Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

Smith's Criminal Case Compendium

About

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.

Instructions

Navigate using the table of contents to the left or by using the search box below. Use quotations for an exact phrase search. A search for multiple terms without quotations functions as an “or” search. Not sure where to start? The 5 minute video tutorial offers a guided tour of main features – Launch Tutorial (opens in new tab).

E.g., 07/24/2024
E.g., 07/24/2024

In this Person County case, defendant appealed his conviction for first-degree murder, arguing error in dismissal of a juror who no longer lived in Person County. The Court of Appeals found no error. 

On the third day of trial, Juror #4 reported car trouble and that he would be late for...

The defendant was indicted for one count of second-degree murder arising out of a fight at a party in which the victim was stabbed and later died. After a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. The jury indicated that the verdict was unanimous, and assented to...

Defendants Molly Martens Corbett (“Molly”) and Thomas Michael Martens (“Tom”), daughter and father, were convicted of second degree murder in the death of Molly’s husband, Jason Corbett (“Jason”). Evidence at trial established that Tom attempted to stop Jason from choking Molly by hitting Jason...

The trial court did not err by dismissing an empaneled juror. During trial the State moved for the trial court to inquire into the competency of Juror 7 to render a fair and impartial verdict. The trial court conducted a hearing in which a bailiff testified that the juror asked the bailiff “if...

State v. Langley, ___ N.C. App. ____, 803 S.E.2d 166 (June 20, 2017) rev’d on other grounds, ___ N.C. ___, 817 S.E.2d 191 (Aug 17 2018)

Although juror misconduct occurred, the defendant’s challenge failed because the error was invited. After it was reported to the judge that a juror did an internet search of a term used in jury instructions, the judge called the jurors into court and instructed them to disregard any other...

In a case where the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the defendant’s mistrial motions based on juror misconduct and refusing the defendant’s request to make further inquiry into whether other...

In a first-degree murder case where the defendant attempted to escape mid-trial, causing a lockdown of the courthouse and the trial court to order a security escort for the jury, the trial court’s procedure for inquiring about the juror’s exposure to media coverage was adequate. When court...

In this murder case, the trial court did not err by failing to make further inquiry when a prospective juror revealed during voir dire that prospective jurors were discussing the case in the jury room. Questioning of the juror revealed that “a few” prospective jurors spoke about whether they...

Although the trial court erred by admitting in a motion for appropriate relief (MAR) hearing a juror’s testimony about the impact on his deliberations of his conversation with the defendant’s mother during trial, the trial court’s findings supported its determination that there was no reasonable...

In a case involving first-degree murder and other charges, the trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s mistrial motion. On July 16th the trial court learned that while two jurors were leaving the courthouse the previous day after the verdict was rendered in the guilt phase...

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying the defendant’s mistrial motion. During a recess at trial, a juror was approached by a man who said, “Just quit, and I’ll let you go home.” Upon return to the courtroom, the trial court inquired and determined that six jurors witnessed the...

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying a defense motion to dismiss a juror, made after the juror sent a letter to the trial judge requesting to see a DVD that had been played the previous day in court and stating that she thought the defendant’s accent was fabricated. Despite...

State v. Ross, 27 N.C. App. 379 (Oct. 19, 2010)

The trial court’s entry into the jury room during deliberations to determine the jury’s progress was not subject to plain error review. However, the court admonished the trial court that it should refrain from such conduct “to avoid the possibility of improperly influencing the jury and to avoid...

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by failing to conduct an inquiry into allegations of jury misconduct or by denying the defendant’s motion for a new trial. The day after the verdict was delivered in the defendant’s sexual battery trial and at the sentencing hearing, defense counsel...

Show Table of Contents