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., 01/17/2022
E.g., 01/17/2022

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...

On appeal from a divided panel of the Court of Appeals, ___ N.C. App. ___, 817 S.E.2d 6 (2018), the Supreme Court determined that the evidence presented at trial supported the defendant’s conviction under the doctrine of recent possession. Pursuant to a tip, a detective discovered stolen...

Reversing the decision below, State v. Campbell, 234 N.C. App. 551 (2014), the court held that the State presented sufficient evidence of the defendant’s intent to commit larceny in a place of worship to...

The defendant was charged with felony breaking or entering a pickup truck that was parked overnight at a business. The trial record did not include any evidence that the truck contained an item of even trivial value, and there was no evidence that anything had been taken from inside. In...

At approximately 1:00 a.m. on January 1, 2018, the defendant woke Mr. and Mrs. Ridenhour by loudly banging on the front door of their residence. Mr. Ridenhour, thinking a neighbor was at the door, went to the front door and flipped the deadbolt. The defendant violently pushed the front...

Because there was insufficient evidence that the defendant knew of the terms of a domestic violence protective order, the trial court erred by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss a charge of violating a civil DVPO while in possession of a deadly weapon and the trial court erred by...

The evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for felony breaking or entering with intent to terrorize or injure. On appeal the defendant challenged only the element of intent to injure or terrorize. Here, the evidence shows that the defendant entered uninvited and did not announce himself...

The evidence was sufficient to convict the defendant of felony breaking or entering. 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’s name at Belk Store #329 in Charlotte...

The evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for misdemeanor breaking or entering. Although the defendant had consent to enter the home’s garage, he did not have consent to enter the residence itself, which he did by breaking down a door. 

(1) The evidence was insufficient to convict the defendant of breaking or entering into a place of religious worship. The defendant was alleged to have broken into a place of religious worship used by Vision Phase III International Outreach Center (“Vision”), a church engaged in international...

The evidence was sufficient to convict the defendant of felony breaking or entering a building. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the evidence showed only his presence at the scene, noting, among other things, that responding to a possible break-in, officers found the defendant...

The evidence was sufficient to convict the defendant of possession of burglar’s tools. Specifically, there was sufficient evidence that the defendant had constructive possession of a prybar and bolt cutters found at the scene. These tools were found within the fenced in area. Although the...

The trial court did not commit plain error by failing to instruct the jury on first-degree trespass as a lesser-included of breaking or entering a motor vehicle. Although the defendant argued that he may have broken into the vehicle in order to sleep and thus lacked the intent to commit a...

State v. Mims, 241 N.C. App. 611 (June 16, 2015)

(1) The evidence was sufficient to support a conviction for attempted first-degree burglary. In this case, which involved an attempted entry into a home in the wee hours of the morning, the defendant argued that the State presented insufficient evidence of his intent to commit a larceny in the...

(1) When an indictment charging breaking or entering into a motor vehicle alleged that the defendant broke and entered the vehicle, the trial court did not err by instructing the jury that it could find the defendant guilty if he broke or entered the vehicle. The statute...

Although first-degree trespass is a lesser-included offense of felonious breaking or entering, the trial court did not err by failing to instruct the jury on the trespass offense when the evidence did not permit a reasonable inference that would dispute the State’s contention that the defendants...

In this burglary case, the evidence was insufficient to establish that the defendants entered the premises where it showed that the defendants used landscaping bricks and a fire pit bowl to break a back window of the home but no evidence showed that any part of their bodies entered the home (no...

In this burglary case, the evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendants intended to commit a felony or larceny in the home. Among other things, an eyewitness testified that the defendants were “casing” the neighborhood at night. Additionally, absent evidence of other intent or...

In a first-degree burglary case, the evidence was insufficient to establish that the defendant broke and entered an apartment with the intent to commit a felonious restraint inside. Felonious restraint requires that the defendant transport the person by motor vehicle or other conveyance. The...

Evidence of missing items after a breaking or entering can be sufficient to prove the defendant’s intent to commit a larceny therein, raising the offense to a felony. When such evidence is presented, the trial court need not instruct on the lesser offense of misdemeanor breaking or entering.

The trial court erred by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss charges of breaking or entering a boat where the State failed to present evidence that the boats contained items of value. Although even trivial items can satisfy this element, here the record was devoid of any evidence of items...

(1) There was sufficient evidence that a burglary occurred at nighttime. The defendant left his girlfriend’s apartment after 10 pm and did not return until 6 am the next day. The burglary occurred during that time period. After taking judicial notice of the time of civil twilight (5:47 am) and...

An entering did not occur for purposes of burglary when the defendant used a shotgun to break a window, causing the end of the shotgun to enter the premises. The court reiterated that to constitute an entry some part of the defendant’s body must enter the premises or the defendant must insert...

Citing State v. Jackson, 162 N.C. App. 695 (2004), in this breaking or entering a motor vehicle case, the court held that the evidence was insufficient where it failed to show that that the vehicle contained any items of value apart from objects installed in the vehicle.

The evidence was insufficient to establish that the defendant intended to commit a larceny in the vehicle. The evidence suggested that the defendant’s only intent was to show another how to break glass using a spark plug and that the two left without taking anything once the vehicle’s glass was...

An indictment properly alleges the fifth element of breaking and entering a motor vehicle—with intent to commit a felony or larceny therein—by alleging that the defendant intended to steal the same motor vehicle.

The evidence was sufficient to establish that the defendant intended to commit a felony assault inside the dwelling. Upon entering the residence, carrying an axe, the defendant asked where the victim was and upon locating her, assaulted her with the axe.

Although the victim’s testimony tended to show that the crime did not occur at nighttime, there was sufficient evidence of this element where the victim called 911 at 5:42 am; she told police the attack occurred between 5:00 and 5:30 am; a crime scene technician testified that “it was still...

First-degree trespass is a lesser included offense of felony breaking or entering.

The defendant did not have implied consent to enter an office within a video store. Even if the defendant had implied consent to enter the office, his act of theft therein rendered that implied consent void ab initio.

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