Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

About

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.

Instructions

Navigate using the table of contents to the left or by using the search box below. Use quotations for an exact phrase search. A search for multiple terms without quotations functions as an “or” search. Not sure where to start? The 5 minute video tutorial offers a guided tour of main features – Launch Tutorial (opens in new tab).

E.g., 09/21/2021
E.g., 09/21/2021

In an interfering with a witness case, the trial court properly instructed the jury that the first element of the offense was that “a person was summoned as a witness in a court of this state. You are instructed that it is immaterial that the victim was regularly summoned or legally bound to attend.” The second sentence properly informed the jury that the victim need only be a “prospective witness” for this element to be satisfied.

Over a dissent, the court extended G.S. 14-226(a) (intimidating witnesses) to apply to a person who was merely a prospective witness. The local DSS filed a juvenile petition against the defendant and obtained custody of his daughter. As part of that case, the defendant was referred to the victim for counseling. The defendant appeared at the victim’s office, upset about a letter she had written to DSS about his treatment. The defendant grabbed the victim’s forearm to stop her and stated, in a loud and aggravated tone, that he needed to speak with her. The defendant asked the victim to write a new letter stating that he did not require the recommended treatment; when the victim declined to do so, the defendant “became very loud.” The victim testified, among other things, that every time she wrote a letter to DSS, she was “opening [her]self up to have to testify” in court. The court found the evidence sufficient to establish that the victim was a prospective witness and thus covered by the statute.

Show Table of Contents