The State v. Sanders, No. 4527.

CourtCourt of Appeals of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtTHOMAS, J
Citation388 S.C. 292,696 S.E.2d 592
PartiesThe STATE, Respondent,v.James E. SANDERS, Appellant.
Decision Date07 April 2009
Docket NumberNo. 4527.

388 S.C. 292
696 S.E.2d 592

The STATE, Respondent,
v.
James E. SANDERS, Appellant.

No. 4527.

Court of Appeals of South Carolina.

Heard Sept. 16, 2008.
Decided April 7, 2009.

Withdrawn, Substituted, and Refiled Oct. 1, 2009.


696 S.E.2d 593
Melissa Jane Reed Kimbrough, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry D. McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Kevin Scott Brackett, of York, for Respondent.

THOMAS, J.

James E. Sanders was convicted of the murder of the child of co-defendant Billy

696 S.E.2d 594
Wayne Cope (Child Cope),1 two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and criminal conspiracy and was sentenced to life imprisonment, plus thirty years. He appeals. We affirm.
FACTS/PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On January 12, 2002, police responded to a burglary at a house on White Street in Rock Hill. After taking fingerprints, the officer was called to a house down the street where a man of a similar description was attacking Victim 4. 2 On January 12, 2002, at about midnight, Victim 4 was in her room watching a movie when she heard a knock at her door. When Victim 4 opened the door, Sanders pushed the door in and shoved her into the bathroom. The fight continued in the kitchen where Sanders kicked and pushed Victim 4. Sanders also held Victim 4 in a choke hold and tried to get on top of her several times. While Victim 4 was on the floor, Sanders ran into her room and grabbed her purse. As he was trying to leave, Victim 4 grabbed a pan from the stove and hit Sanders with it. He dropped the purse and Victim 4 grabbed her Mace. She tried to spray him, but missed. She then saw a small screwdriver on the floor and swung it at him, hitting him at least once in the shoulder.

Victim 4 had a blood stain on her shirt, which the police took as evidence. When officers searched for the suspect, they spotted Sanders crouched between two buildings around the corner from Victim 4's house. Sanders' clothes and hair matched the description both victims had given and he was bleeding. Police were able to match Sanders' prints with the fingerprints taken at the White Street house. Sanders submitted to a blood test on January 14, 2002.

In September 2002, SLED tested bodily fluids it recovered during its investigation of the murder of Child Cope and found Sanders' DNA matched semen and saliva found on the victim's body. As a result of this discovery, Sanders was indicted on the charge of murdering Child Cope as well as two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and criminal conspiracy. Eventually, Sanders and Cope were tried together on all charges arising from the sexual assault on and murder of Child Cope.3

On June 18, 2004, Sanders filed a motion to suppress the DNA evidence extracted from him in January 2002 because it was unlawfully obtained. Conceding the blood drawn in January 2002 was invalidly obtained, the State moved on August 3, 2004, to have more blood drawn from Sanders.4 Sanders argued the second blood draw was fruit of the poisonous tree of the first draw. Judge Alford determined all the Snyder 5 factors were present: (1) probable cause existed to believe Sanders committed the crime of first degree burglary; (2) there was a clear indication that relevant material evidence would be found; (3) the method used to secure Sanders' blood sample was safe and reliable; and (4) the crime of first degree burglary is serious and the evidence to be collected from Sanders would be important to the investigation. On August 4, 2004, Judge Alford ordered Sanders to submit to a second blood test. Sanders' blood was drawn again on August 5, 2004. The trial court in this case denied Sanders' motion to suppress the DNA evidence based on Judge Alford's analysis under Snyder.

The jury convicted Sanders. This appeal follows.

LAW/ANALYSIS
I. DNA Sample

Sanders argues the trial court erred in admitting the DNA evidence because the

696 S.E.2d 595
first blood draw was invalid and the evidence from the subsequent blood draw, after the August 2004 hearing in the Victim 4 case, should therefore have been suppressed. We disagree.

