State v. Gutierrez: Ms. Gutierrez was charged with two counts of forgery by the S.C. Department of Public Safety with a maximum term of imprisonment of 6 years. Ms. Gutierrez is a Permanent Resident (Green Card) of the United States and faced certain deportation if convicted of the crimes. Ms. Gutierrez has three US citizen children and removal from the United States would have been devastating.
A jury trial was held on December 10, 2013 and after the State’s presentation of their case, Kappel moved the court for a Directed Verdict. Kappel stated it would be inappropriate to submit the case to the jury because the documents admitted into the record and testimony elicited through cross-examination of the State’s four principal witnesses did not support a finding of guilt. The court agreed and entered a judgment of not guilty.