State v. Cox, ___ N.C. App. ___, 808 S.E.2d 339 (Nov. 21, 2017)

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a first-degree murder charge based on the theory of lying in wait. The defendant asserted that no ambush occurred because the defendant announced his presence. The evidence showed that the victim was in his residence with friends when the defendant arrived after dark. The victim went outside to speak with the defendant. There was no evidence that the defendant threatened or directed harm at the victim. The victim returned to his trailer, unharmed, after speaking with the defendant. The defendant waited for the victim to go back inside and then fired his weapon into the trailer, killing the victim. The victim had no warning that the defendant intended any harm. When the defendant spoke with the victim, the defendant told the victim to send another person outside, indicating that he only had an issue with the other person. Therefore, the court concluded, the victim was taken by complete surprise and had no opportunity to defend himself.