State v. Antone, 240 N.C. App. 408 (2015)

Vacated and Remanded

The trial court erred by sentencing defendant to life without parole for a murder committed when defendant was 16 because the trial court’s one-page order failed to comply with the statutory mandate to “include findings on the absence or presence of any mitigating factors” under G.S. 15A-1340.19C(a). When sentencing a minor for a murder not based solely upon the felon murder rule, the trial court must consider “all the circumstances of the offense and the particular circumstances of the defendant” and include findings of fact on “the absence or presence of any mitigating factors.” The appellate court found that the trial court’s order made cursory but adequate findings as to some of the statutory factors but failed to address several others, including the defendant’s rehabilitative potential which is a significant factor. The court also noted that if no evidence is presented as to a particular factor, the trial court’s order should so state and indicate that, as a result, that factor was not considered.

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