State v. Wood, No. 3900.

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtANDERSON, J.
Citation362 S.C. 520,608 S.E.2d 435
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent, v. John Richard WOOD, Appellant.
Decision Date06 December 2004
Docket NumberNo. 3900.

362 S.C. 520
608 S.E.2d 435

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
John Richard WOOD, Appellant

No. 3900.

Court of Appeals of South Carolina.

Heard November 9, 2004.

Decided December 6, 2004.

Rehearing Denied February 16, 2005.


362 S.C. 523
Assistant Appellate Defender Robert M. Dudek, of Columbia, for Appellant

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, and Special Assistant Attorney General Amie L. Clifford, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Druanne D. White, of Anderson, for Respondent.

ANDERSON, J.:

In this criminal case, John Richard Wood argues the trial court erred by admitting evidence Wood shot and killed a state trooper shortly before committing the crimes involved in this appeal. We affirm.

FACTUAL/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Wood was indicted for criminal conspiracy, failure to stop when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle, resisting arrest with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, two counts of possession of a firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit a violent crime, four counts of assault with intent to kill, and three counts of assault and battery with intent to kill.

Immediately prior to the beginning of trial and outside the presence of the jury, the State moved for permission to introduce evidence at trial that Wood fatally shot a state trooper. The shooting occurred one to two hours before Wood committed the acts for which he was charged in the instant case. The evidence consisted of the testimony of Terry and Debra Wheeler and a 911 telephone call. The Wheelers witnessed a traffic stop, heard shots, and then saw a red moped weaving in and out of traffic. They followed the moped and saw Wood abandon the moped and get into a Jeep. The Wheelers followed the Jeep long enough to view the license plate number and made a 911 call with information about Wood and the Jeep. Based in part on the Wheelers' information, police officers attempted to apprehend Wood. Wood failed to stop when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle. A high-speed chase ensued during which Wood shot at police officers.

362 S.C. 524
Wood objected to the admission of the evidence on the ground it was irrelevant under Rule 401, SCRE, and, even if relevant, unduly prejudicial under Rule 403, SCRE. The State argued the evidence was admissible as part of the res gestae and to show motive, existence of common scheme or plan, identity, absence of mistake or accident, and intent under Rule 404(b), SCRE and State v. Lyle, 125 S.C. 406, 118 S.E. 803 (1923)

The trial judge found: "It's my judgment that the evidence from Greenville which the State seeks to admit is probably admissible as part of the res gestae and also under 404(b) as to the issue of intent." The judge further ruled:

However, based on the arguments that have been presented, I'm going to approach this matter cautiously and limit the State's use of the so-called Greenville evidence, at least initially. The State certainly should not be foreclosed from explaining to the jury some limited basis of what precipitated the stop or attempted stop in Anderson County.
At this time I will permit the State's witnesses to testify to observing, perhaps hearing an incident in Greenville involving an individual on a motorcycle or moped, however it is described, and that as a result an individual in the vehicle was followed, eventually to the rear of the Greenville Gymnastics Center, where the individual was picked up by a female in a jeep. Testimony would then permit the actual following of the jeep and reporting the tag number of the jeep to 911.
Anderson law enforcement would then be permitted to explain the fact that officers were alerted to the fact and looking for a jeep with a specific tag number which was registered to an individual, who can be identified, to an Anderson address as a result of an incident in Greenville.
At least initially, I want to proceed on the basis that there will not be a reference to the shooting death of a state trooper in Greenville. And I fully recognize in restricting the State in this regard, that events may develop during the course of the trial. For example, if the issue of identity becomes a bonafide issue, there may be issues of defenses which are raised. There may be requests for lesser-included offenses. And the list goes on. Any of which may well
362 S.C. 525
require a broadening of the admissibility of the Greenville evidence.
But at least initially, I'm going to restrict the State to the parameters I have outlined. If there's any need for clarification of that, I'll be glad to respond.

(Emphasis added).

In response to the judge's ruling, the Solicitor stated: "Your Honor, so in other words, we will not be playing the 911 tape where they say, we heard shots. We're just going to say an incident. Is that right? I've got, I think, all my witnesses in here. I just want to clarify it for everybody before we begin the testimony." (Emphasis added). The judge declared: "Yes, that's correct." Reference to the murder of the state trooper was prohibited. The shooting was referred to as an "incident" throughout the trial.

