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2010-UP-331 - State v. Rocquemore

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.

David M. Rocquemore, Appellant.


Appeal From Charleston County
Daniel  F.  Pieper, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2010-UP-331
Heard April 14, 2010 – Filed June 28, 2010


AFFIRMED


Andrew John Savage III, of Charleston, and Senior 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 Salley W. Elliott, Assistant Attorney General Deborah R.J. Shupe, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Scarlett Anne Wilson, of Charleston, for Respondent.


PER CURIAM: David Rocquemore appeals his convictions and sentences for voluntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.  He argues the trial court erred in:  (1) refusing to grant a mistrial when the State neglected to disclose that a sitting juror was a close cousin of an Assistant Solicitor and that the two had communicated during the trial; and (2) refusing to afford retroactive effect to the Protection of Persons and Property Act (the Act), sections 16-11-410 to 950 of the South Carolina Code (2003 & Supp. 2009), to the extent that it eliminates a duty to retreat in situation where a person is unlawfully and violently attacked in their vehicle.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220 (b)(1), SCACR and the following authorities:

1.  The trial court did not err in refusing to grant Rocquemore a mistrial based on the State's failure to disclose.  Assuming, without deciding, that the trial committed error, we find Rocquemore failed to demonstrate any prejudice. See State v. Culbreath, 377 S.C. 326, 331, 659 S.E.2d 268, 271 (Ct. App. 2008) ("Whether to grant or deny a mistrial motion is a matter within the trial court's sound discretion, and the court's decision will not be disturbed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion amounting to an error of law."); Smith v. State, 375 S.C. 507, 518, 654 S.E.2d 523, 529 (2007) (finding the trial court must ask whether potential jurors have any bias or prejudice against a party to ensure a fair and impartial jury); Culbreath, 377 S.C. at 331, 659 S.E.2d at 271 ("In order to receive a mistrial, a defendant must show error and resulting prejudice."); Felder v. Charleston County Sch. Dist., 327 S.C. 21, 26, 489 S.E.2d 191, 193 (1997) ("Substantial prejudice is required to establish a violation of due process.").

2.  The trial court did not err in refusing to afford retroactive effect to the Act.  See Graham v. Dorchester County Sch. Dist., 339 S.C. 121, 124, 528 S.E.2d 80, 82 (Ct. App. 2000) (finding as a general rule, statutes are presumed to be prospective rather than retrospective in nature unless retroactivity is expressly stated); State v. Bolin, 381 S.C. 557, 562, 673 S.E.2d 885, 887 (Ct. App. 2009) ("[T]he legislature clearly and unambiguously specified the Act be applied prospectively, the Act cannot be applied retroactively. . . . "); State v. Dickey, 380 S.C. 384, 405, 669 S.E.2d 917, 928 (Ct. App. 2008) (holding the Act applies prospectively and stating the "savings clause" of the Act specifically provides that the Act would not affect pending actions).

AFFIRMED.

SHORT, WILLIAMS, and LOCKEMY, JJ., concur.