Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
2010-UP-216 - State v. Luther Pearson

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

The State, Respondent,

v.

Luther B. Pearson, Appellant.


Appeal From Union County
R. Knox McMahon, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2010-UP-216
Submitted March 1, 2010 – Filed March 15, 2010


AFFIRMED


Lanelle Cantey Durant, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry Dargen McMaster, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., all of Columbia, and Solicitor Kevin S. Brackett, of York, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  This appeal involves a 2008 conviction for committing a lewd act upon a child under the age of sixteen.  On appeal, Pearson argues the trial court erred in not allowing defense counsel to question the victim regarding her school disciplinary actions under Rule 608, SCRE, or to cross-examine the victim's teacher regarding specific instances of the victim's conduct.  Additionally, Pearson argues the trial court erred by denying his motion for a mistrial and failing to provide a curative instruction when opposing counsel referred to a blood test which was held inadmissible due to an insufficient chain of custody.

We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR, and the following authorities:  Rule 608(a), SCRE (stating the credibility of a witness and her character for truthfulness may only be attacked by evidence in the form of reputation or opinion); Rule 405(a), SCRE ("In all cases in which evidence of character or a trait of character of a person is admissible, proof may be made by testimony as to reputation or by testimony in the form of an opinion.  On cross-examination, inquiry is allowable into relevant specific instances of conduct.");[2] McKissick v. J.F. Cleckley & Co., 325 S.C. 327, 350, 479 S.E.2d 67, 79 (Ct. App. 1996) (finding appellant who did not request a curative instruction was barred from arguing the court erred in not issuing one); State v. Hill, 382 S.C. 360, 369, 675 S.E.2d 764, 769 (Ct. App. 2009) (finding a mistrial should be granted only when absolutely necessary and should only result when the defendant can show both error and resulting prejudice); State v. Crawley, 349 S.C. 459, 465, 562 S.E.2d 683, 686 (Ct. App. 2002) ("[T]he power of the court to declare a mistrial should be used with the greatest caution and for plain and obvious causes."); State v. Haselden, 353 S.C. 190, 197, 577 S.E.2d 445, 448-49 (2003) (holding an error in admission of evidence is harmless when it is merely cumulative to other unobjected-to evidence).

AFFIRMED.

PIEPER, GEATHERS, JJ., and CURETON, A.J., concur.


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

[2] During cross-examination by defense counsel, the victim's teacher did not actually testify that the victim did not have a prior disciplinary record; she only testified in front of the jury that she could not recall any prior disciplinary actions.  Thus, we find her testimony, standing alone, was insufficient to allow general impeachment of an alleged improper statement by a witness.