The jury found Wood guilty of criminal conspiracy, failure to stop when signaled by a law enforcement vehicle, resisting arrest with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, two counts of possession of a firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit a violent crime, five counts of assault with intent...

To continue reading

Request your trial
50 practice notes
  • State v. Martucci, No. 4438.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 24, 2008
    ...364 S.C. 466, 472, 613 S.E.2d 381, 384 (Ct.App.2005) (citing State v. Wilson, 345 S.C. 1, 5, 545 S.E.2d 827, 829 (2001); State v. Wood, 362 S.C. 520, 525, 608 S.E.2d 435, 438 (Ct.App.2004)); State v. Landis, 362 S.C. 97, 101, 606 S.E.2d 503, 505 (Ct.App.2004); State v. Abdullah, 357 S.C. 34......
  • State v. Kirton, No. 4470.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 17, 2008
    ...364 S.C. 466, 472, 613 S.E.2d 381, 384 (Ct.App.2005) (citing State v. Wilson, 345 S.C. 1, 5, 545 S.E.2d 827, 829 (2001); State v. Wood, 362 S.C. 520, 525, 608 S.E.2d 435, 438 (Ct.App.2004)); State v. Landis, 362 S.C. 97, 101, 606 S.E.2d 503, 505 (Ct.App.2004); State v. Abdullah, 357 S.C. 34......
  • State v. Douglas, No. 4075.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • January 23, 2006
    ...criminal cases, the appellate court sits to review errors of law only. State v. Wilson, 345 S.C. 1, 545 S.E.2d 827 (2001); State v. Wood, 362 S.C. 520, 608 S.E.2d 435 (Ct.App.2004). We are bound by the trial court's factual findings unless they are clearly erroneous. State v. Quattlebaum, 3......
  • State v. Rice, No. 4300.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 5, 2007
    ...State v. Baccus, 367 S.C. 41, 48, 625 S.E.2d 216, 220 (2006); State v. Wilson, 345 S.C. 1, 6, 545 S.E.2d 827, 829 (2001); State v. Wood, 362 S.C. 520, 525, 608 S.E.2d 435, 438 (Ct.App. 2004). We are bound by the trial court's factual findings unless they are clearly erroneous. State v. Quat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
50 cases
  • State v. Martucci, No. 4438.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • September 24, 2008
    ...364 S.C. 466, 472, 613 S.E.2d 381, 384 (Ct.App.2005) (citing State v. Wilson, 345 S.C. 1, 5, 545 S.E.2d 827, 829 (2001); State v. Wood, 362 S.C. 520, 525, 608 S.E.2d 435, 438 (Ct.App.2004)); State v. Landis, 362 S.C. 97, 101, 606 S.E.2d 503, 505 (Ct.App.2004); State v. Abdullah, 357 S.C. 34......
  • State v. Kirton, No. 4470.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • December 17, 2008
    ...364 S.C. 466, 472, 613 S.E.2d 381, 384 (Ct.App.2005) (citing State v. Wilson, 345 S.C. 1, 5, 545 S.E.2d 827, 829 (2001); State v. Wood, 362 S.C. 520, 525, 608 S.E.2d 435, 438 (Ct.App.2004)); State v. Landis, 362 S.C. 97, 101, 606 S.E.2d 503, 505 (Ct.App.2004); State v. Abdullah, 357 S.C. 34......
  • State v. Douglas, No. 4075.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • January 23, 2006
    ...criminal cases, the appellate court sits to review errors of law only. State v. Wilson, 345 S.C. 1, 545 S.E.2d 827 (2001); State v. Wood, 362 S.C. 520, 608 S.E.2d 435 (Ct.App.2004). We are bound by the trial court's factual findings unless they are clearly erroneous. State v. Quattlebaum, 3......
  • State v. Rice, No. 4300.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • October 5, 2007
    ...State v. Baccus, 367 S.C. 41, 48, 625 S.E.2d 216, 220 (2006); State v. Wilson, 345 S.C. 1, 6, 545 S.E.2d 827, 829 (2001); State v. Wood, 362 S.C. 520, 525, 608 S.E.2d 435, 438 (Ct.App. 2004). We are bound by the trial court's factual findings unless they are clearly erroneous. State v. Quat......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT