Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
2012-UP-123 - State v. Ward

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.

Arnold Ward, Appellant.


Appeal From Horry County
Steven H. John, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2012-UP-123  
Submitted February 1, 2012 – Filed February 29, 2012


AFFIRMED


Deputy Chief Appellate Defender Wanda H. Carter, 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 J. Gregory Hembree, of Conway, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Arnold Ward appeals his conviction for attempted first-degree burglary.  On appeal, Ward contends the trial court erred in denying his motion for a directed verdict because the State failed to provide sufficient evidence to show Ward intended to commit first-degree burglary.  We disagree. 

"When ruling on a motion for a directed verdict, the trial court is concerned with the existence or nonexistence of evidence, not its weight."  State v. Weston, 367 S.C. 279, 292, 625 S.E.2d 641, 648 (2006).  "A defendant is entitled to a directed verdict when the [S]tate fails to produce evidence of the offense charged."  Id.  "When reviewing a denial of a directed verdict, [an appellate c]ourt views the evidence and all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the [S]tate."  Id.  "If there is any direct evidence or any substantial circumstantial evidence reasonably tending to prove the guilt of the accused, the [appellate c]ourt must find the case was properly submitted to the jury."  Id. at 292-93, 625 S.E.2d at 648. 

"A person is guilty of burglary in the first degree if the person enters a dwelling without consent and with intent to commit a crime in the dwelling, and . . . the entering or remaining occurs in the nighttime."  S.C. Code Ann. § 16-11-311(A)(3) (2003).  "A person who commits the common law offense of attempt is punishable as for the principal offense. . . . [T]he mens rea of an attempt crime is one of specific intent such that the act constituting the attempt must be done with the intent to commit that particular crime."  State v. Reid, 383 S.C. 285, 292, 679 S.E.2d 194, 197-98 (Ct. App. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).  "The State must prove the defendant's specific intent was accompanied by some overt act, beyond mere preparation, in furtherance of the intent."  Id. at 293, 679 S.E.2d at 198. 

The State provided direct evidence Ward attempted to commit first-degree burglary.  The owner of the home testified he was awakened just after midnight and saw Ward, dressed in dark clothing, "squeeze and compress" an exterior door.  When the homeowner turned on the lights, Ward fled and was later apprehended.  The homeowner positively identified Ward as the individual he saw attempting to break into the home.  Ward provided an alternative explanation for his presence at the home; however, this explanation went to the weight of the evidence, not its existence.  The jury could have properly inferred Ward intended to enter the home to commit a crime.  Thus, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the State, the evidence supported submitting the case to the jury.

AFFIRMED.[1]

PIEPER, KONDUROS, and GEATHERS, JJ., concur.


[1] We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 214, SCACR.