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., 06/28/2024
E.g., 06/28/2024
State v. Snead, 368 N.C. 811 (Apr. 15, 2016)

Reversing a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeals, 239 N.C. App. 439 (2015), the court held, in this larceny case, that the State properly authenticated a surveillance video showing the defendant stealing shirts from a Belk department store. At trial Toby Steckler, a regional loss...

In this New Hanover County case, defendant appealed his convictions for possession of burglary tools and attempted breaking and entering, arguing error in admitting evidence of a 2018 breaking and entering incident. The Court of Appeals found no error. 

In November of 2020, defendant...

In this Forsyth County case, defendant appealed his convictions for intimidating or interfering with witnesses and obtaining habitual felon status, arguing that the trial court erred by admitting a recording of his phone call. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding no error.

Defendant was...

In this Buncombe County case, the defendant was convicted of possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine. The defendant sold two white rocks to an undercover officer in a parking lot. When the defendant gave the drugs to the officer, he placed them in the officer’s bare hands without any...

In this violation of a DVPO case, screenshots of Facebook posts were authenticated by sufficient circumstantial evidence showing that the screenshots in fact depicted Facebook posts and that the comments in the post were made by the defendant such that the screenshots were properly admitted into...

Using a confidential informant to conduct a controlled buy, law enforcement officers purchased a small crack cocaine rock from the defendant. The rock field-tested positive for the presence of cocaine, and it was subsequently tested at the SBI and confirmed to be cocaine base. The defendant was...

In this statutory rape case, the victim’s Honduran birth certificate was properly authenticated. To establish the victim’s age, the State introduced a copy of the victim’s Honduran birth certificate, obtained from her school file. That document showed her date of birth to be September 15, 2003...

In this felony breaking or entering and felony larceny case, a store Notice of Prohibited Entry was properly authenticated. After detaining the defendant for larceny, a Belk loss prevention associate entered the defendant’s name in a store database. The associate found an entry for the defendant...

Although admission of video evidence was error, it was not prejudicial error. An officer testified that the day after the incident in question he asked the manager of a convenience store for a copy of the surveillance video made by store cameras. The manager allowed the officer to review the...

The trial court did not commit plain error by admitting store surveillance video in a safecracking case. Citing State v. Snead, 368 N.C. 811 (2016), the court held that the surveillance video was properly authenticated. The store manager testified that the surveillance system included...

(1) The trial court properly admitted a videotape of a detective’s interview with the defendant for illustrative purposes. The detective testified that the video was a fair and accurate description of the interview. This met the requirements for authentication of a video used for illustrative...

State v. Ford, 245 N.C. App. 510 (Feb. 16, 2016)

In this voluntary manslaughter case, where the defendant’s pit bull attacked and killed the victim, the trial court did not err by admitting as evidence screenshots from the defendant’s webpage over the defendant’s claim that the evidence was not properly authenticated. The State presented...

An affidavit of indigency sworn to by the defendant before a court clerk was a self-authenticating document under Evidence Rule 902 and thus need not be authenticated under Rule 901.

The trial court properly allowed the jury to consider whether a signature on a pawn shop buy ticket matched the defendant’s signature of his affidavit of indigency. The court compared the signatures and found that there was enough similarity between them for the documents to have been submitted...

The State adequately authenticated photographs of text messages sent between accomplices to an attempted robbery. A detective testified that he took pictures of text messages on an accomplice’s cell phone while searching the phone incident to arrest. The detective identified the photographs in...

In an armed robbery case, the trial court did not err by admitting three photographs of the defendant and his tattoos, taken at the jail after his arrest. The photographs were properly authenticated where the officer who took them testified about the procedure used and that they fairly and...

In this drug case where the defendant denied being the perpetrator and suggested that the drugs were sold by one of his sons, the State failed to properly authenticate two photographs used in photographic lineups as being of the defendant’s sons. An informant involved in the drug buy testified...

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...

State v. Cook, 218 N.C. App. 245 (Jan. 17, 2012)

For reasons discussed in the opinion, the court held that footage from a surveillance video was properly authenticated.

Cell phone records introduced by the State were properly authenticated. At trial the State called Ryan Harger, a custodian of records for Sprint/Nextel, a telecommunications company that transmitted the electronically recorded cell phone records to the police department. The defendant argued...

The trial court did not err by admitting a videotape of a controlled buy as substantive evidence where the State laid a proper foundation for the videotape. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the State was required to proffer a witness to testify that the tape accurately depicted...

A rectal swab taken from the victim was properly authenticated. An officer processed evidence at the crime scene, was present for the victim’s autopsy, and obtained evidence from the doctor who performed the autopsy, including the rectal swabs, on 24 June 2004. The swabs were then placed in the...

The trial court erred by allowing the State to introduce three photographs, which were part of a surveillance video, when the photographs were not properly authenticated. However, given the evidence of guilt, no plain error occurred.

The trial court erred by allowing the State to introduce three photographs, which were part of a surveillance video, when the photographs were not properly authenticated. However, given the evidence of guilt, no plain error occurred.

The trial court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that an audio recording of a booking-area phone call was properly authenticated under Rule 901 as having been made by the defendant. The State’s authentication evidence showed: (1) the call was made to the same phone number as later...

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