State v. Wilds, No. 3668.

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtANDERSON, J.
Citation355 S.C. 269,584 S.E.2d 138
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. Jimmy WILDS, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 3668.
Decision Date21 July 2003

355 S.C. 269
584 S.E.2d 138

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
Jimmy WILDS, Appellant

No. 3668.

Court of Appeals of South Carolina.

Submitted April 18, 2003.

Decided July 21, 2003.


355 S.C. 272
Assistant Appellate Defender Aileen P. Clare, of SC Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for Appellant

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Charles H. Richardson, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Harold W. Gowdy, III, of Spartanburg, for Respondent.

355 S.C. 273
ANDERSON, J

Jimmy Wilds was indicted for assault and battery with intent to kill (ABIK) and petit larceny. The jury found him guilty as charged. The judge sentenced him to twenty years, suspended to eight years with five years probation for ABIK and thirty days concurrent for petit larceny. We affirm.1

FACTS/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On October 5, 2000, Wilds and Allen Ladd drove a vehicle to Miller's Country Store to steal gasoline. After the men exited the car, the storeowner, Clarence Miller, and the cashier, Stanley Tuffill, became suspicious and approached the men at the gas pump. Tuffill stood at the front, right corner of the car. Miller was standing at the rear of the car. Wilds entered the driver's side of the car as Ladd "dove in the passenger side of the car." Miller, approaching the driver's side window from the rear, hollered at Wilds, "Are you going to pay for this gas?" When Wilds looked at Miller, Miller showed him the butt of a gun in his pocket. Wilds immediately sped off, running over Tuffill. Tuffill's belt caught in the brake line, and he was dragged under the car about 300 feet before being jarred loose. While Tuffill was under the car, Wilds swerved the car as he accelerated.

In Wilds' voluntary statement that was introduced as evidence at trial, Wilds admitted seeing Tuffill in front of the car, saying, "[Tuffill] never said anything but he walked and stood in front of the car." Wilds acknowledged knowing Tuffill was under the car, "Alan was screaming the dude was under the car, and the next time I saw him was in my rear view mirror when he came out from under the car. I didn't stop...." Lora Radford, a witness who saw the car speeding away from the store, said the men "looked like they were laughing."

At the end of the State's case, Wilds moved for a directed verdict on the ABIK charge. The trial court denied the motion. At the close of evidence, Wilds renewed his motion for a directed verdict. The judge again denied the motion.

355 S.C. 274
STANDARD OF REVIEW

The trial court is concerned with the existence or nonexistence of evidence, not its weight, when ruling on a motion for a directed verdict. State v. Gaster, 349 S.C. 545, 555, 564 S.E.2d 87, 92 (2002); State v. Rosemond, 348 S.C. 621, 626, 560 S.E.2d 636, 639 (Ct.App.2002). A defendant is entitled to a directed verdict when the State fails to produce evidence of the offense charged. State v. McKnight, 352 S.C. 635, 642, 576 S.E.2d 168, 171 (2003); State v. Rothschild, 351 S.C. 238, 243, 569 S.E.2d 346, 348 (2002). The judge should grant a directed verdict motion when the evidence merely raises a suspicion that the accused is guilty. State v. Schrock, 283 S.C. 129, 132, 322 S.E.2d 450, 452 (1984); State v. Home, 324 S.C. 372, 379, 478 S.E.2d 289, 293 (Ct.App.1996). However, if there is any direct evidence or any substantial circumstantial evidence reasonably tending to prove the guilt of the accused, this Court must find the case was properly submitted to the jury. State v. Harris, 351 S.C. 643, 653, 572 S.E.2d 267, 273 (2002); State v. Condrey, 349 S.C. 184, 190, 562 S.E.2d 320, 323 (Ct.App.2002).

When reviewing a denial of a directed verdict, this Court must view the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the State. State v. Burdette, 335 S.C. 34, 46, 515 S.E.2d 525, 531 (1999); State v. Morgan, 352 S.C. 359, 364, 574 S.E.2d 203, 205 (Ct.App.2002). If there is any direct evidence or any substantial circumstantial evidence reasonably tending to prove the guilt of the accused, an appellate court must find the case was properly submitted to the jury. State v. Venters, 300 S.C. 260, 264, 387 S.E.2d 270, 272-73 (1990); State v. Patterson, 337 S.C. 215, 232, 522 S.E.2d 845, 853 (Ct.App.1999).

LAW/ANALYSIS

Wilds contends the court erred in failing to grant a directed verdict on ABIK based upon the insufficiency of the evidence. Specifically, Wilds argues the State did not offer any evidence that he acted with malice.

