State v. Cox (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-07-0818, 13 pp.) (Rick Elmore, J.) Appealed from Wayne County Superior Court. On remand from the N.C. Supreme Court. N.C. App. Full-text opinion.
Holding: In a car with a driver and three passengers, defendant was seated in the front passenger seat. The driver ran when police arrived, and a gun was found 10 or 12 feet from the car, along the driver’s flight path. Defendant’s mere statement that he owned the gun (after police threatened to charge all three passengers – including defendant’s younger brother – with possession) was insufficient to support the charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Upon reconsideration, we find error as to defendant’s conviction for possession of a firearm by a felon and no error as to his conviction for possession of marijuana.
When police arrived, defendant was rolling green vegetable matter into a cigar wrapper. The state’s failure to introduce chemical analysis of the vegetable matter was not fatal. The trial court did not err by allowing two police officers to identify the green vegetable matter as marijuana based on their observation, training and experience.