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2011-UP-435 - State v. Robinson

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.

Jermel Anthony Robinson, Appellant.


Appeal From Sumter County
 R. Ferrell Cothran, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2011-UP-435
Submitted October 1, 2011 – Filed October 11, 2011


AFFIRMED


Senior Appellate Defender Joseph L. Savitz, III, 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 Christina Catoe, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Ernest A. Finney, III, of Sumter, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Jermel Anthony Robinson appeals his conviction for first-degree lynching.  On appeal, he argues the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict.  We affirm.[1] 

"Any act of violence inflicted by a mob upon the body of another person which results in the death of the person shall constitute the crime of lynching in the first degree."  S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-210 (2003).  A "mob" is "the assemblage of two or more persons . . . for the premeditated purpose and with the premeditated intent of committing an act of violence upon the person of another."  S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-230 (2003). 

In the instant case, the State proffered evidence Robinson and Teron Hakeen Jackson, in an attempt to rob the victim, surreptitiously observed the victim sitting in his parked car for more than an hour in order to conduct surveillance and plan the robbery, donned dark clothes and masks, armed themselves, and charged the victim from either side with their guns drawn.  Jackson confessed to shooting the victim multiple times, resulting in his death.  In light of this evidence, it was reasonable for the jury to infer Robinson's premeditated intent to commit an act of violence upon the victim and to disbelieve Robinson's assertion he did not intend to harm the victim.  See State v. Tuckness, 257 S.C. 295, 299, 185 S.E.2d 607, 608 (1971) ("Intent is seldom susceptible to proof by direct evidence and must ordinarily be proven by circumstantial evidence, that is, by facts and circumstances from which intent may be inferred.").  Accordingly, the State proffered sufficient evidence to overcome Robinson's motion for a directed verdict on his first-degree lynching charge.  See State v. Weston, 367 S.C. 279, 292, 625 S.E.2d 641, 648 (2006) (holding "[w]hen ruling on a motion for a directed verdict, the trial court is concerned with the existence or nonexistence of evidence, not its weight").

AFFIRMED.

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


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