State v. Staton, ___ N.C. App. ___, 2021-NCCOA-427 (Aug. 17, 2021)

In this discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle while in operation case, the trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss for insufficient evidence.  Evidence at trial tended to show that the defendant fired a pistol at the victim’s truck and struck a toolbox fastened into the truck’s bed.  The court rejected the defendant’s argument that G.S. 14-34.1(b) requires at a minimum that the bullet strike the exterior wall of the vehicle.  Analogizing to State v. Miles, 223 N.C. App. 160 (2012), where it had determined that there was sufficient evidence of the version of the offense involving an occupied dwelling where a bullet struck a porch attached to a house, the court determined that striking the toolbox of the vehicle was sufficient to meet the firing “into [property]” element of the offense.

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