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., 09/22/2021
E.g., 09/22/2021

As a matter of legislative intent, the court held that a defendant may not be convicted for both armed robbery and possession of stolen goods taken during the robbery.

Addressing the issue as one of legislative intent, the court held that the trial court did not err by imposing punishment for armed robbery in Johnston County when the defendant previously pled guilty in Harnett County to two counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods with respect to some of the property obtained in the robbery. The misdemeanor charges pertained to the defendant’s possession of two stolen lottery tickets. The robbery charge involved theft of money and hundreds of additional tickets. Noting this, the court concluded the same property was not at issue. The court went on to conclude that the offenses for which the defendant pled guilty was not for the same conduct at issue in the robbery charge, stating: “the possession to which defendant pled guilty was solely related to his attempt at cashing in two lottery tickets a few days after the robbery in Johnston County and was adjudicated in a separate trial in another county, with different facts and evidence.” Finally, the court concluded that even if the two tickets were the exact same and only property stolen during the robbery, the defendant’s appeal must fail because he repeatedly opposed other remedies at trial, including an offer by the State not to mention the tickets that were at issue in the earlier proceeding

The trial court did not err by convicting the defendant of both robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon where each conviction arose from discreet conduct. 

(1) Where the defendant and his accomplices attempted to rob two victims inside a residence, the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss one of the charges. The defendant argued that because only one residence was involved, only one charge was proper. Distinguishing cases holding that only one robbery occurs when the defendant robs a business of its property by taking it from multiple employees, the court noted that here the defendant and his accomplices demanded that both victims turn over their own personal property. (2) Although the group initially planned to rob just one person, the defendant properly was convicted of attempting to rob a second person they found at the residence. The attempted robbery of the second person was in pursuit of the group’s common plan.

A defendant may not be sentenced for both robbery and possession of stolen property taken during the robbery.

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