Antrell R. Felder, Petitioner,
State of South Carolina, Respondent. Appellate Case No. 2017-001173
Submitted June 17, 2019
From Sumter County D. Craig Brown, Circuit Court Judge
Appellate Defender David Alexander, of Columbia, for
Attorney General Alan Wilson and Deputy Attorney General
Donald J. Zelenka, both of Columbia, for Respondent.
BEATTY, CHIEF JUSTICE
convicted Antrell Felder of murder and possession of a
firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Following a
hearing on Felder's application for post-conviction
relief ("PCR"), the PCR court issued an order
denying and dismissing Felder's application. We find the
PCR court erred in determining trial counsel was not
ineffective. Accordingly, we reverse the PCR court's
decision and remand this matter to the court of general
sessions for a new trial.
after midnight on July 18, 2008, Kayla McFadden and her
cousin, Antrell McFadden, were walking to a gas station in
Sumter. On the way, the McFaddens saw a car drive down the
street towards them. They subsequently observed a man get out
of the car, shoot the victim, and drive away.
testified the shooter was driving a white car with tinted
windows, but she did not know the type of car. Antrell also
testified the car was white with tinted windows. Kayla
described the shooter as wearing a hat, white shirt, and dark
pants. Similarly, Antrell described the shooter as wearing a
red and black hat, white shirt, and blue jeans. Both
McFaddens testified the victim was not wearing a hat.
Detective William Lyons of the Sumter Police Department
responded to the 911 call about the shooting. When he arrived
at the scene, he observed a red baseball hat in the roadway.
the McFaddens provided statements at the police station,
Lyons and another detective, Jason Potteiger, drove them
home. While on the way, the officers noticed a white car pass
them at Willow Morand Apartments. The car "caught
[their] attention," and the "[McFaddens] made
comments like, it looks like the vehicle. That can be the
vehicle, I'm not sure." Because the officers were
traveling with the McFaddens, they asked another officer to
investigate. The officer went to Willow Morand Apartments and
determined Felder's sister-in-law lived there.
Felder's girlfriend was driving the vehicle (a white
Buick), and it was registered to Felder's mother.
Lyons and Potteiger returned to the police station, they
learned of a burglary that had occurred on Harry Street.
Lyons testified the 911 call about the burglary came in at
12:37 AM, and the 911 call about the shooting came in around
12:38 or 12:39 AM. The officers began investigating whether
there was a connection between the two incidents. Lyons
testified he never drove the distance between the two
locations, but he believed it would take less than a minute
in a vehicle to get from one location to the other.
returned to the McFaddens' home around 6:30 PM
(approximately eighteen hours after the shooting) to show
them a lineup. Antrell indicated that he recognized two
people, one of whom was Felder who was labeled as "No.
2." However, neither Kayla nor Antrell was able to
identify anyone in the lineup as the shooter, and both
testified they could not see who fired the gun.
experts examined the red hat recovered from the crime scene
and found two fingerprint images on a gold label affixed to
the hat. One of the fingerprints was identified as belonging
to Felder. The second fingerprint could not be positively
identified. In addition, law enforcement found Felder's
DNA inside the hat, as well as the DNA of an unknown person.
confiscated the Buick on the same day as the shooting. During
trial, Lyons viewed photographs of the vehicle and stated it
appeared tint had been removed from the
windows. Lyons admitted, however, that there was no
official report or handwritten documents stating window tint
had been removed. Lyons also stated the Buick in the
photographs had white handles, though a third witness told
police the shooter's car had silver handles. Furthermore,
a crime scene investigator testified he found blood in the
Buick on a receipt and the radio controls, but the blood
belonged to Felder. Law enforcement did not find any blood or
DNA evidence belonging to the victim in the car.
trial, the State moved to admit a summary of Felder's
oral statement to police. Trial counsel expressly stated he
did not object to the admission of the evidence. Potteiger
testified he spoke with Felder at the police station and
prepared a typed summary of Felder's oral statement.
Potteiger then read the summary out loud, including the
Antrell Felder began by stating he was 26 years old, that his
date of birth was [redacted] 1982, and that he lived at
[redacted]. He related that he was currently on ...