State v. Ford, 194 N.C. App. 468 (Dec. 16, 2008)

There was sufficient evidence to establish that the defendant used a firearm in an armed robbery case. The evidence showed that the defendant and an accomplice entered a store and that one of them pointed what appeared to be a silver handgun at the clerk. When later arresting the accomplice at a residence, an officer saw what appeared to be a silver gun on the ground. However, the item turned out to be some type of lighter that appeared to be a gun. Neither the state nor the defendant presented evidence at trial that the item found was the one used during the robbery. When a person perpetrates a robbery by brandishing an instrument that appears to be a firearm or other dangerous weapon, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the law will presume the instrument to be what the person’s conduct represents it to be.