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2008-MO-050 - Johnson v. State

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 Supreme Court


Tony Stevenson Johnson, Petitioner,

v.

State of South Carolina, Respondent.


ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI


Appeal From Marion County
Edward B. Cottingham, Circuit Court Judge
Paul M. Burch, Post-Conviction Relief Judge


Memorandum Opinion No.  2008-MO-050
Submitted October 22, 2008 – Filed December 8, 2008 


DISMISSED


Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense, Division of Appellate Defense, of Columbia, for Petitioner.

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, Assistant Attorney General Julie M. Thames, of Columbia, for Respondent.


PER CURIAM:  Following a post-conviction relief hearing, this Court granted Tony Stevenson Johnson’s petition for a writ of certiorari and granted a belated direct appeal pursuant to White v. State, 263 S.C. 110, 208 S.E.2d 35 (1974).  Specifically, this Court instructed Johnson to brief whether the trial court erred in denying his directed verdict motion on the charges of murder and armed robbery.  Johnson’s counsel addressed this issue and attached a petition to be relieved pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967).  Johnson also filed a pro se brief.

In sum, James Dozier, III, the victim, was driving to meet friends to go hunting early one morning.  Dozier stopped at a convenience store where Johnson approached Dozier and asked for a ride.  After driving Johnson to a neighborhood, Dozier was fatally shot by Johnson using one of Dozier’s hunting rifles.  At trial, Johnson argued the shooting was accidental.  The State presented evidence indicating Dozier was well-trained in gun safety and an avid hunter.  Additionally, in statements made to the police, Johnson admitted to shooting Dozier, though he claimed the shooting was accidental.  Following the shooting, Johnson took Dozier’s wallet, moved Dozier’s body, and took Dozier’s truck.  The jury was charged on murder, involuntary manslaughter, accident, armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.  Based on the record before us, a jury question was presented.

We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities: State v. Harris, 351 S.C. 643, 653, 572 S.E.2d 267, 273 (2002) (“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. Pinckney, 339 S.C. 346, 349, 529 S.E.2d 526, 527 (2000) (“In reviewing a refusal to grant a directed verdict, we must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the State and determine whether there is any direct or substantial circumstantial evidence that reasonably tends to prove the defendant’s guilt or from which his guilt may be logically deduced.”).

After a thorough review of the record and briefs pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967), we dismiss the appeal and grant the petition to be relieved as counsel.

DISMISSED.

TOAL, C.J., WALLER, PLEICONES, BEATTY and KITTREDGE, JJ., concur.