South Carolina Supreme Court Decisions 2016

South Carolina v. Beaty  
Date: December 29, 2016
Docket Number: 27693

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Michael Beaty, Jr. was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. After the jury was sworn the trial judge gave preliminary remarks. Appellant objected to the use of...

South Carolina v. Bash  
Date: December 21, 2016
Docket Number: 27692

Justia Opinion Summary: Walter Bash was indicted for trafficking in cocaine and cocaine base. The circuit court found officers conducted an illegal search, and suppressed the drugs. The State appealed. The court of appeals reversed the circuit...

Robertson v. South Carolina  
Date: December 14, 2016
Docket Number: 27691

Justia Opinion Summary: In this capital Post-Conviction Relief ("PCR") case, petitioner James Robertson filed a second PCR application alleging, among other things, that his prior PCR counsel were not qualified under section 17-27160(B) of the...

Blue Ridge Electric v. Gresham
Date: December 7, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-032
In the Matter of John Locklair
Date: December 7, 2016
Docket Number: 27686
Kinard v. State
Date: December 7, 2016
Docket Number: 27687
In the Matter of David Reuwer
Date: December 7, 2016
Docket Number: 27688
In the Matter of John Owens
Date: December 7, 2016
Docket Number: 27689
South Carolina v. Berry  
Date: December 7, 2016
Docket Number: 27690

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Steven Berry was convicted of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second degree. At trial, the State called Kim Roseborough who was qualified as an expert in the field of "child sexual abuse assessment and t...

Winkler v. South Carolina  
Date: November 23, 2016
Docket Number: 27685

Justia Opinion Summary: Louis Winkler, Jr. was convicted of murder for the shooting death of his estranged wife. He received the death sentence. He applied for post-conviction relief (PCR), arguing he received ineffective assistance of counsel...

In the Matter of Kenneth E. Johns
Date: November 16, 2016
Docket Number: 27677
In the Matter of David L. Savage
Date: November 16, 2016
Docket Number: 27678
In the Matter of Abigail Scudder Duffy
Date: November 16, 2016
Docket Number: 27679
In the Matter of Joseph Raymond Neal
Date: November 16, 2016
Docket Number: 27680
In the Matter of Amy M. Parker
Date: November 16, 2016
Docket Number: 27681
In the Matter of Robert T. Thompson
Date: November 16, 2016
Docket Number: 27682
In the Matter of Margaret D. Fabri
Date: November 16, 2016
Docket Number: 27683
Ex parte So. Carolina Dept. of Disabilities & Spec. Needs v. Linkhorn  
Date: November 16, 2016
Docket Number: 27684

Justia Opinion Summary: Rocky Linkhorn was arrested and charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor in the First Degree, Lewd Act on a Minor, and Disseminating Obscene Material to a Minor. After finding Linkhorn was incompetent to stand t...

Hayes v. State
Date: November 9, 2016
Docket Number: 27676
Simmons v. Berkeley Electric Cooperative, Inc.  
Date: November 2, 2016
Docket Number: 27674

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2003, petitioner Roosevelt Simmons acquired title to two parcels of land, "Tract 498" and "Tract 135." Both parcels were undeveloped, wooded, and located along Kitford Road on Johns Island. The parcels were separated...

State v. Witherspoon
Date: November 2, 2016
Docket Number: 27675
Tyler v. State
Date: October 26, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-031
Davaut v. Univ. of So. Carolina  
Date: October 26, 2016
Docket Number: 27673

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Nathalie Davaut appealed the denial of her claim for workers' compensation benefits for injuries she sustained attempting to leave her workplace. To reach her car, which was in a university lot provided for fa...

Trexler v. The Associated Press
Date: October 19, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-030
Earley v. South Carolina  
Date: October 19, 2016
Docket Number: 27672

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Russell Earley was convicted of criminal solicitation of a minor and sentenced to eight years in prison. Respondent's criminal charge arose from an encounter with a fourteen-year-old male (Victim) outside a pu...

