In The Court of Appeals

The State,        Respondent


Kevin J. Barton,        Appellant.

Appeal From Greenville County
Larry R. Patterson, Circuit Court Judge

Unpublished Opinion No. 2003-UP-187
Submitted January 10, 2003 – Filed March 11, 2003


Chief Attorney Daniel T. Stacey, of SC Office of Appellate Defense, of Columbia; for Appellant.

Attorney General Henry Dargan McMaster; Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh; Assistant Deputy Attorney General Charles H. Richardson; Senior Assistant Attorney General Harold M. Coombs, Jr., all of Columbia; and Solicitor Robert M. Ariail, of Greenville; for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  Kevin Barton was convicted of distributing crack cocaine and distribution of crack cocaine within one-half mile of a school.  Barton was sentenced to five years on the general distribution charge and ten years on the school charge, running concurrently.  Barton appeals, arguing that the trial court erred when it overruled Barton’s motion for a directed verdict because the State’s evidence failed to prove the identity of Barton as the person who distributed the crack cocaine. 

We affirm Barton’s conviction pursuant to Rule 220(b)(2), SCACR, and the following authorities:  State v. Williams, 321 S.C. 327, 332, 468 S.E.2d 626, 629 (1996) (“[A] trial court has a duty to submit the case to the jury where the evidence is circumstantial if there is any substantial evidence that reasonably tends to prove the guilt of the accused or from which his guilt may fairly and logically be deduced.”); State v. Burdette, 335 S.C. 34, 46, 515 S.E.2d 525, 531 (1999) (“On a motion for a directed verdict in a criminal case, the trial court is concerned with the existence or non-existence of evidence, not its weight.  If the State presents any evidence which reasonably tends to prove defendant’s guilt, or from which defendant’s guilt could be fairly and logically deduced, the case must go to the jury.”) (citations omitted) (emphasis added); State v. Kelsey, 331 S.C. 50, 62, 502 S.E.2d 63, 69 (1998) (“In reviewing the denial of a motion for a directed verdict, the evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the State, and if there is any direct evidence or any substantial circumstantial evidence reasonably tending to prove the guilt of the accused, an appellate court must find that the case was properly submitted to the jury.”).

Here, viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the State, Officer Johnson’s description of the person who had assisted James Williams with the drug transaction reasonably matched Barton’s appearance, and Barton’s proximity to the scene and time of the drug transaction constituted evidence that he was the person who assisted Williams in the drug transaction.  This was sufficient evidence to overcome the directed verdict motion and to submit the case to the jury.


HEARN, C.J., GOOLSBY, and SHULER, JJ., concur.