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State v. Massey

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

February 27, 2019

The State, Appellant,
v.
John Kenneth Massey, Jr., Respondent. Appellate Case No. 2015-000431

          Submitted June 1, 2018

          Appeal From York County Eugene C. Griffith, Jr., Circuit Court Judge.

          Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Megan Harrigan Jameson, of Columbia; and Solicitor Kevin S. Brackett, of York, all for Appellant.

          Appellate Defender David Alexander, of Columbia, for Respondent.

          McDONALD, J.

         The State challenges the circuit court's pre-trial dismissal of John Kenneth Massey, Jr.'s first-degree burglary indictment, arguing the circuit court lacked authority to quash the indictment because evidence existed to support the charge. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         Kristopher Callahan (Victim) used a building on his uncle's property in Rock Hill for storage. Victim lived with his parents next door to the property; his parents' home is approximately forty-five feet away from the storage building.

         Massey was arrested following the theft of a four-wheeler from the storage building. The York County grand jury indicted Massey for criminal conspiracy, first-degree burglary, and grand larceny. The first-degree burglary indictment alleged Massey entered "the outbuilding appurtenant to and within 200 yards of the dwelling of [Victim]." However, the grand jury later issued an amended indictment, which simply stated Massey entered "the dwelling of [Victim]."

         Massey moved to quash the first-degree burglary indictment, arguing the storage building was not appurtenant to Victim's residence because it was on a separate parcel of land, and it was used for Victim's business, not as a dwelling.

         Victim testified the land in the area was "family land," once owned by his grandfather, who gave his parents five acres to build the home in which Victim resides. Victim claimed his mother inherited the surrounding property upon her grandfather's death, but it was never titled in her name because "it's just family land. There's no need to change the land over. So we just left it in the farm name, which is . . . my uncle, Bill."

         Although Victim runs a business from the family property, he testified he did not use the storage building for business operations, stating, "I operate a waterproofing and grading company . . . . We meet there at the-at the land in the mornings. And from there we, you know, go off to our jobs." Victim explained that the sign for "Callahan Waterproofing & Construction" listing his business's contact information on the exterior of the storage building was "to just, you know, display [his] name." Although Victim admitted he used the building to "work on stuff" related to his business, he claimed the tools do not leave the storage building when he goes to a job site. Victim further testified he and his father primarily use the storage building for belongings such as four-wheelers, boats, and tools.

         The State argued the storage building was appurtenant to the family dwelling because it was within two hundred feet of Victim's residence. Under the State's theory, Uncle Bill's ownership of the land was irrelevant because burglary is a crime against possession and habitation, not ownership.

         The circuit court granted Massey's motion to quash the indictment, noting Victim did not own either parcel of land or the storage building bearing the name of his business. The circuit court explained that although the storage building was in close proximity to Victim's parents' home, it was on a separate piece of property and titled in someone else's name. The court elaborated, "that building is an outbuilding. It's a-looks like a butler building to me. And [] has a sundry of things in it. And I just don't believe it's ...


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