 S.C. 372, 563 S.E.2d 336 (2002)); State v. Myers, 301 S.C. 251, 258-259, 391 S.E.2d 551, 555 (1990) (finding unpreserved Doyle violation where prosecuto......
  • State v. Northcutt, No. 26271.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • February 20, 2007
    ...included offense of the greater offense charged. State v. Burton, 356 S.C. 259, 264, 589 S.E.2d 6, 8 (2003) (citing State v. Watson, 349 S.C. 372, 563 S.E.2d 336 (2002)). There is no historical antecedent suggesting homicide by child abuse is a lesser included offense of murder. Because hom......
  • State v. Geiger, No. 4151.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 25, 2006
    ...there is any evidence from which it could be inferred that the lesser, rather than the greater, offense was committed." State v. Watson, 349 S.C. 372, 375, 563 S.E.2d 336, 337 (2002); Gourdine, 322 S.C. at 398, 472 S.E.2d at 241; accord Brightman v. State, 336 S.C. 348, 350-351, 520 S.E.2d ......
  • State v. Smith, Appellate Case No. 2015-001905
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 15, 2018
    ...Carolina Code (2015) ]: ‘ "Murder" is the killing of any person with malice aforethought, either express or implied.’ " State v. Watson , 349 S.C. 372, 376, 563 S.E.2d 336, 337 (2002) (quoting 425 S.C. 29 section 16-3-10 ). We find the following definition of "malice aforethought" instructi......
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28 cases
  • Brown v. State, No. 4297.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 5, 2007
    ...silence by implicitly assuring a defendant his silence will not be used against him.") (overruled on other grounds by State v. Watson, 349 S.C. 372, 563 S.E.2d 336 (2002)); State v. Myers, 301 S.C. 251, 258-259, 391 S.E.2d 551, 555 (1990) (finding unpreserved Doyle violation where prosecuto......
  • State v. Northcutt, No. 26271.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • February 20, 2007
    ...included offense of the greater offense charged. State v. Burton, 356 S.C. 259, 264, 589 S.E.2d 6, 8 (2003) (citing State v. Watson, 349 S.C. 372, 563 S.E.2d 336 (2002)). There is no historical antecedent suggesting homicide by child abuse is a lesser included offense of murder. Because hom......
  • State v. Geiger, No. 4151.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 25, 2006
    ...there is any evidence from which it could be inferred that the lesser, rather than the greater, offense was committed." State v. Watson, 349 S.C. 372, 375, 563 S.E.2d 336, 337 (2002); Gourdine, 322 S.C. at 398, 472 S.E.2d at 241; accord Brightman v. State, 336 S.C. 348, 350-351, 520 S.E.2d ......
  • State v. Smith, Appellate Case No. 2015-001905
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • August 15, 2018
    ...Carolina Code (2015) ]: ‘ "Murder" is the killing of any person with malice aforethought, either express or implied.’ " State v. Watson , 349 S.C. 372, 376, 563 S.E.2d 336, 337 (2002) (quoting 425 S.C. 29 section 16-3-10 ). We find the following definition of "malice aforethought" instructi......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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