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2011-UP-495 - State v. Rivers

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.

Arthur Lee Rivers, Appellant.


Appeal From Charleston County
Roger M. Young, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2011-UP-495 
Heard October 4, 2011 – Filed November 7, 2011


AFFIRMED


Tara Shurling, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Alan Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, Assistant  Attorney General David Spencer, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson, of Charleston, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Arthur Lee Rivers appeals his convictions of trafficking powder cocaine, third offense; possession of crack cocaine, third offense; and assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest, as well as his sentences of twenty-five years' imprisonment for the trafficking charge, fifteen years' imprisonment for the possession charge, and ten years' imprisonment for the resisting arrest charge, with the sentences running concurrently.  He contends (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict on the resisting arrest charge because the relevant statute does not extend to investigatory stops and there must be an attempted arrest before a defendant can be convicted of resisting arrest.  Rivers also argues (2) because his initial detention violated his Fourth Amendment rights, his subsequent statement to police should have been suppressed.  Additionally, he maintains (3) because the drugs found at the scene should have been suppressed as a result of the illegal initial detention, he was entitled to a directed verdict on the drug charges.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:

1. As to the directed verdict on assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest: State v. Venters, 300 S.C. 260, 264, 387 S.E.2d 270, 272 (1990) (holding that in reviewing a denial of a motion for a directed verdict, an appellate court must review the evidence in the light most favorable to the State); State v. Weston, 367 S.C. 279, 292-93, 625 S.E.2d 641, 648 (2006) (noting that if any direct evidence or any substantial circumstantial evidence reasonably tends to prove the guilt of the accused, an appellate court must find the case was properly submitted to the jury); S.C. Code Ann. § 16-9-320(B) (2003) ("It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and wilfully assault, beat, or wound a law enforcement officer engaged in serving, executing, or attempting to serve or execute a legal writ or process or to assault, beat, or wound an officer when the person is resisting an arrest being made by one whom the person knows or reasonably should know is a law enforcement officer, whether under process or not."); State v. Tyndall, 336 S.C. 8, 18, 518 S.E.2d 278, 283 (Ct. App. 1999) ("Section 16-9-320, the resisting arrest statute, does not mandate the underlying arrest be prosecuted as a prerequisite for the indictment, prosecution, or conviction of resisting arrest."). 

2. As to the suppression of his statement: State v. Dunbar, 356 S.C. 138, 142, 587 S.E.2d 691, 694 (2003) ("A party may not argue one ground at trial and an alternate ground on appeal."); State v. Haselden, 353 S.C. 190, 196, 577 S.E.2d 445, 448 (2003) (finding appellant's argument testimony was improper character evidence unpreserved when appellant objected to the testimony only on basis of relevancy); State v. Benton, 338 S.C. 151, 157, 526 S.E.2d 228, 231 (2000) (finding an argument in support of a jury charge on one ground was not preserved because appellant had argued for the charge based on a different ground at trial).

3. As to the suppression of the drugs and his directed verdict motion on the drug charges: State v. Burton, 356 S.C. 259, 265, 589 S.E.2d 6, 9 (2003) ("The appropriate vehicle for challenging the admissibility of evidence based on a search and seizure violation is a motion to suppress.  A motion for directed verdict, on the other hand, challenges the sufficiency of the properly admitted evidence." (internal quotation marks and citations omitted)); id. at 265-66, 589 S.E.2d at 9 (finding when the defendant did not make a motion in limine nor did he timely move to suppress the evidence, and instead, only raised the propriety of the search in a motion for a directed verdict, the evidence was properly admitted); id. at 266, 589 S.E.2d at 9 (noting the general rule is that the failure to object to or the failure to move to strike evidence renders such evidence competent and entitled to consideration to the extent it is relevant).

AFFIRMED.

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