State v. Huckelba, 368 N.C. 569 (Dec. 18, 2015)

In a per curiam decision and for the reasons stated in the dissenting opinion below, the supreme court reversed State v. Huckelba, 240 N.C. App. 544 (2015). Deciding an issue of first impression, the court of appeals had held that to be guilty of possessing or carrying weapons on educational property under G.S. 14-269.2(b) the State must prove that the defendant “both knowingly possessed or carried a prohibited weapon and knowingly entered educational property with that weapon” and the trial court committed reversible error by failing to so instruct the jury. The dissenting judge concluded that “even accepting that a conviction … requires that a defendant is knowingly on educational property and knowingly in possession of a firearm” any error in the trial court’s instructions to the jury in this respect did not rise to the level of plain error, noting evidence indicating that the defendant knew she was on educational property.