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., 04/12/2024
E.g., 04/12/2024

(1) There was sufficient evidence that a burglary occurred at nighttime. The defendant left his girlfriend’s apartment after 10 pm and did not return until 6 am the next day. The burglary occurred during that time period. After taking judicial notice of the time of civil twilight (5:47 am) and the driving distance between the victim’s residence and the apartment, the court concluded that it would have been impossible for the defendant to commit the crime after 5:47 am and be back at the apartment by 6 am. (2) When the victim’s laptop and other items were found in the defendant’s possession hours after the burglary, the doctrine of recent possession provided sufficient evidence that the defendant was the perpetrator.

Although the victim’s testimony tended to show that the crime did not occur at nighttime, there was sufficient evidence of this element where the victim called 911 at 5:42 am; she told police the attack occurred between 5:00 and 5:30 am; a crime scene technician testified that “it was still pretty dark” when she arrived, and she used a flashlight to take photographs; and the defendant stipulated to a record from the U.S. Naval Observatory showing that on the relevant date the sun did not rise until 6:44 am.

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