State v. Wilkerson, 223 N.C. App. 195 (Oct. 16, 2012)

In a felony larceny after a breaking or entering case, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by determining that a text message sent from the defendant’s phone was properly authenticated where substantial circumstantial evidence tended to show that the defendant sent the text message. The defendant’s car was seen driving up and down the victim’s street on the day of the crime in a manner such that an eyewitness found the car suspicious and called the police; the eyewitness provided a license plate number and a description of the car that matched the defendant’s car, and she testified that the driver appeared to be using a cell phone; the morning after the crime, the car was found parked at the defendant’s home with some of the stolen property in the trunk; the phone was found on the defendant’s person the following morning; around the time of the crime, multiple calls were made from and received by the defendant’s phone; the text message itself referenced a stolen item; and by referencing cell towers used to transmit the calls, expert witnesses established the time of the calls placed, the process employed, and a path of transit tracking the phone from the area of the defendant’s home to the area of the victim’s home and back.