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2011-UP-388 - State v. Drake

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.

Aljaquon Drake, Appellant.


Appeal From Jasper County
Carmen T. Mullen, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2011-UP-388  
Submitted August 11, 2011 – Filed August 15, 2011


AFFIRMED


Appellate Defender Kathrine H. Hudgins, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, and Assistant Attorney General Mark R. Farthing, all of Columbia; and Solicitor I. McDuffie Stone, III, of Beaufort, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Aljaquon Drake appeals his convictions on two counts of first-degree burglary.  On appeal, he argues the trial court erred in:

(1) denying his motions for directed verdict and (2) consolidating the burglaries into one trial.  We affirm.[1]

1.  We hold the trial court properly denied Drake's motions for directed verdict on both burglaries.  The victims of the burglaries testified their houses were burglarized and items were stolen, and Drake had possession of or was near the stolen items shortly after the period of time during which the burglaries could have been committed.  See State v. Irvin, 270 S.C. 539, 543, 243 S.E.2d 195, 197 (1978) (finding testimony as to the occurrence of the burglary together with testimony as to the accused's possession of the stolen items form "a sufficient basis from which the [accused]'s guilt could be fairly and logically deduced, thus requiring the submission of the case to the jury"); State v. Nall, 304 S.C. 332, 336, 404 S.E.2d. 202, 205 (Ct. App. 1991) ("The evidence is sufficient to go to the jury if, viewed in the light most favorable to the State, a rational trier of fact could find the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.").

2.  We hold the trial court did not abuse its discretion in consolidating the two burglaries into one trial.  Both houses burglarized were secluded, located within walking distance from each other; the burglaries took place within a few hours; small, inexpensive items were stolen from each; and no prejudice resulted to Drake's substantive rights, thus meeting the standard for consolidating offenses for trial.  See State v. Simmons, 352 S.C. 342, 350, 573 S.E.2d 856, 860 (Ct. App. 2002) (stating separately charged offenses, which are "of the same general nature involving connected transactions closely related in kind, place and character" may be tried together, at the trial court's discretion, "if the defendant's substantive rights would not be prejudiced").

AFFIRMED.

SHORT, WILLIAMS, and GEATHERS, JJ., concur.


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