Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium


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., 12/06/2023
E.g., 12/06/2023

In this armed robbery case, there was sufficient evidence that the defendant committed a taking from the victim’s person or presence. The evidence showed that the defendant and three other men entered a building in the early morning. The armed intruders ordered the occupants to lie face-down on the ground and take off their clothing. The defendant ordered, “Give me all your money,” and the victim’s cell phone was taken at this time.

The evidence was insufficient to support convictions of felony larceny from the person. Items were stolen from the victims’ purses while they were sleeping in a hospital waiting room. At the time the items were stolen, the purses were not attached to or touching the victims. The court rejected the State’s argument that the purses were under their owners’ protection because hospital surveillance cameras operated in the waiting room. The court noted: “Video surveillance systems may make a photographic record of the taking, but they are no substitute for ‘the awareness of the victim of the theft at the time of the taking.’” The court noted that the State’s theory would convert any larceny committed in areas monitored by video to larceny from the person.

State v. Hull, 236 N.C. App. 415 (Sept. 16, 2014)

The evidence was sufficient to show that a larceny of a laptop was from the victim’s person. At the time the laptop was taken, the victim took a momentary break from doing her homework on the laptop and she was about three feet away from it. Thus, the court found that the laptop was within her protection and presence at the time it was taken.

A larceny was from the person when the defendant stole the victim’s purse, which was in the child’s seat of her grocery store shopping cart. At the time, the victim was looking at a store product and was within hand’s reach of her cart; additionally she realized that the larceny was occurring as it happened, not some time later.

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