State v. Cousin, 233 N.C. App. 523 (Apr. 15, 2014)

(1) The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of felonious obstruction of justice where the defendant gave eight written contradictory statements to law enforcement officers concerning a murder. In his first statements, the defendant denied being at the scene but identified individuals who may have been involved. In his next statements he admitted being present and identified various alternating persons as the killer. At the end of one interview, he was asked if he was telling the truth and he responded “nope.” A SBI agent testified to the significant burden imposed on the investigation because of the defendant’s conflicting statements. He explained that each lead was pursued and that the SBI ultimately determined that each person identified by the defendant had an alibi. (2) No double jeopardy violation occurred when the trial court sentenced the defendant for obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact arising out of the same conduct. Comparing the elements of the offenses, the court noted that each contains an element not in the other and thus no double jeopardy violation occurred.