State v. Melton, ___ N.C. App. ___, 811 S.E.2d 678 (Feb. 20, 2018)

The trial court abused its discretion by revoking the defendant’s probation, where the evidence was insufficient to establish absconding. The probation officer testified that the defendant absconded a week after a 26 October 2016 meeting by failing attend meetings scheduled for 28 October and 2 November and by failing to contact the officer thereafter even though the officer attempted to call and visit the defendant multiple times and left messages for the defendant with the defendant’s parents. However, the officer could not support her testimony with records and did not recall the number of times and dates on which these contacts were made. The defendant testified that her cell phone was missing, that she was not at home when the officer visited, and that she received no messages that the officer was trying to reach her. She testified that since she had seen the officer at the end of October, it did not occur to her to contact the officer. Although the officer testified to attempts to call and visit the defendant and to having left messages with the defendant’s parents for the defendant, there was no evidence that any message was given to the defendant or that the defendant knew the officer was trying to reach her. Although there was competent evidence that the officer attempted to contact the defendant, there was insufficient evidence that the defendant willfully refused to make herself available for supervision.