Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

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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.

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E.g., 10/21/2021
E.g., 10/21/2021
State v. Hurt, 235 N.C. App. 174 (July 15, 2014)

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by granting the State’s motion to quash the subpoena of a prosecutor involved in an earlier hearing on the defendant’s guilty plea. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the prosecutor’s recitation of the factual basis for the plea was a judicial admission. Thus, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court’s decision to quash the subpoena deprived him of the opportunity to elicit binding admissions on the State. Additionally, the defendant could have proffered the prosecutor’s statements through a transcript of the plea proceeding, which he introduced with respect to other matters. 

In a sexual assault case involving the defendant’s stepdaughter, the trial court did not err by quashing a subpoena that would have required a district court judge to testify regarding statements made by the victim’s mother to the judge in a DVPO proceeding. At trial the defense questioned the mother about whether she told the district court judge that the defendant committed first-degree rape and first-degree sex offense. The mother denied doing this. The defendant wanted to use the district court judge to impeach this testimony. The district court judge filed an affidavit indicating that he had no independent recollection of the case. Even if the district court judge were to have testified as indicated, his testimony would have had no impact on the case; at most it would have established a lay person’s confusion with legal terms rather than an attempt to convey false information. Also, most of the evidence supporting the conviction came from the victim herself.

State v. Phachoumphone, ___ N.C. App. ___, 810 S.E.2d 748 (Feb. 6, 2018) review granted, ___ N.C. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (Sep 20 2018)

In this child sexual assault case, although the trial court violated the procedural requirements of G.S. 15A-1225.1 by authorizing the victim’s testimony to be offered remotely without holding a recorded evidentiary hearing on the matter or entering an appropriate order supporting its decision to allow the State’s motion, the defendant was not entitled to relief. The defendant did not challenge the trial court’s ultimate decision allowing the victim to testify remotely; he challenged only the procedure employed in authorizing her remote testimony. The court agreed that the trial court erred by failing to follow statutory procedure. However, for reasons detailed in the court’s opinion, it rejected the defendant’s challenge on the basis that he failed to demonstrate that he was prejudiced by these procedural errors.

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