State v. Newsome, ___ N.C. App. ___, 828 S.E.2d 495 (Mar. 26, 2019)

The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it revoked the defendant’s probation. The State presented sufficient evidence that the defendant willfully absconded by failing to report within 72 hours of his release from custody and thereafter avoiding supervision and making his whereabouts unknown from August 20 through the filing of a violation report on September 22. At the hearing, the defendant admitted that he knew he had to report to the probation office within 72 hours of release, that his mother had informed him that a probation officer had stopped by their home, and that his mother had given him a business card with the probation officer’s information on it. Moreover, the trial court found the defendant’s testimony that he did in fact report to the probation office as instructed to be lacking in credibility. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court abused its discretion because missing scheduled appointments cannot constitute absconding. The court noted that here the defendant did not simply miss an appointment or phone call with his probation officer. After the defendant was taken into custody for a violation based on absconding, the defendant knowingly failed to notify his probation officer of his release from custody. Thereafter, he actively avoided supervision each day after the initial 72-hour time period through and until September 22, 2017. This was a willful course of conduct by the defendant that thwarted supervision. His actions were a persistent avoidance of supervision and a continual effort to make his whereabouts unknown. Thus, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by finding that the defendant had absconded.