State v. Richardson, 202 N.C. App. 570 (Feb. 16, 2010)

There was insufficient evidence that the defendant constructively possessed cocaine and drug paraphernalia. When officers announced their presence at a residence to be searched pursuant to a warrant, the defendant exited through a back door and was detained on the ground; crack cocaine was found on the ground near the defendant and drug paraphernalia was found in the house. As to the cocaine, the defendant did not have exclusive control of the house, which was rented by a third party, and there was insufficient evidence of other incriminating circumstances. The defendant did not rent the premises, no documents bearing his name were found there, none of his family lived there, and there was no evidence that he slept or lived at the home. The defendant’s connection to the paraphernalia was even weaker where no evidence connected the defendant to the paraphernalia or to the room where it was found.