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2011-UP-559 - State v. Armfield

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.

Allen Armfield, Appellant.


Appeal From Spartanburg County
J. Derham Cole, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No.  2011-UP-559 
Submitted December 1, 2011 – Filed December 13, 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 Christina J. Catoe, all of Columbia; and Solicitor Barry J. Barnette of Spartanburg, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM: Allen Armfield appeals his conviction for second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.  Armfield argues the trial court erred in admitting his statement into evidence and refusing to give the jury his requested jury charge.  We affirm.[1]

1.  We find the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting Armfield's statement to police.  A trial court's factual findings as to the voluntariness of a statement will not be disturbed on appeal unless they constitute an abuse of discretion.  State v. Von Dohlen, 322 S.C. 234, 243, 471 S.E.2d 689, 695 (1996).  Among these circumstances, the court may consider police coercion; the length of interrogation; its location; its continuity; and the defendant's maturity, education, and mental health.  State v. Goodwin, 384 S.C. 588, 601, 683 S.E.2d 500, 507 (Ct. App. 2009) (citing Winthrow v. Williams, 507 U.S. 680, 693 (1993)).  Here, the evidence presented establishes Armfield freely and voluntarily gave his statement to police.  Initially, Armfield's interview with police lasted only forty minutes and within ten minutes Armfield had confessed to police.  Additionally, when Armfield arrived at the interview, he was neither confined to the interview room nor was he under arrest.  Further, Armfield admits he was never threatened with physical harm.  Moreover, as a fifty-three-year-old man with twelve years of education, Armfield's personal characteristics do not present any circumstances that would make him more susceptible to making an involuntary statement due to coercion.  Accordingly, the trial court did not err in admitting Armfield's statement.

2.  Because the trial court is required to charge only the current and correct law of South Carolina, we find the trial court did not err in refusing Armfield's improper bolstering jury charge.  State v. Burkhart, 350 S.C. 252, 261, 565 S.E.2d 298, 303 (2002).    

AFFIRMED.

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


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