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2011-UP-503 - State v. Welch

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.

William Ricky Welch, Appellant.


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


Unpublished Opinion No. 2011-UP-503
Submitted November 1, 2011 – Filed November 10, 2011 


AFFIRMED


Appellate Defender Robert M. Pachak, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Attorney General Alan M. Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, Assistant Deputy Attorney General Salley W. Elliott, and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Ernest A. Finney, III, of Sumter, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  William Ricky Welch appeals his conviction for first-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) with a minor and lewd act upon a minor.  He argues the circuit court erred in allowing the State to proceed under section 16-3-655(A)(2) of the South Carolina Code (Supp. 2010) because doing so violated the South Carolina Rules of Evidence and his right to a fair trial guaranteed by the Due Process Clause.  We affirm[1] pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR, and the following authorities:  State v. Pagan, 369 S.C. 201, 208, 631 S.E.2d 262, 265 (2006) (holding that the abuse of discretion standard of review limits reversal unless "the conclusions of the [circuit] court either lack evidentiary support or are controlled by an error of law"); Spencer v. Texas, 385 U.S. 554, 568-69 (1967) (holding that state statutes requiring juries to make findings of prior convictions in single trials do not violate due process); State v. Benton, 338 S.C. 151, 154-55, 526 S.E.2d 228, 230 (2000) (recognizing Spencer and noting that "evidence of other crimes is admissible to establish a material fact or element of the crime"); S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-655(A)(2) (Supp. 2010) (providing that a prior conviction of first-degree CSC with a minor is an element of first-degree CSC with a minor).

AFFIRMED.

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


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