Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
2004-UP-549 - State v. Mack

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.

Tyson Mack,        Appellant.


Appeal From Sumter County
Howard P. King, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2004-UP-549
Submitted October 1, 2004 – Filed October 27, 2004


AFFIRMED


Assistant Appellate Defender Tara S. Taggart, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry D. McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, Assistant Attorney General W. Rutledge Martin, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Cecil Kelley Jackson, of Sumter, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Tyson Mack appeals his second-degree burglary conviction, arguing the trial court erred in refusing to grant him a directed verdict.  We affirm. [1]

BACKGROUND

Officers Evans and Kearney of the Sumter Police Department were dispatched to a sportswear store at 4:20 a.m.  When they arrived at the store, they learned it had been broken into and clothing had been removed.  They immediately began a search of the area and quickly located Mack in a nearby vacant lot.  He was carrying a large trash bag, sweating, and breathing heavily.  The officers stopped and as Evans approached, Mack dropped the bag, which contained a large amount of clothes on hangers with the tags still on them.  The officers then arrested Mack.  The police later showed the clothes to the store’s owner, who identified them as his merchandise. 

DISCUSSION

Mack concedes the State presented evidence he was guilty of receiving or possessing stolen goods and does not dispute the sportswear store was burglarized.  However, he contends he was entitled to a directed verdict on the burglary charge because the State failed to establish he was the person who broke into the store.  We find the court properly denied Mack’s motion.

In ruling on a directed verdict motion, the trial court is concerned with the existence of evidence, rather than with its weight.  State v. Mitchell, 341 S.C. 406, 409, 535 S.E.2d 126, 127 (2000).  “A defendant is entitled to a directed verdict when the State fails to produce any direct or substantial circumstantial evidence of the offense charged.”  State v. Rothschild, 351 S.C. 238, 243, 569 S.E.2d 346, 348 (2002).  Where the evidence is circumstantial, the court must submit the case to the jury if there is substantial evidence that reasonably tends to prove the defendant’s guilt or from which guilt can be logically deduced.  State v. Williams, 321 S.C. 327, 332, 468 S.E.2d 626, 629 (1996).  On appeal from the denial of a directed verdict, this court reviews the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.  State v. Asbury, 328 S.C. 187, 194, 493 S.E.2d 349, 353 (1997). 

In State v. Shields, 217 S.C. 496, 61 S.E.2d 56 (1950), our supreme court affirmed the denial of a directed verdict on a burglary charge where the defendant was found in possession of recently stolen goods taken during an undisputed burglary. 

Here, as in Shields, Mack was found in possession of recently stolen goods taken during an undisputed burglary.  The incident occurred in the very early hours of the morning, and the officers responding to the complaint arrived at the scene quickly.  They spotted Mack approximately a block away from the burglarized business and the record contains no evidence any other individual was in the vicinity at that time.  When the officers approached Mack, he dropped the large bag he was carrying, which contained the stolen clothes, still on hangers and bearing the store’s tags.  Viewed in the light most favorable to the State, this constitutes substantial evidence from which Mack’s guilt could be deduced.  Thus the trial court properly submitted the charge to the jury.

AFFIRMED.

Stilwell, Beatty, and Short, JJ., concur.


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