Blackwell-Selim v. State
Date: October 12, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-027
Hilton v. Flakeboard America Limited  
Date: October 12, 2016
Docket Number: 27670

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Thomas Hilton suffered an admittedly compensable injury as the result of an insect or spider bite. The present dispute centered on whether he required further medical treatment to reach maximum medical improve...

South Carolina v. Hunsberger  
Date: October 12, 2016
Docket Number: 27671

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Alexander Hunsberger was sentenced to thirty-three years' incarceration for his part in the murder of Samuel Sturrup. Hunsberger argued on appeal that the trial judge erred in denying his speedy trial motion....

In the Matter of Charles Lee Anderson
Date: September 28, 2016
Docket Number: 27668
In the Matter of William Isaac Diggs
Date: September 28, 2016
Docket Number: 27669
In the Matter of Chester County Magistrate Angel Underwood
Date: September 14, 2016
Docket Number: 27665
Joseph v. SC Dept of Labor, Licensing & Regulation  
Date: September 14, 2016
Docket Number: 27666

Justia Opinion Summary: This case was one in a string of longstanding disagreements regarding how the practice of physical therapy should be regulated in South Carolina. The South Carolina Board of Physical Therapy (the Board) sided with member...

In the Matter of Kenneth C. Krawcheck
Date: September 14, 2016
Docket Number: 27667
South Carolina v. Manning  
Date: September 7, 2016
Docket Number: 27664

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Theodore Manning was charged with murder following the death of his girlfriend, Mikki McPhatter. The victim died after being shot in the back of the head in Respondent's home. It was undisputed that the victim...

Carolina Convenience Stores v. City of Spartanburg  
Date: August 31, 2016
Docket Number: 27663

Justia Opinion Summary: Jimmy Johnson fled from police after being stopped for having an expired vehicle license. Armed, Johnson went to a Carolina Convenience Store in Spartanburg, where he took Saroj Patel hostage. The City's police departmen...

In the Matter of Spero C. Keretses
Date: August 24, 2016
Docket Number: 27656
In the Matter of Eric G. Fosmire
Date: August 24, 2016
Docket Number: 27657
In the Matter of Joenathan Shelly Chaplin
Date: August 24, 2016
Docket Number: 27658
In the Matter of Abigail P. Allocco
Date: August 24, 2016
Docket Number: 27659
In the Matter of George Thomas Samaha, III
Date: August 24, 2016
Docket Number: 27660
In the Matter of Matthew Jeffrey Lester
Date: August 24, 2016
Docket Number: 27661
Allegro, Inc. v. Scully  
Date: August 24, 2016
Docket Number: 27662

Justia Opinion Summary: The underlying matter to this appeal stemmed from Emmitt Scully's departure from Allegro, Inc., a professional employer organization (PEO), in order to form a competing PEO, Synergetic, Inc., along with former Allegro em...

South Carolina v. Rearick  
Date: August 17, 2016
Docket Number: 27654

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a mistrial, Bryan Rearick moved to bar subsequent prosecution of felony driving under the influence resulting in death ("felony DUI") on the ground a second trial would violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the...

Parsons v. John Wieland Homes  
Date: August 17, 2016
Docket Number: 27655

Justia Opinion Summary: The South Carolina Supreme Court granted certiorari to review a Court of Appeals' decision affirming a circuit court order denying petitioner's John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods of the Carolinas, Inc.'s ("JWH") motion...

Hutto v. SC Retirement System
Date: August 10, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-026
Roe v. Bibby
Date: August 10, 2016
Docket Number: 27652
In the Matter of Justin J. Trapp
Date: August 10, 2016
Docket Number: 27653
Thomas v. State
Date: July 20, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-025
Castro v. South Carolina  
Date: July 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27648

Justia Opinion Summary: After a trial, petitioner Nelson Castro was convicted of trafficking cocaine between twenty-eight and one hundred grams and was sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment. Petitioner filed a timely motion for resentencing,...

