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., 07/20/2024
E.g., 07/20/2024
State v. Cox, 375 N.C. 165 (Aug. 14, 2020)

The defendant, along with two others, went to the home of an individual to whom they paid cash to provide them with controlled substances. The individual neither obtained the illegal drugs nor returned any of the drug purchase money to the defendant. At the home of the individual, the individual...

State v. Hill, 365 N.C. 273 (Oct. 7, 2011)

Affirming the court of appeals, the court held the State presented substantial evidence that the victim’s money was taken through the use or threatened use of a dangerous weapon. The court noted that the investigating officer had testified that the victim reported being robbed by a man with a...

State v. Maness, 363 N.C. 261 (June 18, 2009)

If the events constitute a continuous transaction, a defendant may be convicted of armed robbery when the dangerous weapon taken during the robbery also is the weapon used to perpetrate the offense. In this case, the defendant fought with a law enforcement officer and “...

In this Guilford County case, defendant appealed his convictions for first-degree murder based on felony murder, armed robbery, and possession of a stolen vehicle, arguing error in (1) denying his motion to dismiss the armed robbery charge and (2) not instructing the jury that self-defense could...

In this Davidson County case, defendant appealed his convictions for two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, arguing error in (1) denying his motion for new counsel because his appointed attorney was blind, (2) failing to intervene ex mero motu during his cross examination, and (...

In this Randolph County case, defendant appealed his convictions for attempted first-degree murder, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a firearm by a felon, arguing error in denying his motions to dismiss for insufficient evidence, and error by the trial court in...

In this Pender County case, defendant appealed his convictions for armed robbery, arguing the trial court erred by (1) admitting testimony by a detective identifying defendant as the perpetrator, (2) denying defendant’s motion to dismiss, and (3) entering judgment and commitment on two counts of...

The defendant and her boyfriend robbed the victim at his home. During the robbery the two pinned the victim down, hit him with a stick, and stunned him several times with a taser. The victim’s wallet was stolen, and he was left with blood coming out of his ears, a knot on his head, and a...

The defendant in this Davidson County case was tried for common law robbery, habitual misdemeanor assault, and habitual felon. The charges stemmed from an incident between the defendant and his then-girlfriend at her residence, resulting in him assaulting her, damaging her car, and ultimately...

In this robbery case where the defendant was punished as a habitual felon, (1) the defendant failed to preserve a fatal variance argument; (2) there was insufficient evidence of attempted armed robbery; (3) assuming without deciding that the trial court expressed its opinion in violation of G.S...

The basic facts of this case are as follows: Marvin Price closed his account at the Mountain Credit Union, withdrawing $25,000 in cash. He put $300 to $400 in his wallet and the remainder in an envelope. When he arrived home and got out of his car, he was robbed at gunpoint by Michael Angram,...

The defendant and another person committed an attempted robbery of a convenience store in which they pointed what appeared to be a gun at the clerk and demanded money. When the clerk explained that he had already put the money in the store’s safe, the two men fled. The defendant was eventually...

The evidence showed that the defendant was in a car with two other men that arrived in a church parking lot near the victim’s house at the same time as another car driven by a female. The female then drove to the victim’s home and beeped her car horn. Shortly after the victim came out of his...

In this armed robbery case, the trial court did not err by failing to instruct the jury on the lesser included offense of common law robbery.  The court began its analysis by noting that “[o]nly one element distinguishes common law robbery and robbery with a dangerous weapon, and that element is...

As a matter of legislative intent, the court held that a defendant may not be convicted for both armed robbery and possession of stolen goods taken during the robbery.

Because misdemeanor larceny and simple assault are lesser included offenses of common law robbery, the trial court erred by sentencing the defendant for all three offenses. The court rejected the State’s argument that the defendant was not prejudiced by this error because all three convictions...

Addressing the issue as one of legislative intent, the court held that the trial court did not err by imposing punishment for armed robbery in Johnston County when the defendant previously pled guilty in Harnett County to two counts of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods with respect to some...

In this armed robbery case, the trial court did not err by failing to instruct the jury on the lesser-included offense of common law robbery. The defendant entered three convenience stores with his face covered and a gun in his hand and stole money in the presence of the store clerks. The...

In this armed robbery case, the evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant used a dangerous weapon in a way that endangered the victim. A store loss prevention officer questioned the defendant about having taken some store jewelry in the store foyer. During the exchange, the victim...

Where the State’s evidence was positive and uncontroverted as to whether a weapon used during an armed robbery was in fact a dangerous weapon and there was no evidence from which a rational juror could find that the weapon was anything other than a dangerous one, no error occurred when the trial...

State v. Todd, ___ N.C. App. ___, 790 S.E.2d 349 (Aug. 16, 2016) rev’d on other grounds, 369 N.C. 707 (Jun 9 2017)

Over a dissent the court held that the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction for armed robbery where it consisted of a single partial fingerprint on the exterior of a backpack worn by the victim at the time of the crime and that counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to...

(1) The evidence was sufficient to support charges of attempted armed robbery against both defendants. The defendants and a third person, Moore, planned to rob Bobbie Yates of marijuana. However, once they learned there was a poker game going on in the apartment, they retrieved another weapon...