In State v. Brockman, 339 S.C. 57, 528 S.E.2d 661 (2000), our supreme court articulated the standard of review to apply to a trial court's determination that a search did not violate the Fourth Amendment. The Brockman court rejected the de novo standard set forth in Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690, 116 S.Ct. 1657, 134 L.Ed.2d 911 (1996), for reviewing determinations of reasonable suspicion and probable cause in the context of warrantless searches and seizures and reviewed the “trial court's ruling like any other factual finding.” Brockman, 339 S.C. at 66, 528 S.E.2d at 666. Therefore, an appellate court may reverse a trial court's ruling only upon a showing of clear error and must affirm if there is any evidence to support the ruling. See State v. Williams, 351 S.C. 591, 597, 571 S.E.2d 703, 706 (Ct.App.2002).

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. U.S. Const. Amend. IV. A court order that allows the government to procure evidence from a person's body constitutes a search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Schmerber v. California, 384 U.S. 757, 767-70, 86 S.Ct. 1826, 16 L.Ed.2d 908 (1966). “[T]he Fourth Amendment's proper function is to constrain, not against all intrusions as such, but against intrusions which are not justified in the circumstances, or which are made in an improper manner.” Id. at 768, 86 S.Ct. 1826. “In other words, the questions we must decide ... are whether the police were justified in requiring petitioner to submit to the blood test, and whether the means and procedures employed in taking his blood respected relevant Fourth Amendment standards of reasonableness.” Id.

In In re Snyder, our supreme court set forth the considerations for...

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7 practice notes
  • The State v. Taylor, No. 4687.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 13, 2010
    ...S.E.2d 64 there is clear error.” State v. Green, 341 S.C. 214, 219 n. 3, 532 S.E.2d 896, 898 n. 3 (Ct.App.2000); accord State v. Sanders, 388 S.C. 292, 696 S.E.2d 592 (App.2009) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 16 at 80); State v. Willard, 374 S.C. 129, 133, 647 S.E.2d 252, 255 (Ct.App.2007).LAW/ANA......
  • State v. Jenkins, No. 4958.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 20, 2012
    ...the State presented evidence to the magistrate that the victim's clothing contained the DNA of an unidentified male); State v. Sanders, 388 S.C. 292, 298, 696 S.E.2d 592, 595 (Ct.App.2009) (finding the second Baccus element met because the State showed it could compare defendant's blood sam......
  • State v. Cope, No. 27303.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 28, 2013
    ...criminal conspiracy and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus thirty years. His convictions were affirmed on appeal. State v. Sanders, 388 S.C. 292, 696 S.E.2d 592 (Ct.App.2009). He is not a party to this appeal. 2. Cope contends he said, and meant, “for hours,” not “four hours.” 3. At th......
  • State v. Jenkins, Opinion No. 4958
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 28, 2012
    ...the State presented evidence to the magistrate that the victim's clothing contained the DNA of an unidentified male); State v. Sanders, 388 S.C. 292, 298, 696 S.E.2d 592, 595 (Ct. App. 2009) (finding the second Baccus element met because the State showed it could compare defendant's blood s......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • The State v. Taylor, No. 4687.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • May 13, 2010
    ...S.E.2d 64 there is clear error.” State v. Green, 341 S.C. 214, 219 n. 3, 532 S.E.2d 896, 898 n. 3 (Ct.App.2000); accord State v. Sanders, 388 S.C. 292, 696 S.E.2d 592 (App.2009) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 16 at 80); State v. Willard, 374 S.C. 129, 133, 647 S.E.2d 252, 255 (Ct.App.2007).LAW/ANA......
  • State v. Jenkins, No. 4958.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • June 20, 2012
    ...the State presented evidence to the magistrate that the victim's clothing contained the DNA of an unidentified male); State v. Sanders, 388 S.C. 292, 298, 696 S.E.2d 592, 595 (Ct.App.2009) (finding the second Baccus element met because the State showed it could compare defendant's blood sam......
  • State v. Cope, No. 27303.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 28, 2013
    ...criminal conspiracy and was sentenced to life imprisonment plus thirty years. His convictions were affirmed on appeal. State v. Sanders, 388 S.C. 292, 696 S.E.2d 592 (Ct.App.2009). He is not a party to this appeal. 2. Cope contends he said, and meant, “for hours,” not “four hours.” 3. At th......
  • State v. Jenkins, Opinion No. 4958
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • March 28, 2012
    ...the State presented evidence to the magistrate that the victim's clothing contained the DNA of an unidentified male); State v. Sanders, 388 S.C. 292, 298, 696 S.E.2d 592, 595 (Ct. App. 2009) (finding the second Baccus element met because the State showed it could compare defendant's blood s......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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