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
In The Court of Appeals
The State, Respondent,
Hugh Lussardi, Appellant.
J. Derham Cole, Circuit Court Judge
Unpublished Opinion No. 2005-UP-529
Submitted September 1, 2005 – Filed September 16, 2005
Assistant Appellate Defender Robert M. Dudek, Office of Appellate Defense, 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 Deborah R. J. Shupe, Office of the Attorney General, of Columbia, and Solicitor Harold W. Gowdy, III, of Spartanburg, for Respondent.
PER CURIAM: A jury found Hugh Lussardi guilty of first degree burglary and grand larceny. He was sentenced to life in prison for first degree burglary and five years for grand larceny. Lussardi appeals, arguing the indictment was insufficient, the trial court erred by allowing the State to introduce Lussardi’s two prior burglary convictions because they were more prejudicial than probative, and the trial court erred by sentencing Lussardi to life imprisonment without parole because his two prior burglaries were committed in a continuous course of conduct. We affirm.
On January 28, 2002, Jody Mabry returned home from work and discovered that the doors to his garage were open. Upon inspection, Mabry noticed that the walk-in door had been smashed and his four-wheeler was missing. Mabry also noticed fresh four-wheeler tracks leading out of the building, around the building, through the woods behind the building, and then turning right onto
Sheila Culbreth, who is Mabry’s Aunt and lives across the street from Mabry, testified she heard her dogs barking that afternoon, so she went to her door to see what was outside. When she looked outside, she saw two men walking up the road. She testified that one of the men had long blonde hair and was wearing a type of cap on his head. She said the other man had dark hair. Culbreth said she did not get a good look at their faces because they never looked at her. Shortly after Culbreth saw the two men in the street, she heard a banging noise and something running in the distance, but she did not see anything. Culbreth saw the dark-haired man, who she later identified as Lussardi, again about two or three days later when she found him standing in her driveway when she came home from work. She saw his face and noticed that he had a beard.
Thomas Lawter testified that Lussardi was at his house on January 28 and Lussardi wanted him to help him “go get a four-wheeler.” The two men had been drinking at Lawter’s house. Lawter said Lussardi used a steel rod to break into Mabry’s garage and then drove Mabry’s four-wheeler out of the garage. Lawter said he was scared and hid in the woods while Lussardi broke into the building, but he got on the back of the four-wheeler after Lussardi had stolen it. The two of them then rode the four-wheeler through the woods to Lawter’s house on
Lussardi was found guilty of first degree burglary and grand larceny. He was sentenced to life in prison for first degree burglary and five years for grand larceny. Lussardi made a motion for a new trial, which was denied. Lussardi now appeals.
Lussardi argues the trial court erred by allowing the case to go forward as a first degree burglary case and by denying his motion for new trial because the indictment was insufficient. We disagree.
On appeal, Lussardi claims the indictment failed to give him notice of what he was called upon to defend and failed to protect him against double jeopardy because it stated that Lussardi entered Mabry’s “dwelling.” Lussardi did not directly raise this issue to the trial judge as a defect in the indictment, but indirectly raised it in his request to suppress Lussardi’s prior record on the basis that the statute violates the
A person is guilty of first degree burglary “if the person enters a dwelling without consent and with intent to commit a crime in the dwelling, and . . . (2) the burglary is committed by a person with a prior record of two or more convictions for burglary or housebreaking.” S.C. Code Ann. § 16-11-311(A) (2003). For purposes of this statute, “‘[d]welling’ means its definition found in § 16-11-10 and also means the living quarters of a building which is used or normally used for sleeping, living, or lodging by a person.” S.C. Code Ann. § 16-11-310(2) (2003). With respect to burglary, section 16-11-10 of the South Carolina Code (2003) provides that a dwelling house also includes “all houses, outhouses, buildings, sheds and erections which are within two hundred yards of [the dwelling house].” State v. Smalls, 336 S.C. 301, 306-07, 519 S.E.2d 793, 795 (Ct. App. 1999).