State v. Holt, 241 N.C. App. 577 (June 16, 2015)

The trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of armed robbery. One of the victims testified that all three perpetrators had handguns. A BB pistol and a pellet gun were found near the scene of the robbery. The defendant argued that the State failed to produce...

In a multi-count robbery case, there was sufficient evidence of common law robbery against victim Adrienne. Although Adrienne herself did not testify, the evidence showed that she was a resident of the mobile home where the robbery occurred, that another victim heard her screaming during the...

Applying a definitional rather than a factual test, the court held that extortion is not a lesser included offense of armed robbery.

The trial court did not err by convicting the defendant of both robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon where each conviction arose from discreet conduct. 

(1) Where the defendant and his accomplices attempted to rob two victims inside a residence, the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss one of the charges. The defendant argued that because only one residence was involved, only one charge was proper. Distinguishing cases...

Rejecting the defendant’s argument that the State failed to present evidence of an attempted taking, the court held that there was sufficient evidence of attempted robbery. The defendant’s accomplice testified that the defendant planned the robbery with her; the defendant waited in a vehicle...

There was sufficient evidence that a theft and use of force were part of a continuous transaction. A witness testified that the defendant went to the victim’s mobile home with the intent to rob him, shot and killed the victim, and left with money and drugs.

State v. Bell, 227 N.C. App. 339 (May. 21, 2013)

(1) Notwithstanding the defendant’s testimony that the gun used in a robbery was unloaded, the trial court properly denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss an armed robbery charge. The victim testified that the defendant entered her business, pointed a gun at her and demanded money. The...

The evidence was sufficient to show that either the defendant or his accomplice used a firearm to induce the victim to part with her purse.

In an armed robbery case, the trial court did not commit plain error by failing instruct the jury on a lesser-included offense of “aggravated common law robbery.” The court rejected the defendant’s argument that Apprendi and Blakely created a North Carolina crime of aggravated...

A taking occurred when the defendant grabbed the victim’s cell phone from his pocket and threw it away. The fact that the taking was for a relatively short period of time is insignificant.

There was sufficient evidence that a lawn chair was a dangerous weapon for purposes of armed robbery. The victim was knocked unconscious and suffered multiple facial fractures and injuries which required surgery; after surgery his jaw was wired shut for weeks and he missed 2-3 weeks of work; and...

In an armed robbery case, the trial court did not err by failing to instruct the jury on common law robbery and by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss armed robbery charges. Because there was no evidence that the gun was inoperable or unloaded, there was no evidence to rebut the...

The evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant took the victim’s car when the defendant forced the victim at gunpoint to take the defendant as a passenger in the vehicle. The fact that the victim was “still physically present in the car cannot negate the reasonable inference that...

(1) The State presented sufficient evidence to establish that a stun gun was a dangerous weapon for purposes of armed robbery. The court concluded, in part, that although the victim did not die or come close to death, she was seriously injured. Given that serious injury “a permissive inference...

Where the evidence showed that the defendant’s attack on the victim and the taking of his wallets constituted a single, continuous transaction, the evidence was sufficient to support an armed robbery charge. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that she took the victim’s wallets only as...

The evidence was sufficient to sustain an armed robbery conviction when the item stolen—a handgun—was also the item used to threaten or endanger the victim’s life.

State v. Lee, 213 N.C. App. 392 (July 19, 2011)

In a robbery case, the court held that the trial judge properly instructed the jury on the doctrine of recent possession as to non-unique goods (cigarettes).

In an armed robbery case, there was sufficient evidence that the defendant took the victim’s personal property by the use or threatened use of a knife. The victim awoke to find the defendant on top of her holding a knife to her throat. After struggling with him, she pleaded and negotiated with...

The evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant took money from a store clerk by means of violence or fear. The defendant hid his arm underneath his jacket in a manner suggesting that he had a gun; the clerk knew the defendant was “serious” because his eyes were “evil looking”; and...

The trial court erred by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of attempted armed robbery when there was no evidence that the defendant attempted to take the victim’s personal property. Because the defendant’s conviction for felony breaking or entering was based on an intent to...

There was sufficient evidence that the theft and the use of force were part of one continuous transaction when the defendant formed an intent to rob the victim, attacked her, and then took her money. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that his rape of the victim constituted a break in...

Where witness testimony indicated that the defendant used a gun in an armed robbery and there was no evidence that the gun was inoperable, the State was not required to affirmatively demonstrate operability and the trial court was not required to instruct on common law robbery.

A defendant may not be sentenced for both robbery and possession of stolen property taken during the robbery.

Distinguishing State v. Holland, 234 N.C. 354 (1951), and State v. Murphy, 225 N.C. 115 (1945), in which the victims were rendered unconscious by the defendants and regained consciousness bereft of their property, the court held that there was sufficient evidence that the...

The defendant’s use of violence was concomitant with and inseparable from the theft of the property from a store where the store manager confronted the defendant in the parking lot and attempted to retrieve the stolen property, at which point the defendant struck the...

State v. Ford, 194 N.C. App. 468 (Dec. 16, 2008)

There was sufficient evidence to establish that the defendant used a firearm in an armed robbery case. The evidence showed that the defendant and an accomplice entered a store and that one of them pointed what appeared to be a silver handgun at the clerk. When later arresting the accomplice at a...

Show Table of Contents