Heard: January 14, 2015.
Appeal From Richland County G. Thomas Cooper, Jr., Circuit Court Judge. Appellate Case No. 2013-000115.
Richard A. Harpootlian, of Richard A. Harpootlian, P.A., and Graham L. Newman, of Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., both of Columbia, for Petitioner.
Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney General William M. Blitch, Jr., both of Columbia, for Respondent.
TOAL, C.J., PLEICONES, BEATTY, KITTREDGE and HEARN, JJ., concur.
[411 S.C. 603]ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS
This matter is before the Court by way of a petition for a writ of certiorari to review the court of appeals' decision in State v. Samuel, 400 S.C. 593, 735 S.E.2d 541 (Ct.App. 2012), reversing the trial court's pre-trial order excluding a statement that Kendra Samuel (Petitioner) made to law enforcement in connection with a polygraph examination. Because the trial court's ruling was not immediately appealable, we vacate the court of appeals' decision.
Petitioner was arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse after babysitting her friend's ten-week-old baby (the victim), who died as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Prior to arresting Petitioner, Columbia Police Department Investigator Joe Gray conducted a polygraph examination on Petitioner. After Gray informed Petitioner that the results of the polygraph examination indicated deception, Petitioner provided a statement (Statement 1) in which she discussed injuries that occurred to the victim while in her care. Subsequently, Petitioner provided four additional statements to various Columbia Police Department investigators and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents providing similar information as she did in Statement 1.
[411 S.C. 604] During pre-trial motions, Petitioner moved to suppress all of the statements she made to investigators, arguing that her statements were not knowing, voluntary, and admissible. During a Jackson v. Denno  hearing, the trial court heard testimony from the investigators
involved in Petitioner's case. The trial court ultimately excluded Statement 1 based on its connection to Petitioner's polygraph examination, and admitted the remainder of Petitioner's statements.
In response, the State announced its intention to appeal the trial court's ruling regarding Statement 1, and the trial court concluded the hearing. The State filed a Notice of Appeal in the court of appeals, contending that the trial court's suppression of Statement 1 substantially impaired its ability to prosecute the case.
The court of appeals reversed the trial court's suppression of Statement 1. This Court granted Petitioner's petition for a writ of certiorari to review the court of ...