Thursday, August 26, 2010

COA Decisions, 8/17/2010

** Sorry: Somehow missed these back in 2010. Adding them now with a back-date for completeness.

State v. Choudhry. Trial court didn't err by not conducting evidentiary hearing into counsel's possible conflict due to multiple representation.

No error in denying defendant from submitted hearsay statements of co-defendant's that the killing was committed in self-defense. Under Rule 804(b)(3), as a statement against interest, the statement must be against interest (it was) and have corroborating circumstances of trustworthiness. Here, no corroborating circumstances, as the co-defendant had a motive to lie and say it was self-defense. Also, state didn't open the door when an officer testified about the defendant’s response to being informed that the co-defendant had made a statement to the police.

State v. Davis. No error in failing to find "acceptance of responsibility" mitigator where defendant apologized. No evidence of restitution presented, thus restitution award is vacated.

State v. Grady. Confrontation clause error by using substitute analyst, but error was harmless.

State v. Hargrove. Defendant failed to preserve his double jeapardy claim, by failing to object to a mistrial being granted.

State v. Hudson. Defendant failed to preserve other suppression issues, as only raised stop below. Reasonable suspicion to stop where officer saw vehicle cross the center line twice and the fog line once.

Sufficient evidence of constructive possession where drugs were found in a car that was carried in a car carrier driven by defendant, he had keys to all the cars, and he acted suspiciously upon arrest.

State v. King. Officer had reasonable suspicion for Terry Stop and pat-down. Stop valid due to registration problems and, during stop, defendant informed officer he had a gun. Defendant's volunteering this info did not demonstrate that he was not a threat; rather, it provided reasonable suspicion of armed and dangerous for a frisk.

State v. Kirby. Sufficient evidence of murder, despite defendant's claim of self-defense.

No 403 problem in evidence that defendant was in a gang and selling drugs in the area, as it was relevant to state of mind (both the victim and defendant were gang members) and motive.

State v. Ligon. Defendant opened the door to hearsay statements by the child victim and her babysitter.

Not plain error in witnesses describing pictures taken by defendant of child victim in sex case as "graphic", "objectionable", "of a sexaul nature" and that the defendant pulled away the minor’s pant leg to get a “shot into the vaginal area.”

Insufficient evidence of sexual exploitation where pictures of child victim did not depict any sexual activity.

State v. Mack. Sufficent malice for 2d degree conviction in traffic accident case where defendant was DWLR, drove dangerously to avoid arrest, fled from an officer, drove more than 90mph, ran a red light, and drove on the wrong side of the highway.

State v. Marshall. In stolen property case, state's evidence showed defendant at a gas station near the time a car was stolen (but it was not stolen until after he left) and the car found parked on a city street near his house. Held that this was insufficent evidence for a construction possession instruction.

State v. Mendoza. Court erred in allowing evidence of defendant's pre- and post-Miranda silence. Harmless due to overwhelming evidence of guilt.

State v. Smith.

No error in failing to give alibi instruction. Defendant argued that, in child murder case, the child's drowning in a bathtub was accidental, as he left the child there too long. He put on evidence of someone seeing him not by the tub. Court held that this didn't warrant an alibi instruction, and was rather just incidental to his defense of accident. An alibi is something that makes it impossible for you to have committed the crime because you were somewhere else.

Use of post-arrest silence permissibly used as impeachment, where defendant waived right to silence by making statements, but left out details used in his in-court statement.

State v. Wooten. Defendant sent 5 faxes to victim. First 4 contained no threats, 5th did. Sufficent evidence for stalking conviction.

State v. Wray. Overturned trial courting finding that defendant forfeited his right to counsel. Forfeiture is disfavored. There is some evidence that defendant may have been incompetent to represent himself under Indiana v. Edwards, he was given no opportunity to be heard in the forfeiture hearing, and his conduct did not rise to the level warranting forfeiture.

State v. Yencer. Davidson College Police had no authority to arrest for reckless driving as the delegation of state authority to a campus police force of a religious institution violates the establishment clause of the NC Constitution.

No comments: