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.

Instructions

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E.g., 06/30/2022
E.g., 06/30/2022

The defendant Molly Corbett was the daughter of the co-defendant, Thomas Marten. The two were charged with second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter following an altercation with Molly’s husband in Davidson County. The altercation occurred at the couple’s home while Molly’s mother and...

State v. Phillips, 365 N.C. 103 (June 16, 2011)

Noting that it has not had occasion to consider whether statements by law enforcement officers acting as agents of the government and concerning a matter within the scope of their agency or employment constitute admissions of a party opponent under Rule 801(d) for the purpose of a criminal...

State v. Chavez, ___ N.C. App. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (Apr. 7, 2020) rev’d in part on other grounds, ___ N.C. ___, 2021-NCSC-86 (Aug 13 2021)

This Mecklenburg County case involved charges of attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. The defendant and two other men (one of whom was unidentified) entered the victim’s home and...

The defendant stole fuel injectors from a salvage yard. Among other issues: (1) The defendant’s indictment for larceny of motor vehicle parts in violation of G.S. 14-72.8 was insufficient. The statute requires that “the cost of repairing the motor vehicle is one thousand dollars . . . or more,”...

State v. Mylett, ___ N.C. App. ___, 822 S.E.2d 518 (Dec. 4, 2018) rev’d on other grounds, ___ N.C. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (May 1 2020)

In this case involving a conviction for conspiracy to harass a juror, the trial court did not err by allowing the juror-witnesses to testify, over objection, about a fraternity fight that formed the basis for the criminal trial in which the defendant was accused of harassing jurors. The criminal...

(1) The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the trial court considered inadmissible hearsay in finding him in criminal contempt, reasoning that the evidence was admitted not for the truth of the matter asserted but rather for corroboration. At the show cause hearing the trial court...

(1) The trial court did not err by admitting the defendant’s brother’s videotaped statement to the police as illustrative evidence. The defendant asserted that the videotaped statement constituted inadmissible hearsay. However the trial court specifically instructed the jury that the videotape...

The trial court did not err by allowing a witness to testify that after the incident in question and while she was incarcerated, a jailer told her that the defendant was in an adjacent cell. The defendant argued that because the jailer did not testify at trial, this was inadmissible hearsay. The...

State v. Rogers, ___ N.C. App. ___, 796 S.E.2d 91 (Feb. 7, 2017) rev’d in part on other grounds, ___ N.C. ___, 817 S.E.2d 150 (Aug 17 2018)

In this drug case, the trial court did not err by allowing an officer to testify about information collected from a non-testifying witness during an investigation. The statement was not offered for its truth but rather to explain the officer’s subsequent conduct and how the investigation of the...

In this armed robbery case, the statement at issue was not hearsay because it was not offered for the truth of the matter asserted. At trial one issue was whether an air pistol used was a dangerous weapon. The State offered a detective who performed a test fire on the air pistol. He testified...

The defendant’s own statements were admissible under the hearsay rule. The statements were recorded by a police officer while transporting the defendant from Georgia to North Carolina. The court noted that “[a] defendant’s statement that is not purported to be a written confession is admissible...

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s request to redact certain statements from a transcript of the defendant’s interview with the police. In the statements at issue, an officer said that witnesses saw the defendant pick up a knife and stab the victim. The statements were not...

When statements were offered to explain an officer’s subsequent action, they were not offered for the truth of the matter asserted and thus were not hearsay.

An officer’s testimony as to a witness’ response when asked if she knew what had happened to the murder weapon was not hearsay. The statement was not offered for the truth of the matter asserted but rather to explain what actions the officer took next (contacting his supervisor and locating the...

Statements offered to explain a witness’s subsequent actions were not offered for the truth of the matter asserted and not hearsay.

A witness’s written statement, admitted to corroborate his trial testimony, was not hearsay. The statement was generally consistent with the witness’s trial testimony. Any points of difference were slight, only affecting credibility, or were permissible because they added new or additional...

(1) In a child sexual assault case, the trial court did not commit plain error by allowing a witness to testify about her step-granddaughter’s statements. The evidence was properly admitted for the non-hearsay purpose of explaining the witness’s subsequent conduct of relaying the information to...

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