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

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

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 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...

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. 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....

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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...

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...

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