Submitted May 7, 2019
OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEALS
From Sumter County W. Jeffrey Young, Circuit Court Judge
Attorney General Alan McCrory Wilson and Assistant Attorney
General Scott Matthews, both of Columbia, and Solicitor
Ernest A. Finney, III, of Sumter, all for Petitioner.
Appellate Defender Robert Michael Dudek, of Columbia, for
State of South Carolina has filed a petition for a writ of
certiorari asking this Court to review the Court of
Appeals' decision in State v. Andrews, 424 S.C.
304, 818 S.E.2d 227 (Ct. App. 2018). We grant the petition,
dispense with further briefing, and affirm as modified.
facts in this case are fully and accurately set forth in the
Court of Appeals' opinion. After a fatal shooting at
Respondent's home, Respondent was indicted for murder and
possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent
crime. Respondent moved to dismiss the charges pursuant to
the Protection of Persons and Property Act (the Act) on the
ground he shot the victim in self-defense.
the pre-trial immunity hearing, Respondent claimed that,
after an altercation and being threatened by the victim,
Respondent shot the victim in the threshold of the front door
as the victim attempted to reenter his home. Respondent's
father corroborated Respondent's version of events.
However, another eyewitness, the victim's girlfriend and
Respondent's cousin, testified the victim was attempting
to peacefully leave Respondent's home and that Respondent
followed the victim out of the home, shooting him on the
porch. Additional forensic evidence was presented at the
hearing, but it did not conclusively support either version
conclusion of the immunity hearing, the circuit court
rejected Respondent's argument. Relying on State v.
Douglas, 411 S.C. 307, 768 S.E.2d 232 (Ct. App. 2014),
the circuit court held:
The burden clearly is by the preponderance of the evidence.
Not the normal criminal case law beyond a reasonable doubt. .
. . The testimony in this case from the witnesses and from
the defendant have been at least very inconsistent. The
testimony has been conflicting as to what the different
witnesses saw and what happened on the night in question. And
therefore, I find that the defendant has not met [his] burden
of proving to me by a preponderance of the evidence, and
therefore a request for immunity is hereby denied.
the Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court's denial
of immunity, but reversed Respondent's convictions based
on a separate evidentiary issue.
we agree with the result reached by the Court of Appeals, we
granted the petition for a writ of certiorari to reiterate
the impact of our recent decision in Statev.