“An indictment is sufficient if the offense is stated with sufficient certainty and particularity to enable the court to know what judgment to pronounce, the defendant to know what he is called upon to answer, and if an acquittal or a conviction thereon may be pleaded as a bar to any subsequent prosecution.” State v. Owens, 293 S.C. 161, 165, 359 S.E.2d 275, 277 (1987). “The true test of the sufficiency of an indictment is not whether it could be made more definite and certain, but whether it contains the necessary elements of the offense intended to be charged and sufficiently apprises the defendant of what he must be prepared to meet.” Browning v. State, 320 S.C. 366, 368, 465 S.E.2d 358, 359 (1995). “An indictment phrased substantially in the language of the statute which creates and defines the offense is ordinarily sufficient.” State v. Shoemaker, 276 S.C. 86, 88, 275 S.E.2d 878, 878 (1981).
The indictment in this case expressly referenced section 16-11-311 of the South Carolina Code (2003) and specifically alleged that Lussardi entered Mabry’s “dwelling” without his consent and with the intent to commit a crime therein, and that he had two prior burglary convictions. We therefore find the indictment for first degree burglary was sufficient.
II. Prior Convictions
Lussardi argues the trial court erred by allowing the State to introduce Lussardi’s two prior burglary convictions because they were more prejudicial than probative. We disagree.
A person is guilty of first degree burglary “if the person enters a dwelling without consent and with intent to commit a crime in the dwelling, and . . . (2) the burglary is committed by a person with a prior record of two or more convictions for burglary or housebreaking.” S.C. Code Ann. § 16-11-311(A) (2003). “To deter repeat offenders, the General Assembly chose to include two or more prior burglary and/or housebreaking convictions as an element of first degree burglary.” State v. Benton, 338 S.C. 151, 154, 526 S.E.2d 228, 230 (2000). In State v. Benton, our Supreme Court ruled that section 16-11-311(A)(2) does not violate due process because it is reasonably designed to accomplish its purpose.
In State v. James, 355 S.C. 25, 32, 583 S.E.2d 745, 748 (2003), the Supreme Court reaffirmed the steps it provided in
To ensure a defendant is not convicted on an improper basis while allowing the State to prove the elements of first degree burglary, the trial court should limit evidence to the prior burglary and/or housebreaking convictions . . . . Particular information regarding the prior crimes should not be admitted. Addionally, the trial court . . . should, on request, instruct the jury on the limited purpose for which the prior crime evidence can be considered.
Here, the State only offered evidence of Lussardi’s two prior convictions that were required to establish the statutory element of first degree burglary. Also, the court limited the admissible evidence to the existence of Lussardi’s prior convictions and did not allow any evidence regarding the particular circumstances of those convictions to avoid undue prejudice. Furthermore, the trial judge provided a limiting charge to the jury. Therefore, the probative value of admitting Lussardi’s prior burglary convictions was not outweighed by their prejudicial effect. Rule 403, SCRE.
III. Continuous Course of Conduct
Lussardi argues the trial court erred by sentencing Lussardi to life imprisonment without parole because his two prior burglaries were committed in a continuous course of conduct. We disagree.
At trial, Lussardi claimed a life sentence was “cruel and unusual punishment considering the fact[s] and the number of years that elapsed between the prior convictions.” However, Lussardi never raised the “continuous course of conduct” issue to the trial judge. “It is axiomatic that 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.” Wilder Corp., 330 S.C. at 76, 497 S.E.2d at 733. Therefore, because the “continuous course of conduct” issue was not raised to or ruled upon by the trial judge, that issue is not preserved for our review.
GOOLSBY, BEATTY, and SHORT, J.J., concur.
 We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.
 Mabry testified that the garage is located on his property, 126 feet from his home, and is used by the family every day.
 On appeal, Lussardi contends the indictment should have stated that the garage was a building within two hundred yards of Mabry’s dwelling house.