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2004-UP-422 - State v. Durant
12449

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.

Celeste Durant,        Appellant.


Appeal From Horry County
Paula H. Thomas, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2004-UP-422
Submitted June 8, 2004 – Filed June 30, 2004


AFFIRMED


Assistant Appellate Defender Robert M. Dudek, of S.C. Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry D. McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Charles H. Richardson and Assistant Attorney General W. Rutledge Martin, all of Columbia; and Solicitor John Gregory Hembree, of Conway, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  In April 2001, the Horry County grand jury indicted Celeste Durant and Chad Smith for homicide by child abuse and aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse in the death of Durant’s twenty-month-old daughter.  Following a jury trial, both Durant and Smith were convicted and sentenced to twenty years on each count, the sentences to run concurrently.  In this appeal, Durant argues the trial court erred in (1) failing to direct a verdict for her on both charges based on the insufficiency of evidence and (2) by refusing to dismiss the charges against her based on the State’s loss of certain evidence and the State’s refusal to stipulate as to the loss of the evidence.  We affirm [1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR and the following authorities:  Issue 1:  State v. Lindsey, 355 S.C. 15, 20, 583 S.E.2d 740, 742 (2003) (“On an appeal from the trial court’s denial of a motion for a directed verdict, the appellate court may only reverse the trial court if there is no evidence to support the trial court’s ruling.”); State v. Kelsey, 331 S.C. 50, 62, 502 S.E.2d 63, 69 (1998) (“In reviewing the denial of a motion for a directed verdict, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the State, and if there is any direct evidence or any substantial circumstantial evidence reasonably tending to prove the guilt of the accused, an appellate court must find that the case was properly submitted to the jury.”); State v. Smith, Op. No. 3804 (S.C. Ct. App. filed June 1, 2004) (Shearouse Adv. Sh. No. 23 at 36) (holding in the co-defendant’s case, given the evidence submitted by the State (1) on the severity and number of injuries to the victim; (2) that both Smith and Durant were the only two people with the child during the timeframe that she sustained her devastating injuries; (3) that her impairment should have been obvious to these two adults; and (4) that there was a possible cover-up, there was substantial circumstantial evidence on both charges such that the case was properly submitted to the jury); Issue 2:  State v. Cheeseboro, 346 S.C. 526, 538-39, 552 S.E.2d 300, 307 (2001) (“The State does not have an absolute duty to preserve potentially useful evidence that might exonerate a defendant.  To establish a due process violation, a defendant must demonstrate (1) that the State destroyed the evidence in bad faith, or (2) that the evidence possessed an exculpatory value apparent before the evidence was destroyed and the defendant cannot obtain other evidence of comparable value by other means.”).

AFFIRMED.

ANDERSON, HUFF, and KITTREDGE, JJ., concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.