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

(1) The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury on victim Stokes. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the State was required to prove that the defendant specifically intended to kill Stokes when he fired into a trailer when Stokes and others were present. The court reasoned that “It is not determinative to this issue of whether or not Defendant knew Stokes was in the trailer.” It concluded: “there was sufficient evidence for the jury to infer Defendant intended to kill whoever was inside the trailer.” The court noted that, among other things, the defendant fired numerous shots into the trailer knowing it was occupied.

(2) The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the assault conviction should be reversed because the trial court did not instruct the jury on the doctrine of transferred intent, noting that the State did not argue transferred intent and neither party requested a transferred intent instruction. Rather, the State’s evidence showed that the defendant knew a trailer was occupied by at least two people when he fired into it numerous times. Based on the nature of the assault, the evidence was sufficient for the jury to find that the defendant intended to kill whoever was in the trailer.