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2010-UP-342 - State v. Carr

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.

Michael A. Carr, Appellant.


Appeal From Horry County
 James E. Lockemy, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2010-UP-342
Submitted June 1, 2010 – Filed June 29, 2010


AFFIRMED


Appellate Defender Elizabeth A. Franklin-Best, of Columbia, for Appellant.

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

PER CURIAM: Michael A. Carr appeals his conviction for murder, arguing the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict and his motion for severance.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1. As to whether the trial court erred in denying Carr's motion for a directed verdict:  State v. Hernandez, 382 S.C. 620, 624, 677 S.E.2d 603, 605 (2009) ("If there is any direct evidence or substantial circumstantial evidence reasonably tending to prove the guilt of the accused, [this court] must find the case was properly submitted to the jury."); State v. Stuckey, 347 S.C. 484, 499 n.7, 556 S.E.2d 403, 411 n.7 (Ct. App. 2001) (noting this court considers only the existence or nonexistence of evidence in reviewing the denial of a directed verdict motion, thus witness credibility is not a proper inquiry for consideration).

2. As to whether the trial court erred in denying Carr's motion for severance: The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying Carr's motion for severance.  State v. Dennis, 337 S.C. 275, 282, 523 S.E.2d 173, 176 (1999) ("Motions for a severance . . . are addressed to the discretion of the trial court.  Absent a showing of an abuse of discretion, this Court will not disturb the trial court's ruling on appeal.") (citations omitted); Hughes v. State, 346 S.C. 554, 559, 552 S.E.2d 315, 317 (2001) ("An appellate court should not reverse a conviction achieved at a joint trial in the absence of a reasonable probability that the defendant would have obtained a more favorable result at a separate trial.").  Further, the trial court's cautionary instruction protected Carr's individual rights and ensured he was not prejudiced by the joint trial.  See State v. Holland, 261 S.C. 488, 494, 201 S.E.2d 118, 121 (1973) (finding trial court's cautionary instructions to the jury protected the rights of each individual appellant and ensured there was no prejudice arising out of their joint trial).

AFFIRMED.

FEW, C.J., THOMAS, and PIEPER, JJ., concur.


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