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Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
Judicial Department
Court of Appeals Published Opinions - April 2020

Note: Beginning in June 2012, opinions will be posted as Adobe PDFs. You can download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.

The summary following each opinion is prepared to offer lawyers and the public a general overview of what a particular opinion decides. The summary is not necessarily a full description of the issues discussed in an opinion.

4-1-2020 - Opinions

5716 - Gunnells v. Harkness

In this probate dispute, Glenn Gunnells appeals the circuit court's order affirming (1) the probate court's order granting Cathy G. Harkness's petition to set aside Helen B. Gunnells's (Testatrix) last will and testament dated July 3, 2013 (2013 Will), based on a finding of undue influence and (2) the probate court's order denying Glenn's motion for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 59(e), SCRCP. We affirm.

4-8-2020 - Opinions

5717 - State v. Warner

Justin Jamal Warner appeals his convictions for murder, attempted armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He challenges the admission of expert testimony regarding cell site location information, denial of his motion to suppress evidence of his cell phone records, denial of his motion for a pretrial hearing as to his probation officer's identification of him from a surveillance video, and admission of five maps created by the expert depicting cell tower locations Warner's phone had accessed. Finding no error in any of these rulings, we affirm.

4-22-2020 - Opinions

5718 - Shirey v. Bishop

In this land-transaction dispute, Appellants Gwen G. Bishop and Cassandra Robinson (collectively "Appellants") challenge the order of the special referee, arguing that the referee erred in 1) finding Respondent Robert G. Shirey was entitled to specific performance; 2) setting aside the deed from Bishop to Robinson; 3) finding Shirey to be a bona fide purchaser; and 4) awarding Shirey attorney's fees. We affirm.

5719 - State v. McGowan

Appellant Patrick O'Neil McGowan seeks reversal of his convictions for four counts of first degree assault and battery. Appellant argues the circuit court erred by failing to direct a verdict on the indictment referencing a child victim because there was no evidence showing Appellant's knowledge of the child's presence inside the home into which Appellant fired gunshots. Appellant also argues the circuit court erred by declining to instruct the jury that the State was required to prove specific intent as to each victim. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

4-29-2020 - Opinions

5720 - State v. Pogue

The State appealed Jason Skylar Israel Pogue's sentence following his guilty plea to four counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of second degree exploitation of a minor, arguing the circuit court erred in sentencing Pogue to home detention. We reverse and remand.

5721 - Books-A-Million v. SCDOR

In this case arising from a sales tax audit by the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR), Books-A-Million, Inc. (BAM) appeals from the order of the Administrative Law Court (ALC) that upheld SCDOR's assessment of taxes, penalties, and interest against BAM for failing to include sales of the Millionaire's Club Memberships (Club Memberships) in BAM's gross proceeds of sales. BAM argues the ALC erred in finding (1) the amounts collected by BAM for Club Memberships are subject to sales tax; (2) renewals of Club Memberships are subject to sales taxes; and (3) the statutes are not ambiguous. We affirm.