In the Matter of Ronald Wade Moak
Date: July 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27649
In the Matter of Paul Winford Owen, Jr.
Date: July 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27650
In the Matter Thaddaeus T. Viers
Date: July 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27651
Byrd v. Nesbit
Date: July 13, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-024
Pascoe v. Wilson  
Date: July 13, 2016
Docket Number: 27646

Justia Opinion Summary: These cases arose out of an on-going South Carolina Law Enforcement Division ("SLED") investigation into the past conduct of certain members of the General Assembly (the "redacted legislators"), and was filed in the Sout...

State v. Douglas
Date: July 13, 2016
Docket Number: 27647
Yadkin Valley Bank v. Oaktree Homes, Inc.
Date: July 6, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-023
Smith v. D.R. Horton, Inc  
Date: July 6, 2016
Docket Number: 27645

Justia Opinion Summary: In August 2005, D.R. Horton, Inc. completed construction of the Smiths' home, and the Smiths closed on the property and received the deed. Thereafter, the Smiths experienced a myriad of problems with the home that result...

Baylock v. State
Date: June 29, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-021
In the Matter of William Franklin Warren, III
Date: June 29, 2016
Docket Number: 27643
Van Sellner v. South Carolina  
Date: June 29, 2016
Docket Number: 27644

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Didier Van Sellner pled guilty to armed robbery and later applied for post-conviction relief (PCR), asserting his counsel was ineffective for advising him to take a plea deal when the State could not demonstra...

Ceo v. SCDOC
Date: June 22, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-020
In the Matter of James Cox, Jr.
Date: June 22, 2016
Docket Number: 27642
Simmons v. South Carolina  
Date: June 8, 2016
Docket Number: 27641

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Kenneth Simmons was convicted and sentenced for the "brutal and horrific" 1996 murder and criminal sexual assault of an 89-year-old Summerville woman. Petitioner sought post-conviction relief (PCR), which was...

Maybank v. BB&T  
Date: June 3, 2016
Docket Number: 27640

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose out of a $17 million verdict rendered in favor of Francis Maybank for claims sounding in contract, tort, and the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA). Maybank brought this action alleging he...

Stokes-Craven Holding Corp. v. Robinson
Date: May 25, 2016
Docket Number: 27572
Johnson v. Heritage Healthcare  
Date: May 25, 2016
Docket Number: 27639

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, Linda Johnson enrolled her mother, Inez Roberts (Mrs. Roberts), in Heritage Healthcare of Estill (HHE) to receive nursing home care. Johnson held a general power of attorney for Mrs. Roberts, and as such, signed...

SC Public Interest Foundation v. Rozier
Date: May 18, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-019
South Carolina v. Jones  
Date: May 18, 2016
Docket Number: 27637

Justia Opinion Summary: Whitlee Jones was indicted for the murder of her boyfriend after she fatally stabbed him at the home they shared. In a pretrial motion, Jones asserted immunity from prosecution under the "Protection of Persons and Proper...

SC Public Interest Foundation v. Lucas  
Date: May 18, 2016
Docket Number: 27638

Justia Opinion Summary: South Carolina Code Ann. 57-1-410 (Supp. 2015) provided for the appointment of an administrative official denominated the Secretary of Transportation. Proviso 84.18 purported to suspend the 2015 termination/devolution pr...

Kennedy Funding v. Pawleys Island North
Date: May 11, 2016
Docket Number: 2015-MO-061
Ham v. State
Date: May 11, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-018
In the Matter of Robert W. Herlong
Date: May 11, 2016
Docket Number: 27634
State v. Griffin
Date: May 11, 2016
Docket Number: 27635
Gibson v. South Carolina  
Date: May 11, 2016
Docket Number: 27636

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Jacques Gibson was convicted of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a person under age 21. He sought the Supreme Court's review of his case when a trial court denied his application for post-convict...

Tappeiner v. South Carolina  
Date: May 4, 2016
Docket Number: 27632

Justia Opinion Summary: Susan Tappeiner was convicted by jury of second degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor. Tappeiner withdrew her direct appeal and filed an application for post-conviction relief (PCR), asserting, inter alia, th...

