Where the appellant argues that he was entitled to a directed verdict on the kidnapping charges because the brief confinement of the employees during the course of the armed robbery was not sufficient to constitute the separate crime of kidnapping, the trial court properly denied the appellant’s motion for directed verdict since: (1) under State v. Hall, 280 S.C. 74, 310 S.E.2d 429 (1983), the act of confinement can constitute the separate offense of kidnapping when it is incidental to the commission of another crime; and (2) the trial judge charged the jury that in order for it to convict the appellant of both offenses, it must find that he had the requisite intent to commit two separate offenses.
Two men entered a fast-food restaurant shortly before it opened on a Sunday morning.The appellant grabbed the manager and took him into the office. When the appellant came out of the office with the manager, the two robbers told seven of the employees to “lay on the ground.”The employees lay there for several minutes until the robbers left the store.Approximately $2,300 was stolen from the store.
At trial, the defense moved for a directed verdict on the ground that the brief confinement of the victims during the course of the armed robbery was not a separate and distinct offense.The trial judge denied the motion and the jury convicted the appellant of all charges.This appeal followed.
The issue of whether the act of confinement can constitute the separate offense of kidnapping when it is incidental to the commission of another crime was raised in State v. Hall, 280 S.C. 74, 310 S.E.2d 429 (1983). In Hall, the victim was abducted by knifepoint as she placed a call from a phone booth near a clubhouse of an apartment complex.The perpetrator forced the victim to walk to an adjacent pool area where he sexually assaulted her and forced her to walk to different locations around the pool. At each location, the victim was assaulted.
On appeal, Hall argued the trial judge erred in failing to charge the jury that in order to establish kidnapping, the state must prove the confining and carrying away of the victim was more than incident to the commission of another crime.The South Carolina Supreme Court disagreed, holding that Hall’s restraint of the victim constituted kidnapping within the meaning of S.C. Code Ann. Sect. 16-3-910 (1976) “regardless of the fact that the purpose of this seizure was to facilitate the commission of a sexual battery.”
It appears that South Carolina may be in the minority of jurisdictions that have considered this issue.Nevertheless, we agree with the trial judge here that the decision of our Supreme Court in State v. Hall controls. Moreover, we note that the trial judge charged the jury that in order for it to convict the appellant of both offenses, it must find that he had the requisite intent to commit two separate offenses.Accordingly, the appellant’s convictions are affirmed.
State v. East (Lawyers Weekly No. 011-108-03) (5 pages) (Hearn, C.J.) (SCCOA) Appealed from the Anderson County Circuit Court, John W. Kittredge, J.; Wanda H. Haile for appellant; Henry D. McMaster, John W. McIntosh, Charles H. Richardson and Druanne D. White for respondent (No. 3615) (March 17, 2003).