SC Supreme Court upholds toddler homicide convictions - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

SC Supreme Court upholds toddler homicide convictions

Image from the 2011 trial of Julia Gorman and Robert Palmer Image from the 2011 trial of Julia Gorman and Robert Palmer

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – The South Carolina Supreme Court decided Wednesday to uphold the Circuit Court’s 2011 toddler homicide convictions of Julia Gorman and Robert Palmer.

In 2011, Julia Gorman and Robert Palmer were tried jointly for the 2008 death of Gorman’s 17-month-old grandson, Aydian Grimes and were found guilty by a jury on charges of homicide by child abuse, aiding and abetting and unlawful conduct toward a child, according to an opinion published by the SC Supreme Court.

In 2014, the Court of Appeals reversed Palmer’s and Gorman’s aiding and abetting convictions, and a majority upheld both petitioner’s homicide and unlawful conduct convictions.

On Wednesday, July 29, the SC Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ reversal ruling on the aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse convictions. The Court upheld the Court of Appeals’ decision upholding the denial of Gorman’s directed verdict motions concerning the homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct towards a child charges, however reversed its decisions on Palmer finding he was entitled to a directed verdict on both charges, according to an opinion published by the SC Supreme Court.

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The contested issues were who actually harmed Grimes and whether the other individual was aware of the abuse.

The concern was whether the State presented any evidence to support submitting all three charges, homicide by child abuse, aiding and abetting and unlawful conduct towards a child, to the jury.

The Court also upheld the Court of Appeals’ ruling that the motion for a directed verdict on homicide by child abuse charge was properly denied to Gorman, but decided there was no evidence to support the denial of Palmer’s motion.

The Court also upheld the Court of Appeals’ decision to affirm the trial court’s denial of Gorman’s directed verdict motion on the charge of unlawful conduct towards a child, but reversed its decision on Palmer’s motion.

Lastly, the Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ ruling to reverse the trial court’s denial of each petitioner’s motion for a directed verdict based on the aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse charge.

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