In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of Daryl T. Snow, Petitioner. Appellate Case No. 2017-001033
November 29, 2018
from Georgetown County Steven H. John, Circuit Court Judge
OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS
Appellate Defender David Alexander, of Columbia, for
Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson, Senior Assistant Deputy
Attorney General Deborah R.J. Shupe, both of Columbia, for
Snow appeals his commitment as a sexually violent predator
under the Sexually Violent Predator Act. He argues his
diagnosis of Other Specified Personality Disorder is legally
insufficient to meet the constitutional and statutory
requirements for commitment under the Act, and thus the trial
court erred when it denied his motions for a directed verdict
and judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV). The court of
appeals affirmed his commitment in an unpublished opinion.
In re Snow, Op. No. 2017-UP-009 (S.C. Ct. App. filed
Jan. 11, 2017). We affirm the court of appeals.
Facts and Procedural History
1996, Snow was convicted of assault with intent to commit
criminal sexual conduct. In 2006, Snow was convicted of lewd act
upon a child and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
Prior to his release, the State filed a petition for civil
commitment pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act.
S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-48-10 to -170 (2018).
State's expert was Marie Gehle, Psy.D., the chief
psychologist at the South Carolina Department of Mental
Health. At the time of trial, Dr. Gehle had conducted
approximately ninety sexually violent predator commitment
evaluations. Dr. Gehle evaluated Snow to determine whether he
met the criteria for commitment under the Act. Her evaluation
included a thorough review of his background, criminal
history, and prison records. Dr. Gehle's specific
diagnosis was "Other Specified Personality Disorder,
current evidence of conduct disorder is insufficient."
At trial, she explained "Other Specified Personality
Disorder" (OSPD) is listed as a personality disorder in
the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders, commonly referred to as the DSM-5. The DSM-5
describes OSPD as follows,
This category applies to presentations in which symptoms
characteristic of a personality disorder that cause
clinically significant distress or impairment in social,
occupational, or other important areas of functioning
predominate but do not meet the full criteria for any of the
disorders in the personality disorders diagnostic class. The
other specified personality disorder category is used in
situations in which the clinician chooses to communicate the
specific reason that the presentation does not meet the
criteria for any specific personality disorder. This is done
by recording "other specified personality disorder"
followed by the specific reason (e.g., "mixed
Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders 684 (5th ed. 2013).
made a motion for a directed verdict, which he renewed at the
conclusion of all evidence. The jury found Snow was a
sexually violent predator as defined by the Act. The trial
court denied Snow's motion for JNOV. After the court of
appeals affirmed, we granted Snow's petition for a writ