South Carolina v. Stukes  
Date: May 4, 2016
Docket Number: 27633

Justia Opinion Summary: Melvin Stukes appealed his conviction for criminal sexual conduct (CSC) and first degree burglary, arguing the court of appeals erred in affirming the trial court's jury instruction that Victim's testimony need not be co...

Palmetto Mortuary Transport v. Knight Systems, Inc.  
Date: May 4, 2016
Docket Number: 5402

Justia Opinion Summary: Knight Systems, Inc., owned and operated by Buddy Knight, engaged primarily in the mortuary transport business until 2007. Knight Systems entered into an asset purchase agreement with Palmetto Mortuary Transport, Inc., a...

Page v. State
Date: April 27, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-016
Gibbs v. South Carolina  
Date: April 27, 2016
Docket Number: 27630

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury convicted Jarvis Gibbs of kidnapping, entering a bank with the intent to steal, and using a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. The trial court sentenced Gibbs to an aggregate eighteen years' impriso...

Hueble v. SCDNR  
Date: April 27, 2016
Docket Number: 27631

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2003, William Hueble purchased 220 acres of farming and hunting property in Greenwood County. At the time of closing, the seller informed Hueble that Respondent Eric Vaughn, a corporal for the South Carolina Departmen...

Simmons v. State
Date: April 20, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-014
South Carolina v. Phillips  
Date: April 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27607

Justia Opinion Summary: Donna Phillips was convicted of homicide by child abuse and sentenced to twenty-five years' imprisonment in the death of her grandson (Child). The court of appeals affirmed her conviction. On appeal, Phillips argued the...

In the Matter of Gene Stockholm
Date: April 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27624
In the Matter of Robert Breckenridge
Date: April 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27625
In the Matter of Timothy Moses
Date: April 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27626
CareAlliance Health Services v. SCDOR  
Date: April 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27627

Justia Opinion Summary: Believing the purchase of orthopaedic prosthetic devices and other implants were eligible for a sales tax exemption, CareAlliance Health Services (the Hospital) sought a refund from South Carolina Department of Revenue (...

South Carolina v. Legg  
Date: April 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27628

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Ronald Legg was convicted of lewd act on a minor. He was sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment, ordered to be placed on the sex offender registry, and subjected to GPS monitoring. Appellant argued at trial an...

Traynum v. Scavens  
Date: April 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27629

Justia Opinion Summary: In April 2007, Loretta Traynum purchased an automobile insurance policy from Progressive Direct Insurance Co. through Progressive's website. Instead of selecting one of the preset packages Progressive offered, all of whi...

State v. Pace
Date: April 13, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-010
Hartzell v. Palmetto Collision  
Date: April 13, 2016
Docket Number: 27620

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Richard Hartzell appealed the court of appeals' decision to reverse the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission's determination that he was entitled to medical benefits for a work-related back injury....

Brock v. Town of Mount Pleasant  
Date: April 13, 2016
Docket Number: 27621

Justia Opinion Summary: The disputed actions at issue here occurred during special meetings for which the Town of Mount Pleasant issued agendas listing an executive session but not indicating Town Council would take action following the executi...

Teamer v. South Carolina  
Date: April 13, 2016
Docket Number: 27622

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Nathaniel Teamer was convicted of first-degree burglary, felony driving under the influence (DUI) resulting in great bodily injury, and failure to stop for a blue light (FSBL) resulting in great bodily injury...

South Carolina v. Beekman  
Date: April 13, 2016
Docket Number: 27623

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Richard Burton Beekman was convicted of committing first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor on his stepson (Stepson) and a lewd act upon a child on his stepdaughter (Stepdaughter). Beekman argue...

Pilcher v. State
Date: March 30, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-008
Rutland v. South Carolina  
Date: March 30, 2016
Docket Number: 27614

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner was convicted of murder, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, and pointing a firearm. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. The Supreme Court affirmed petitioner's...

Roddey v. Wal-Mart Stores  
Date: March 30, 2016
Docket Number: 27615

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2006, Alice Hancock waited in her vehicle in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart while her sister, Donna Beckham, attempted to shoplift several articles of clothing. Hope Rollings, a Wal-Mart customer service manager, notic...

