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., 12/06/2022
E.g., 12/06/2022

The defendant was indicted for seven crimes arising from a domestic violence incident. The defendant severely beat his wife, resulting in her being hospitalized for six days where she was treated for extensive swelling and bruising to face and neck, fractures to rib bones and bones around her...

State v. China, 370 N.C. 627 (Apr. 6, 2018)

On appeal from the decision of a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 797 S.E.2d 324 (2017), the court reversed, holding that because there was evidence of restraint beyond that inherent in the commission of the sex offense the defendant could be convicted of both the sex...

State v. Curtis, 369 N.C. 310 (Dec. 21, 2016)

The court per curiam affirmed the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 782 S.E.2d 522 (2016). The Court of Appeals had held, over a dissent, that where the restraint and removal of the victims was separate and apart from an armed robbery that occurred at the premises, the trial court did not err...

State v. Stokes, 367 N.C. 474 (Apr. 11, 2014)

The court reversed and remanded the decision below, State v. Stokes, 227 N.C. App. 649 (Jun. 4, 2013) (vacating the defendant’s conviction for second-degree kidnapping on grounds that the evidence was insufficient to establish removal when during a robbery the defendant ordered the...

State v. Huss, 367 N.C. 162 (Nov. 8, 2013)

The court per curiam, with an equally divided court, affirmed the decision below, State v. Huss, 223 N.C. App. 480 (2012). That decision thus is left undisturbed but without precedential value. In this case, involving charges of second-degree sexual offense and second-degree rape, the...

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

In a multiple homicide case in which the defendant also was charged with kidnapping a victim who was a minor, there was sufficient circumstantial evidence that the minor’s parents did not consent to her kidnapping. Because the victim’s parents...

In April of 2007, the defendant came to the victim’s front door under the pretense of demonstrating a vacuum cleaner, but when she opened the door he forced his way inside, tied her up, robbed her, raped her, and left her bound in a closet. After the defendant left, the victim was able to...

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of second-degree kidnapping and did not commit plain error by failing to instruct the jury on the confinement theory of kidnapping alleged in the indictment.  The second-degree kidnapping indictment alleged that...

The defendant was convicted of two counts of sexual offense with a child by an adult, rape of a child, first-degree kidnapping, and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child in Wake County, stemming from the assault of a six-year-old child at a church.

(1) In regard to one of...

(1) Evidence at trial tended to show that after the victim requested a ride to Walmart and the community college because his car was in the shop for repair, the defendant, who was the victim’s cousin, and the defendant’s girlfriend drove the victim to a secluded area where the defendant robbed...

In this Lincoln County case, the defendant stole a car left running outside of a gas station. A three-year old child was in the backseat. Once officers attempted to stop the car, the defendant led police on a high-speed chase and ultimately crashed. The child was not harmed. During the chase,...

In this case involving convictions for first-degree kidnapping and misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, among other offenses, the State presented sufficient evidence of the offenses and the trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss on that basis.  With regard to...

The defendant was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and other charges and appealed. He argued the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress, his motion to dismiss, and in admitting certain evidence. The Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed.

The defendant objected...

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of first-degree kidnapping which asserted that the State failed to present substantial evidence that the defendant did not release the victim in a safe place. The defendant held the victim at gunpoint and...

State v. Diaz, ___ N.C. App. ___, 808 S.E.2d 450 (Nov. 21, 2017) aff'd on other grounds, ___ N.C. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (Aug 16 2019)

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of abduction of a child under G.S. 14-41. The defendant, who had a sexual relationship with the child victim, argued that the evidence showed that the child voluntarily left her home. The court rejected this...

In this kidnapping and sexual assault case, the evidence was sufficient to establish confinement or restraint for purposes of kidnapping that was separate and apart from the force necessary to facilitate the sexual offense. Here, the defendant forced the victim into his car after he had...

The trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss a first-degree kidnapping charge. There was sufficient evidence that the defendant removed the victim for the purpose of terrorizing her where multiple witnesses heard the defendant threaten to kill her in broad daylight. The...

The trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss a first-degree kidnapping charge. The restraint of the victim was not inherent in the also charged offense of assault by strangulation. The evidence showed two separate, distinct restraints sufficient to support the two offenses....

The trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss a first-degree kidnapping charge. The trial court did not err by failing to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of false imprisonment where substantial evidence showed that the defendant threatened and terrorized the...

The trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss a first-degree kidnapping charge. The defendant did not leave the victim in a safe place where he dragged her to the middle of a gravel driveway and left her, unconscious and injured. The defendant did not consign her to the care...

The trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss a first-degree kidnapping charge. The defendant did not leave the victim in a safe place where he dragged her to the middle of a gravel driveway and left her, unconscious and injured. The defendant did not consign her to the care...

In this kidnapping case, there was sufficient evidence that the defendant failed to release the victim in a safe place. The defendant left the victim in a clearing in the woods located near, but not easily visible from, a service road that extended off an interstate exit ramp. The area was...

State v. Knight, 245 N.C. App. 532 (Feb. 16, 2016) modified and affirmed on other grounds, 369 N.C. 640 (Jun 9 2017)

(1) Where a kidnapping indictment alleged that the defendant confined and restrained the victim for purposes of facilitating a forcible rape, the State was not required to prove both confinement and restraint. (2) In a case where the defendant was charged with sexual assault and kidnapping,...