355 S.C. 275
ASSAULT AND BATTERY WITH INTENT TO KILL

ABIK is an unlawful act of a violent nature to the person of another with malice aforethought, either express or implied. Tate v. State, 351 S.C. 418, 427, 570 S.E.2d 522, 527 (2002); Hill v. State, 350 S.C. 465, 472, 567 S.E.2d 847, 851 (2002); State v. Tyndall, 336 S.C. 8, 21, 518 S.E.2d 278, 284-85 (Ct.App.1999). ABIK comprises all the elements of murder except the death of the victim. State v. Foust, 325 S.C. 12, 14, 479 S.E.2d 50, 51 (1996); State v. Glenn, 328 S.C. 300, 310, 492 S.E.2d 393, 398 (Ct.App.1997); see S.C.Code Ann. § 16-3-10 (2003) ("`Murder' is the killing of any person with malice aforethought, either express or implied."). To be convicted of ABIK, the jury must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that if the victim had died, the defendant would have been guilty of murder. State v. Sutton, 340 S.C. 393, 396, 532 S.E.2d 283, 285 (2000); Glenn, 328 S.C. at 310, 492 S.E.2d at 398.

I. GENERAL INTENT

Furthermore, ABIK requires the intent to kill. State v. Foust, 325 S.C. 12, 15, 479 S.E.2d 50, 51 (1996); State v. Coleman, 342 S.C. 172, 176, 536 S.E.2d 387, 389 (Ct.App. 2000); State v. Glenn, 328 S.C. 300, 310, 492 S.E.2d 393, 398 (Ct.App.1997). It is adequate if general intent is established; specific intent is not necessary. Sutton, 340 S.C. at 396, 532 S.E.2d at 285; Foust, 325 S.C. at 15, 479 S.E.2d at 51; Coleman, 342 S.C. at 176, 536 S.E.2d at 389. Foust inculcates:

Such intent may be shown by acts and conduct from which a jury may naturally and reasonably infer intent. See State v. Lyons,
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25 practice notes
  • State v. Belcher, No. 26729.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 12, 2009
    ...6. Because the crime of assault and battery with intent to kill requires malice, our holding today applies to ABWIK. State v. Wilds, 355 S.C. 269, 275, 584 S.E.2d 138, 141 7. Today's decision does not stand alone. Other states that have addressed this issue have rejected the charge under si......
  • State v. Moore, No. 4247.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 18, 2007
    ...Rothschild, 351 S.C. 238, 243, 569 S.E.2d 346, 348 (2002); State v. Padgett, 354 S.C. 268, 580 S.E.2d 159 (Ct. App.2003); State v. Wilds, 355 S.C. 269, 274, 584 S.E.2d 138, 141 (Ct.App.2003). The trial court should grant a directed verdict motion when the evidence merely raises a suspicion ......
  • State v. Sweat, No. 3898.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 6, 2004
    ...on December 11, 2001. The State had to prove malice as an element of assault and battery with intent to kill (ABIK). See State v. Wilds, 355 S.C. 269, 584 S.E.2d 138 (2003) ("ABIK is an unlawful act of violent nature to the person of another with malice aforethought, either express or impli......
  • State v. Stanley, No. 4007.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 27, 2005
    ...merely raises a suspicion that the accused is guilty. State v. Zeigler, 364 S.C. 94, 610 S.E.2d 859 (Ct.App.2005); State v. Wilds, 355 S.C. 269, 584 S.E.2d 138 (Ct.App.2003). The appellate court may reverse the trial judge's denial of a motion for a directed verdict only if there is no evid......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
25 cases
  • State v. Belcher, No. 26729.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • October 12, 2009
    ...6. Because the crime of assault and battery with intent to kill requires malice, our holding today applies to ABWIK. State v. Wilds, 355 S.C. 269, 275, 584 S.E.2d 138, 141 7. Today's decision does not stand alone. Other states that have addressed this issue have rejected the charge under si......
  • State v. Moore, No. 4247.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 18, 2007
    ...Rothschild, 351 S.C. 238, 243, 569 S.E.2d 346, 348 (2002); State v. Padgett, 354 S.C. 268, 580 S.E.2d 159 (Ct. App.2003); State v. Wilds, 355 S.C. 269, 274, 584 S.E.2d 138, 141 (Ct.App.2003). The trial court should grant a directed verdict motion when the evidence merely raises a suspicion ......
  • State v. Sweat, No. 3898.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 6, 2004
    ...on December 11, 2001. The State had to prove malice as an element of assault and battery with intent to kill (ABIK). See State v. Wilds, 355 S.C. 269, 584 S.E.2d 138 (2003) ("ABIK is an unlawful act of violent nature to the person of another with malice aforethought, either express or impli......
  • State v. Stanley, No. 4007.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • June 27, 2005
    ...merely raises a suspicion that the accused is guilty. State v. Zeigler, 364 S.C. 94, 610 S.E.2d 859 (Ct.App.2005); State v. Wilds, 355 S.C. 269, 584 S.E.2d 138 (Ct.App.2003). The appellate court may reverse the trial judge's denial of a motion for a directed verdict only if there is no evid......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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