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., 09/26/2021
E.g., 09/26/2021

The evidence was sufficient to support multiple counts of possession of a weapon of mass death and destruction and possession of a firearm by a felon. The defendant had argued that the evidence was insufficient to support multiple charges because it showed that a single weapon was used, and did not show that the possession on each subsequent date of offense was a new and separate possession. The court distinguished State v. Wiggins, 210 N.C. App. 128 (Mar. 1, 2011), on grounds that in that case, the offenses were committed in close geographic and temporal proximity. Here, the court determined, the offenses occurred in nine different locations on ten different days over the course of a month. It concluded: “While the evidence tended to show that defendant used the same weapon during each armed robbery, the robberies all occurred on different days and in different locations. Because each possession of the weapon was separate in time and location, . . . the trial court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to dismiss the multiple weapons possession charges.”

The felon in possession statute does not authorize multiple convictions and sentences for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon predicated on evidence that the defendant simultaneously obtained and possessed one or more firearms, which he or she used during the commission of multiple substantive criminal offenses during the course of the same transaction or series of transactions. The court clarified that the extent to which a defendant is guilty of single or multiple offenses hinges upon the extent to which the weapons in question were acquired and possessed at different times. In the case at hand, the weapons came into the defendant’s possession simultaneously and were used over a two-hour period within a relatively limited part of town in connection with the commission of a series of similar offenses. Based on these facts, only one felon in possession conviction could stand.

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