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2011-UP-485 - State v. Etheredge

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.

Alonzo Etheredge, Appellant.


Appeal From Lexington County
James R. Barber, III, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2011-UP-485
Submitted October 1, 2011 – Filed October 28, 2011


AFFIRMED


Appellate Defender Elizabeth Franklin-Best, 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 David Spencer, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Donald V. Myers, of Lexington, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Alonzo Etheredge appeals his conviction for intimidation of a potential witness.  On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict.  We affirm. 

We hold the trial court properly denied Etheredge's motion for a directed verdict.  Section 16-9-340 makes it "unlawful for a person by threat . . . to: (1) intimidate or impede a . . . witness, or potential juror or witness . . . in the discharge of his duty as such."  S.C. Code Ann. § 16-9-340(A) (2003).  In the instant case, Etheredge sent a number of letters to the victim, his former girlfriend and a potential witness in a criminal case pending against him.  The letters threatened physical harm due to her participation and cooperation with the investigation and prosecution of his criminal case.  Because Etheredge specifically targeted the victim in her capacity as a potential witness for the State in his pending criminal trial, the threats in the letters fall within the conduct proscribed by section 16-9-340.  Accordingly, the State proffered sufficient evidence to overcome Etheredge's motion for a directed verdict.  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.[1]

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


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