State v. Ott, 236 N.C. App. 648 (Oct. 7, 2014)

In this drug case, the trial court erred by denying the defendant’s request for an instruction on entrapment. The court agreed with the defendant that the plan to sell the pills originated in the mind of the defendant’s friend Eudy, who was acting as an agent for law enforcement, and the defendant was only convinced to do so through trickery and persuasion. It explained:

[A]ccording to defendant’s evidence, Eudy was acting as an agent for the Sherriff’s office when she approached defendant, initiated a conversation about selling pills to her buyer, provided defendant the pills, and coached her on what to say during the sale. While it is undisputed that defendant was a drug user, defendant claimed that she had never sold pills to anyone before. In fact, the only reason she agreed to sell them was because she was “desperate for some pills,” and she believed Eudy’s story that she did not want her husband to find out what she was doing. Defendant’s testimony established that Eudy told defendant exactly what to say such that, during the encounter, defendant was simply playing a role which was defined and created by an agent of law enforcement. In sum, this evidence, if believed, shows that Eudy not only came up with the entire plan to sell the drugs but also persuaded defendant, who denied being a drug dealer, to sell the pills to [the undercover officer] by promising her pills in exchange and by pleading with her for her help to keep the sale secret from her husband. Furthermore, viewing defendant’s evidence as true, she had no predisposition to commit the crime of selling pills.