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2009-UP-010 - State v. Cottrell

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.

Luzenski Allen Cottrell, Appellant.


Appeal From Marion County
 J. Michael Baxley, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2009-UP-010
Submitted January 2, 2009 – Filed January 8, 2009   


AFFIRMED


Chief Appellate Defender Joseph L. Savitz, III, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, all of Columbia; and Solicitor John Gregory Hembree, of Conway, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Luzenski Allen Cottrell appeals his murder conviction and sentence, maintaining the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce evidence of a prior arson.  Specifically, Cottrell argues the State misrepresented the evidence it would present that would connect Cottrell to the arson and the subsequent murder, and as a result of the misrepresentation, the trial court erred in failing to grant Cottrell’s motion for a mistrial.  However, we find sufficient evidence in the record supports the trial court’s findings that:  (1) clear and convincing evidence was presented at trial to show that an arson occurred and that Cottrell was involved in it; and (2) evidence of the arson provided motive under Rule 404(b), SCRE, and was therefore admissible.  Accordingly, we affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b), SCACR, and the following authorities:  Rule 404(b), SCRE (“Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show action in conformity therewith.  It may, however, be admissible to show motive, identity, the existence of a common scheme or plan, the absence of mistake or accident, or intent.”); State v. Wilson, 345 S.C. 1, 6, 545 S.E.2d 827, 829 (2001) (“If there is any evidence to support the admission of the bad act evidence, the trial [court’s] ruling will not be disturbed on appeal.”).

AFFIRMED.

HUFF, THOMAS, and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur.


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