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2012-UP-040 - State v. Reames

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.

Martha Dorsey Reames, Appellant.


Appeal From Sumter County
George C. James, Jr., Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-040
Submitted November 1, 2011 – Filed January 25, 2012   


AFFIRMED


Appellate Defender LaNelle Cantey DuRant, 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 Ernest A. Finney, III, of Sumter, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Martha Dorsey Reames appeals her conviction for unlawfully carrying a handgun.  On appeal, she argues the trial court erred in denying her motion for a directed verdict.  We affirm. 

We hold the trial court properly denied Reames's motion for a directed verdict.  Section 16-23-20 makes it "unlawful for anyone to carry about the person any handgun, whether concealed or not . . . ."  S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-20 (Supp. 2010).  There are exceptions in the statute, one of which is "a person in a vehicle if the handgun is . . . secured in a closed glove compartment, closed console, closed trunk, or in a closed container secured by an integral fastener and transported in the luggage compartment of the vehicle . . . ."  S.C. Code Ann. § 16-23-20(9)(a) (Supp. 2010).  In the instant case, sufficient circumstantial evidence supports a finding that Reames knowingly carried a pistol in the side pocket of the driver-side door of the vehicle she was driving.  Because the pistol was not in a lawful location pursuant to section 16-23-20, the trial court properly denied Reames's motion for a directed verdict.   See State v. Weston, 367 S.C. 279, 292, 625 S.E.2d 641, 648 (2006) (holding when 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.