In the Matter of Charles E. Houston
Date: March 30, 2016
Docket Number: 27616
South Carolina v. Robinson  
Date: March 30, 2016
Docket Number: 27617

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Alex Robinson was convicted of one count of trafficking in cocaine in an amount between 100 and 200 grams. He was sentenced to twenty-five years imprisonment and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. The Court of App...

In the Matter of Howard B. Hammer
Date: March 30, 2016
Docket Number: 27618
Kubic v. MERSCORP  
Date: March 30, 2016
Docket Number: 27619

Justia Opinion Summary: Five separate lawsuits were consolidated for the purposes of this opinion. County administrators and registers of deeds in Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper Counties (collectively, Respondents) filed sui...

Montgomery v. State
Date: March 23, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-004
South Carolina v. Pearson  
Date: March 23, 2016
Docket Number: 27612

Justia Opinion Summary: Michael Pearson was convicted of first-degree burglary, armed robbery, kidnapping, grand larceny, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. The trial judge sentenced Pearson to an aggregate sen...

South Carolina v. Marin  
Date: March 23, 2016
Docket Number: 27613

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Manuel Marin was convicted of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Marin appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed, rejecting his argument that the trial court committ...

In the Matter of Rosalee Hix Davis
Date: March 9, 2016
Docket Number: 27611
Furr v. Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals
Date: March 2, 2016
Docket Number: 27608
South Carolina v. Anderson  
Date: March 2, 2016
Docket Number: 27609

Justia Opinion Summary: Donald Anderson was walking in the vicinity of a drug raid when police officers located in the periphery of the search ordered him to the ground. Upon searching him, officers found crack cocaine, and Anderson was thereaf...

Thompson v. South Carolina  
Date: March 2, 2016
Docket Number: 27610

Justia Opinion Summary: From 1998 to 2000, an armed perpetrator committed six robberies of hotels in Lexington, Richland, Berkeley, and Charleston counties. During each of these robberies, the perpetrator entered the hotel, held the clerk at gu...

Riemann v. Palmetto Gems
Date: February 24, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-003
In the Matter of Julie Maria Fitzharris
Date: February 17, 2016
Docket Number: 27604
In the Matter of David B. Sample
Date: February 17, 2016
Docket Number: 27605
Duke Energy v. SCDOR  
Date: February 17, 2016
Docket Number: 27606

Justia Opinion Summary: The controversy in this case arose out of the South Carolina Department of Revenue's ("SCDOR") computation of Duke Energy's taxable income. Because Duke Energy did business in both North Carolina and South Carolina, it h...

South Carolina v. Phillips  
Date: February 17, 2016
Docket Number: 27607

Justia Opinion Summary: Donna Phillips was convicted of homicide by child abuse and sentenced to twenty-five years' imprisonment in the death of her 21-month-old grandson (Child). Phillips was alleged to have given the Child Tussionex, a prescr...

Dozier v. State
Date: February 3, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-002
South Carolina v. Moore  
Date: January 27, 2016
Docket Number: 27602

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Ashley Eugene Moore was convicted of trafficking in cocaine base and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. On appeal, Moore argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion t...

Fisher v. Shipyard Village  
Date: January 27, 2016
Docket Number: 27603

Justia Opinion Summary: The underlying dispute in this case involved the repair of faulty windows and sliding glass doors in a condominium development, Shipyard Village Horizontal Property Regime (Shipyard Village), in Pawleys Island. Fifty co-...

Stogsdill v. SCDHHS
Date: January 20, 2016
Docket Number: 27601
State v. Allen
Date: January 6, 2016
Docket Number: 2016-MO-001
South Carolina v. Bennett  
Date: January 6, 2016
Docket Number: 27600

Justia Opinion Summary: Kevin Tyrone Bennett was convicted of petit larceny, malicious injury to property, and second degree burglary. He was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for each offense, to be served concurrently. The court of appeals...

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