State v. Williams, 201 N.C. App. 161 (Dec. 8, 2009)

(1) There was sufficient evidence of serious bodily injury with respect to one victim where the victim suffered a cracked pelvic bone, a broken rib, torn ligaments in her back, a deep cut over her left eye, and was unable to have sex for seven months; the eye injury developed an infection that lasted months and was never completely cured; the incident left a scar above the victim’s eye, amounting to permanent disfigurement; there was sufficient evidence of serious bodily injury as to another victim where the victim sustained a puncture wound to the back of her scalp and a parietal scalp hematoma and she went into premature labor as a result of the attack. (2) There was insufficient evidence of serious bodily injury as to another victim where the evidence showed that the victim received a vicious beating but did not show that her injuries placed her at substantial risk of death; although her ribs were “sore” five months later, there was no evidence that she experienced “extreme pain” in addition to the “protracted condition.” (4) Based on the language in G.S. 14-32.4(b) providing that “[u]nless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment,” the court held that a defendant may not be sentenced to assault by strangulation and a more serious offense based on the same conduct. Because the statutory language in G.S. 14-32.4(a) proscribing assault inflicting serious bodily injury contains the same language, the same analysis likely would apply to that offense.