Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

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This compendium includes significant criminal cases by the U.S. Supreme Court & N.C. appellate courts, Nov. 2008 – Present. Selected 4th Circuit cases also are included.

Jessica Smith prepared case summaries Nov. 2008-June 4, 2019; later summaries are prepared by other School staff.

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E.g., 11/30/2021
E.g., 11/30/2021

In this sex offense and indecent liberties case, the court held: (1) a sex offense indictment that identified the child victim as “Victim #1” was fatally defective; (2) the trial court’s erroneous failure to conduct a jury instruction conference prior to submitting the existence of a statutory...

On discretionary review of a unanimous, unpublished decision of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 805 S.E.2d 563 (2017) in this child sex case, the court held that an indictment identifying the alleged victim only as “Victim #1” is facially invalid. Although the arrest warrant and the...

State v. Brawley, 370 N.C. 626 (Apr. 6, 2018)

On appeal from the decision of a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 807 S.E.2d 159 (2017), the court per curiam reversed for the reasons stated in the dissenting opinion below, thus holding that a larceny from a merchant indictment was not fatally defective. A majority of...

State v. Ellis, 368 N.C. 342 (Sept. 25, 2015)

Reversing the opinion below, State v. Ellis, __ N.C. App. __, 763 S.E.2d 574 (Oct. 7, 2014), the court held that an information charging injury to personal property was not fatally flawed. The information alleged the victims as: “North Carolina State University (NCSU) and NCSU High...

An indictment charging the defendant with felony larceny was not defective. The indictment alleged that the victim was “Sears Roebuck and Company.” The defendant argued that although the indictment contains the word “company,” it does not identify the victim as a company or other corporate...

An indictment charging statutory rape of a person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old was facially defective where it did not identify the victim by name, identifying her only as “Victim #1.” An indictment charging this crime must name the victim. The indictment need not include the victim’s full...

State v. Forte, ___ N.C. App. ___, 817 S.E.2d 764 (July 3, 2018) review granted, 371 N.C. 779 (Dec 5 2018)

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that there was a fatal variance between the indictment for misdemeanor larceny and the evidence at trial. Specifically, the defendant argued that there was a fatal variance between the allegation that he stole a checkbook from Glenn Cox and the...

There was no fatal variance in a larceny by employee indictment where the indictment alleged that the defendant’s employer was “Precision Auto Care, Inc. (PACI), a corporation” but the evidence at trial showed the actual name of the corporation to be “Precision Franchising, Inc.” doing business...

A felonious larceny indictment alleging that the defendant took the property of “Pinewood Country Club” was fatally defective. The State conceded that the indictment was defective because it failed to allege that the named victim was an entity capable of owning property. The court noted however...

There was no fatal variance between a kidnapping indictment that named “Vera Alston” as a victim and the evidence at trial that showed the victim’s last name was “Pierson.” The court concluded:

[T]he evidence is undisputed that one of defendant’s victims for kidnapping and...

State v. Spivey, 240 N.C. App. 264 (Apr. 7, 2015) rev’d on other grounds, 368 N.C. 739 (Mar 18 2016)

The trial court did not err by allowing the State to amend the victim’s name as stated in an indictment for assault with a deadly weapon from “Christina Gibbs” to “Christian Gibbs.”

By failing to assert fatal variance as a basis for his motion to dismiss, the defendant failed to preserve the issue for appellate review. Even if the issue had been preserved, it had no merit. Defendant argued that there was a fatal variance between the name of the victim in the indictment, You...

In Re M.S., 199 N.C. App. 260 (Aug. 18, 2009)

Distinguishing McKoy (discussed immediately above), the court held that juvenile petitions alleging that the juvenile committed first-degree sexual offense were defective because they failed to name a victim. The petitions referenced the victim as “a child,” without alleging the victims...

Rape and sexual offense indictments were not fatally defective when they identified the victim solely by her initials, “RTB.” The defendant was not confused regarding the victim’s identity; because the victim testified at trial and identified herself in open court, the defendant was protected...

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