State v. Pender, 243 N.C. App. 142 (Sept. 1, 2015)

(1) The court rejected the defendant’s argument that kidnapping charges should have been dismissed because there was insufficient evidence that his purpose in confining the victims was to terrorize them. “A defendant intends to terrorize another when the defendant intends to place that person in some high degree of fear, a state of intense fright or apprehension.” (quotation omitted). The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the State had to prove that the kidnapping victims were terrorized; State only needs to prove that the defendant’s intent was to terrorize the victims. The evidence was sufficient for the jury to infer such an intent. That defendant shot victim Nancy’s truck parked outside the house so that everyone could hear it, cut the telephone line to the house at night, shot through the windows multiple times to break into the house, yelled multiple times upon entering the house that he was going to kill Nancy, corralled the occupants of the house into a single bedroom, demanded of those in the bedroom to know where Nancy was, exclaimed that he was going to kill her, and pointed his shotgun at them. (2) Vacating two of the defendant’s second-degree kidnapping convictions on grounds that the plain language of G.S. 14-39(a) does not permit prosecution of a parent for kidnapping, at least when that parent has custodial rights with respect to the children. The court explained:

“[T]here is no kidnapping when a parent or legal custodian consents to the unlawful confinement of his minor child, regardless whether the child himself consents to the confinement. The plain language requires that only one parent -- “a parent” -- consent to the confinement.

The court was careful to note “We do not address the question whether a parent without custodial rights may be held criminally liable for kidnapping.” (footnote 2).