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2004-UP-359 - State v. Hart

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 239(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

The State,        Respondent,

v.

Jabbar Hart,        Appellant.


Appeal From Florence County
James E. Brogdon, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2004-UP-359
Submitted March 19, 2004 – Filed June 4, 2004


AFFIRMED


C. Rauch Wise, of Greenwood, for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Attorney General David Spencer, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Edgar Lewis Clements, III, of Florence, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Jabbar Hart (Appellant) appeals his conviction for two counts of distribution of cocaine, contending the trial court erred in admitting the cocaine into evidence due to alleged flaws in the chain of custody.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR and the following authorities:  State v. Carter, 344 S.C. 419, 544 S.E.2d 835 (2001) (holding evidence concerning the chain of custody should establish the chain as far as practicable, but need not negate all evidence of tampering as long as the chain is complete; in applying this rule, courts have found the evidence inadmissible only where there is a missing link because the identity of those who handled the specimen was not established as far as practicable; however, if the identity of those who handled the specimen is established, evidence regarding its care goes only to the weight of the evidence, not its admissibility); State v. Singleton, 319 S.C. 312, 317, 460 S.E.2d 573, 576 (1995) (“The party offering evidence must trace possession of the substance and what was done with it from the time it was taken until final analysis.”); State v. Williams, 297 S.C. 290, 376 S.E.2d 773 (1989) (stating the admission of evidence requiring a chain of custody is discretionary with the trial judge and will not be reversed absent an abuse of that discretion).

AFFIRMED.

GOOLSBY, HOWARD, and BEATTY, JJ., concur.