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THE STATE v. FULLER

June 14, 1956

THE STATE, RESPONDENT,
v.
RAYMOND FULLER, APPELLANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Taylor, Justice.

June 14, 1956.

The Appellant, Raymond Fuller, was convicted of murder at the June, 1955, Term of the Court of General Sessions for Spartanburg County and sentenced to death as provided by law.

The facts are undisputed. On the evening of August 13, 1952, Appellant, who lived and worked on a dairy farm South of the City of Spartanburg, carrying a borrowed .22 caliber rifle, drove a panel truck approximately five miles to the West side of the Spartanburg Airport and parked in a secluded area. A car appeared, but the driver turned around and left upon seeing the parked truck. Appellant then moved his truck to another location and proceeded by foot to where one Lynn Baxter Moorman and a lady friend were parked in Moorman's car. Appellant, a Negro, wore dark trousers and no shirt or shoes. As he approached the left side of the parked car, Moorman attempted to start the motor; and Appellant broke the glass near the driver with the butt of the rifle and fired one shot into Moorman's head in the area of the left temple, the bullet passing through the brain, causing death at approximately 1:30 A.M., at the Spartanburg General Hospital.

Appellant removed the car keys from the switch and took from the lady a red pocketbook containing a $10.00 bill, her wrist watch and compact. From the deceased, he took a wrist watch and billfold. He then returned the keys to the lady and left, walking back in the direction from whence he had come, entered his truck, and returned to his home where he hid the items at various places about the farm. Upon being confronted with the fact that his fingerprints appeared upon a piece of the broken glass, Appellant related to the officers what had happened, retraced his route, carried them to the farm, and secured from two holes in the ground the parts of the lady's pocketbook, both watches from a corner of a dairy barn, the deceased's billfold from a feeder flue of another building, and the compact from the sill of a vacant house.

The deceased's billfold when turned over to the officers contained a $50.00 bill, a $20.00 bill, a $2.00 bill, and a $1.00 bill. The officers inquired of Appellant what had become of the $10.00 bill taken from the lady. He explained that the man's pocketbook when taken contained a $50.00 bill, a $10.00 bill, a $2.00 bill and a $1.00 bill; that he had used the $10.00 bill from the man's pocketbook and the one taken from the lady's to change a $20.00 bill. The $1.00 bill had written across the face of it in ink the names of the deceased, L.B. Moorman, and Jack Cantrell.

Upon trial of the case, the defense contended throughout that Appellant is a mental defective to such an extent that he was incapable of malice, and testimony was introduced to the effect that Appellant had an I.Q. of Fifty-eight and a mental age of eight or nine years.

A portion of the testimony of Mr. J. Roderick Hallum, a clinical psychologist for the Spartanburg Mental Health Clinic, who testified for the defense was as follows:

"Q. Now, is there any question in your mind that Raymond Fuller is sane? A. No question, sir.

"Q. No question but what he is sane? A. That's right.

"Q. Do you think that he can tell right from wrong? A. To the extent, sir, that someone with an I.Q. of fifty-eight, and roughly a mental age of between eight and nine.

"Q. All right. You say a mental age of between eight and nine? A. That's right.

"Q. You mean that a child of the age of eight and nine, or a mental age of eight and nine? A. I am afraid that I don't —

"Q. A child of eight or nine years old, with normal intelligence, is that what you mean? A. In part, sir. But Raymond's intelligence, with a mental age of eight or nine, is different as I tried to say a while ago, as between someone of Raymond's age of twenty-seven.

"Q. Be quite different from a child eight or nine years of age with normal intelligence, wouldn't it? A. I wouldn't say quite different, sir. I ...


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