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2004-UP-014 - State v. Jefferson

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

The State,        Respondent,

v.

Norwood, Allen Jefferson        Appellant.


Appeal From Anderson County
J. C. Buddy Nicholson, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2004-UP-014
Submitted January 12, 2004 – Filed January 15, 2004


AFFIRMED


Jeffrey Falkner Wilkes, and Richard Harold Warder, both of Greenville, for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, Office of the Attorney General, of Columbia, and Solicitor Druanne Dykes White, of Anderson, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Norwood appeals from his convictions for murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, arguing the State’s reference to a prior bad act in a portion of its questioning and closing argument was improper.

FACTS         

During Norwood’s trial for murder and possession of a firearm in connection with the May 27, 2001 murder of Carl Anthony Armstrong, the State informed the court it had knowledge of a prior incident involving Norwood and the victim in which Norwood attempted to shoot the victim.  In response, the court instructed the State it could attack Norwood’s character on rebuttal if the defense brought in the character issue.  The defense did not introduce the character issue; however, the State referred to the prior incident during its cross-examination of Norwood and his wife, as well as during its closing argument.  Although Norwood now argues the State’s reference to the prior incident was improper under Rule 404(a), SCRE (stating “evidence of a person’s character or trait of character is not admissible for the purpose of proving action in conformity therewith on a particular occasion”), Norwood’s counsel never objected to this line of questioning at trial, nor did counsel object to the closing argument statements referencing the prior bad act.  Norwood raises this issue for the first time on appeal.

LAW/ANALYSIS

We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR, and the following authorities:

As to the failure to object to the prior bad act evidence: see State v. Torrence, 305 S.C. 45, 69, 406 S.E.2d 315, 328 (1991) (holding a contemporaneous objection is required at trial to preserve an error for appellate review); State v. Hoffman, 312 S.C. 386, 393, 440 S.E.2d 869, 873 (1994) (noting an issue which is not properly preserved cannot be raised for the first time on appeal); Wilder Corp. v. Wilke, 330 S.C. 71, 76, 497 S.E.2d 731, 733 (1998) (stating an issue cannot be raised for the first time on appeal, but must have been raised to and ruled upon by the trial judge to be preserved for appellate review); State v. Black, 319 S.C. 515, 522-23, 462 S.E.2d 311, 315 (Ct. App. 1995) (determining a failure to object when the evidence is offered constitutes a waiver of the right to object).

AFFIRMED.

GOOLSBY and ANDERSON, JJ., and CURETON, A.J., concur.