State v. Anderson, 194 N.C. App. 292 (Dec. 16, 2008)

Rejecting the defendant’s argument that the trial court imposed a greater sentence because the defendant chose to proceed to trial rather than plead guilty. At a conference between the judge, prosecutor, and defense counsel, the judge commented that if the parties were engaged in plea discussions, he would be amenable to a probationary sentence. Defense counsel objected to the judge’s comments, stating that it could be inferred that the judge would be less likely to give the defendant probation if he did not plead guilty. The judge stated that he had not meant to make any such implication, but rather to encourage the parties to enter plea negotiations. The defendant failed to show that it can be reasonably inferred that the defendant’s sentence was improperly based, even in part, on his insistence on a jury trial.