(1) The court rejected the defendant’s argument that kidnapping charges should have been dismissed because there was insufficient evidence that his purpose in confining the victims was to terrorize them. “A defendant intends to terrorize another when the defendant intends to place that person in...

Vacating two of the defendant’s second-degree kidnapping convictions on grounds that the plain language of G.S. 14-39(a) does not permit prosecution of a parent for kidnapping, at least when that parent has custodial rights with respect to the children. The court explained:

“[T...

The State conceded and the court held that by sentencing the defendant for both first-degree kidnapping and the underlying sexual assault that was an element of the kidnapping charge a violation of double jeopardy occurred. 

In a case in which the defendant was convicted of kidnapping, rape and sexual assault, because the restraint supporting the kidnapping charge was inherent in the rape and sexual assault, the kidnapping conviction cannot stand. The court explained:

Defendant grabbed Kelly from...

The trial court erred by convicting the defendant of both first-degree kidnapping and the sexual assault that raised the kidnapping to first-degree. The trial court instructed the jury that to convict defendant of first-degree kidnapping, it had to find that the victim was not released in a safe...

State v. Lalinde, 231 N.C. App. 308 (Dec. 3, 2013) review granted, 367 N.C. 503 (Jun 11 2014)

In a felonious restraint case, the evidence was sufficient to show that the defendant restrained the victim by defrauding her into entering his car and driving to Florida with him. The defendant, a man in this thirties, formed an inappropriate relationship with the nine-year-old female victim....

The defendant’s conviction for kidnapping was improper where the restraint involved was inherent in two sexual assaults and an assault by strangulation for which the defendant was also convicted.

State v. Bell, 221 N.C. App. 535 (July 17, 2012)

(1) The defendant’s confinement of the victims was not inherent in related charges of armed robbery and sexual offense and thus could support the kidnapping charges. The defendant robbed the victims of a camera and forced them to perform sexual acts. He then continued to hold them at gunpoint...

In a kidnapping case, the trial court erred by submitting the theory of removal to the jury. Although evidence supported confinement and restraint, no evidence suggested that the defendant removed the victim in a case where the crime occurred entirely in the victim’s living room. The court...

The evidence was sufficient to establish an intent to cause bodily harm or terrorize where the facts showed that after severely beating the victim, the defendants first attempted to stuff him into a garbage can and then threw him into a 10 or 12-foot-deep ditch filled with rocks and water; one...

The evidence was sufficient to establish an intent to cause bodily harm or terrorize where the facts showed that after severely beating the victim, the defendants first attempted to stuff him into a garbage can and then threw him into a 10 or 12-foot-deep ditch filled with rocks and water; one...

The trial court erred by instructing the jury that it need only find that the restraint or removal aspect of the kidnapping “was a separate, complete act independent of and apart from the injury or terror to the victim.” As such, it did not distinguish between the restraint as a part of the...

(1) The evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant confined and restrained Victims Alvarez and Cortes for the purpose of terrorizing them and doing them serious bodily harm. The evidence was sufficient to establish a purpose of terrorizing Alvarez when the defendant beat and kicked...

(1) The evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant confined and restrained Victims Alvarez and Cortes for the purpose of terrorizing them and doing them serious bodily harm. The evidence was sufficient to establish a purpose of terrorizing Alvarez when the defendant beat and kicked...

A person who is killed in the course of a kidnapping is not left in a safe place. Alternatively, if the victim still was alive when left by the defendant and his accomplice, he was not left in a safe place given that he was bound so tightly that he suffered a fracture to his spine and ultimately...

A defendant may be convicted of assault inflicting serious bodily injury and first-degree kidnapping when serious injury elevates the kidnapping conviction to first-degree.

The removal of the victim was without her consent when the defendant induced the victim to enter his car on the pretext of paying her money in exchange for sex, but his real intent was to assault her; a reasonable mind could conclude that had the victim...

State v. Cole, 199 N.C. App. 151 (Aug. 18, 2009)

Because the restraint of the victim did not go beyond that inherent in the accompanying robbery, the kidnapping conviction could not stand. The victim was not moved to another location or injured and was held for only 30 minutes.

The trial court erred in denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss kidnapping charges where the removal and restraint of the victims was inherent in a charged robbery. Distinguishing cases where the victims were bound and physically harmed, the court noted that in this case, the victims only...

There was sufficient evidence of confinement where the defendant entered a trailer, brandished a loaded shotgun, and ordered everyone to lie down. It was immaterial that the victim did not comply with the defendant’s order to lie down.

The evidence was sufficient to support a charge of kidnapping where the restraint used against the victim was not inherent in the assaults committed. The defendant kept the victim from leaving her house by repeatedly striking her with a bat. When she was able to escape, he chased her, grabbed...

In a case in which the defendant was convicted of kidnapping and rape, the kidnapping conviction could stand where the confinement and restraint of the victim went beyond the restraint inherent in the commission of the rape. The defendant threatened the victim with a gun while she was in his car...

The fact that the state proceeded on a theory of acting in concert does not require the conclusion that the defendants released the victim in a safe place simply because one of the other perpetrators arguably did so. The record contained substantial evidence that defendants did not undertake...

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