Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

About

This compendium includes significant criminal cases by the U.S. Supreme Court & N.C. appellate courts, Nov. 2008 – Present. Selected 4th Circuit cases also are included.

Jessica Smith prepared case summaries Nov. 2008-June 4, 2019; later summaries are prepared by other School staff.

Instructions

Navigate using the table of contents to the left or by using the search box below. Use quotations for an exact phrase search. A search for multiple terms without quotations functions as an “or” search. Not sure where to start? The 5 minute video tutorial offers a guided tour of main features – Launch Tutorial (opens in new tab).

E.g., 10/18/2021
E.g., 10/18/2021

The trial court committed plain error by instructing the jury that it could find the defendant guilty of conspiracy if the defendant conspired to commit felony breaking and entering or felony larceny where the indictment alleged only a conspiracy to commit felony breaking or entering.

A conspiracy to commit armed robbery indictment was defective when it did not allege an agreement to commit an unlawful act. The court rejected the State’s argument that the indictment's caption, which identified the charge as "Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon," and the indictment's reference to the offense being committed in violation of G.S. 14-2.4 (governing punishment for conspiracy to commit a felony) saved the indictment.

When a conspiracy indictment names specific individuals with whom the defendant is alleged to have conspired and the evidence shows the defendant may have conspired with others, it is error for the trial court to instruct the jury that it may find the defendant guilty based upon an agreement with persons not named in the indictment. However, the jury instruction need not specifically name the individuals with whom the defendant was alleged to have conspired as long as the instruction comports with the material allegations in the indictment and the evidence at trial. In this case, the indictment alleged that the defendant conspired with Jimon Dollard and an unidentified male. The trial court instructed the jury that it could find the defendant guilty if he conspired with “at least one other person.” The evidence showed that the defendant and two other men conspired to commit robbery. One of the other men was identified by testifying officers as Jimon Dollard. The third man evaded capture and was never identified. Although the instruction did not limit the conspiracy to those named in the indictment, it was in accord with the material allegations in the indictment and the evidence presented at trial and there was no error. 

Show Table of Contents