State v. Futrelle, ___ N.C. App. ___, 831 S.E.2d 99 (Jul. 2, 2019)

The defendant pled guilty to controlled substance offenses pursuant to a bill of information and waiver of indictment. In an MAR, the defendant argued that the pleadings were defective and the trial court lacked jurisdiction because the waiver of indictment was not signed by his attorney. The trial court denied the MAR, finding that the pleadings substantially complied with the statute, but the appellate court reversed and remanded with instructions to grant the MAR and vacate the judgment. The requirements listed in G.S. 15A-642 for a waiver of indictment, including the signature of the defendant’s attorney, are mandatory. Therefore, the waiver in this case was “invalid without Defendant’s attorney’s signature, depriving the trial court of jurisdiction to accept Defendant’s guilty plea and enter judgment.”